Assessment of Intersex








Intersex Glossary and Terms

A : B : C : D : E : F : G : H : I : J : K : L : M
N : O : P : Q : R : S : T : U : V : W : X :Y : Z


Abdominal – The part of the body that lies between the thorax and the pelvis and encloses the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, and pancreas. It can also be called the belly.

Androgens – a family of hormones that promote the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.



Cancer - any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream

Colon - that part of the large intestine which extends from the cecum to the rectum; sometimes used inaccurately as a synonym for the entire large intestine.

Chordee - A painful erection of the penis, usually with downward curvature, occurring in gonorrhea.

Chromosomes - A threadlike linear strand of DNA and associated proteins in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells that carries the genes and functions in the transmission of hereditary information.

Circumcision - Surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis.

Clitoris – A female sexual organ which is a small elongated erectile organ at the anterior part of the vulva, homologous with the penis.



Estrogens - Any of several steroid hormones produced chiefly by the ovaries and responsible for promoting estrus and the development and maintenance of female secondary sex characteristics.


Fertility - is the ability of people or animals to produce healthy offspring in abundance.

Fistulas - An abnormal duct or passage resulting from injury, disease, or a congenital disorder that connects an abscess, cavity, or hollow organ to the body surface or to another hollow organ.


Gender Identity - describes the gender with which a person identifies (i.e, whether one perceives oneself to be a man, a woman, or describes oneself to oneself in some less conventional way)

Genitalia – this is the Latin term used to describe the sex organs, and in the English language this term and genital area.

Glans - The conical portion of the tip of the phallus (clitoris or penis).

Gonads - is a sex organ that produces gametes, specifically the testes or ovaries in humans.


Hermaphrodite (Hermaphroditism n.) – is a person having both male and female sexual characteristics and organs; at birth an unambiguous assignment of male or female cannot be made.

Hernia - a protrusion of part of an organ through the muscle that surrounds it.

Hyperplasia - an abnormal increase in the number of cells in an organ or a tissue with consequent enlargement.


Inguinal - Relating to the groin, the area between the abdomen and thigh.

Intersex – is a person (or animal of any unisexual species) is one who has both male and female sexual characteristics and organs.








Menstruation - The monthly flow of blood when pregnancy does not occur; the flow comprises about two-thirds of the endometrium and blood, often including the unfertilized egg or unimplanted embryo.

Mullerian duct - are paired ducts of the embryo which empty into the cloaca, and which in the female develop into the upper vagina, cervix, uterus and oviducts; in the male they disappear except for the vestigial vagina masculina and the appendix testis.


Nerve - Any of the cordlike bundles of fibers made up of neurons through which sensory stimuli and motor impulses pass between the brain or other parts of the central nervous system and the eyes, glands, muscles, and other parts of the body. Nerves form a network of pathways for conducting information throughout the body.


Obstruction - The blocking of a body passage, as by clogging or stricture.

Orgasm - An intense sensation that occurs at the climax of sexual excitement that is accompanied by rhythmic muscle contractions and intense pleasure, followed by release of sexual tensions. In men, orgasm is usually accompanied by ejaculation.

Ovary (ovaries n.)- The usually paired female or hermaphroditic reproductive organ that produces ova and, in vertebrates, estrogen and progesterone.

Ovoid - Shaped like an egg; ovate.

Ovotestis - A hermaphroditic reproductive organ that produces both sperm and eggs, found in certain gastropods.


Penis - The external male reproductive organ through which seminal fluid and urine can pass.

Perineum - The region between the scrotum and the anus in males, and between the posterior vulva junction and the anus in females.

Phallus - The phallus usually refers to the male penis, or sex organ. When a clitoris is enlarged, it is referred to as a phallus because it resembles a penis.

Puberty - The process of changing from a child into an adult. This series of changes are caused by chemical messages that tell the body to grow and become physically and sexually mature.




Rectum - Last segment of colon, or large intestine, the lowest part of the bowel found right before the anus.


Scrotum - is a pouch of skin forming part of the male reproductive organ that contains the testes, spermatic cords and epididymis..

Sex of Rearing - is the gender in which parents rear a child. This is the gender assigned to the child by parents and doctors (usually based on the appearance of the external genitalia), and taught to the child. It can also be called gender of rearing.


Testosterones - A white crystalline steroid hormone, C 19 H 28 O 2 , produced primarily in the testes and responsible for the development and maintenance of male secondary sex characteristics. It is also produced synthetically for use in medical treatment.

Testes (singular testis) – Is a pair of male sex organs that lie within the scrotum and produce sperm and the male sex hormone, testosterone.


Undescended adj : (of the testis) remaining in the abdomen instead of descending into the scrotum.

Urethra (urethral adj.)- the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside. In women, this tube is fairly short; in men it is longer, passing through the penis, and it also carries the semen.

Urinary - Of or relating to the organs involved in the formation and excretion of urine.

Urinary tract infection – Is an infection that occurs in the urinary tract which is often caused by bacteria such as Escherichia coli. A urinary tract infection often causes frequent urination, pain, burning when urinating, and blood in the urine.

Uterus - A hollow muscular organ located in the pelvic cavity of females in which the fertilized egg implants and develops. It is also called the womb.


Vagina - The genital canal in the female, leading from the opening of the vulva to the cervix of the uterus.

Virilization - The process of developing masculine sex characteristics in a female. This may include an increase in body hair, facial hair, deepening of the voice, male-pattern baldness, and clitoral enlargement. This many also result in excessive testosterone production in endocrine glands or use of anabolic steroids with occur.










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