By Jennifer Nevels, NMD —
Intersex is defined as being born with sex characteristics that don’t align with the female or male gender specifically. In these individuals there can be variations in chromosomes, sex hormones, and differences in the male and female anatomy. Chromosome abnormalities can be a combination of the male (XY) and female (XX) to XXY. A person could have been born with male genitalia but have ovaries, whereas another intersex individual could have a variation in female genitalia, and have testosterone producing tissue internally.
An intersex individual may not start recognizing that there are differences in their bodies until they go through puberty. Puberty will cause the manufacturing and release of the dominant hormones, typically estrogen in girls and testosterone in boys. If someone is intersex they may start noticing during this time an increased growth in body and facial hair for example. Although they may have female genitalia they may have testicular tissue present internally and this may be their first sign.
If this is something you may be experiencing, although it may be embarrassing to talk to family or friends about your body, it is important to go to someone you trust. The next step would be to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss with them what you are noticing so that they can help guide you.
This is information only – NOT medical advice