As soon as you are born, you are assigned a sex, ‘it’s a boy’, or ‘it’s a girl’.
However, many are born with an intersex variation, which is a difference in either their sex chromosomes, sex hormone sensitivity or bodies. Intersex variations may be apparent at birth, or sometimes present at puberty or later in life, for example when trying to conceive.
Intersex variations are fairly common, affecting around 1-2% of the population.
Intersex is not a disease or a disorder. Intersex is a normal healthy variant of human development and diversity.
There is huge societal pressure to be ‘male’ or ‘female’.
This has resulted in many invasive surgical procedures on intersex children, which were not medically indicated or necessary. Intersex children are often ‘assigned a sex’ before they are able to speak for themselves. All too often intersex people have been denied their basic human rights.
It is important that intersex people are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve and receive equitable healthcare, with full involvement in decision making.
Intersex people may require additional medical support, such as fertility advice, mental health support, and in some cases hormonal medication. There are some useful support groups listed below. Ask your GP for more information.
For more information: