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Things are Not as They Appear

Today, we will give a brief overview of 3 of the diagnoses associated with being Intersex. These include 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). I have included some links for more information. Also, here are a couple of links for Intersex persons and their allies.

  • Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS): when a person who is genetically male (who has one X and one Y chromosome) is resistant to male hormones (called androgens). As a result, the person has some of the physical traits of a woman but the genetic makeup of a man. 1 in 20,000 individuals

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH): CAH occurs when there is a broken genetic “recipe” for making cortisone in the adrenal glands (the glands on top of the kidneys that make various hormones and add them to the bloodstream). Because the recipe is broken, the adrenal glands, while trying to make cortisone, may make an unusually high level of other hormones that are “virilizing.” That is, they can make XX embryos have larger than average clitorises, or even a clitoris that looks somewhat like a penis, or labia that look like a scrotum 1 in 5,000 to 7,000 newborns.

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