It’s possible to have health conditions that need to be addressed that relate to intersex anatomy. I have spent nearly fifteen years of my life trying to get basic information about how my body is put together, with doctors giving me conflicting answers. Obviously, this is often true for those who spend their entire lives not knowing about their intersex traits. Sometimes it’s due to egg cells, and sometimes it’s due to sperm cells. I was expecting secondary male characteristics, like changes to my voice, and body hair. My parents told me I was male, and my body prior to puberty looked like that of a boy. Being intersex is a naturally occurring variation in humans, and it isn’t a medical problem — therefore, medical interventions (like surgeries or hormone therapy) on children usually aren’t medically necessary. In these cases, a person who had more biological male features as a child might look more feminine after puberty according to a society slow to reject the traditional binary system. So what about your baby, who may not have typical genitalia? Some people with intersex traits identify as either male or female rather than as intersex. Blink, and your tiny newborn of 12 months ago is suddenly reaching 1-year-old milestones you couldn't have imagined when you started this journey…, It may seem strange that car seat expiration dates exist, since they aren't like a carton of milk that can spoil. I began to think I was transgender, although I had not yet picked a gender preference. There are many different ways someone can be intersex. I thought I was dying. But it can actually be a bit more complicated than that. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Would you like to go to the Nigeria website? But did you know that there are other variations? Clue is on a mission to help you understand your body, periods, ovulation, and so much more. I had been taking artificial hormones (estradiol, and a testosterone blocker) for a few years, based on my own research, as no doctor initially wanted to prescribe them to me. These chromosomal variations sometimes result in what might be labeled as intersex. There are lots of ways someone can be intersex. And even deeper than external appearance, some people are born with a mix of male and female biological features (such as a uterus and testicles) that can’t be seen on the outside. They’re typically naturally occurring. Still, it was confusing to watch my classmates as they started to experience changes. Fortunately, there are resources. There are many different types of parenting, and your own style may be a mix of a few. You may have heard the term “misgendering” before, but what exactly does it mean? I was born with a sealed-off vagina, meaning that the period blood could not flow out of my body. Contribute now. Are vaginal fluids really all that different? So you may need to choose, at least initially. I began to develop breasts when I was about eleven years old, but that stopped after a while. Some see a vagina and other organs on scans, whereas others insist that thereâs nothing to be seen. For example, you may have learned in sex ed that we’re born with sex chromosomes. This brings up questions about whether or not it’s OK to do medical procedures on children’s bodies when it’s not needed for their health. It’s hard to know exactly how many people are intersex, but estimates suggest that about 1-2 in 100 people born in the U.S. are intersex. Or perhaps certain expected puberty milestones — like a deepening voice or growing breasts — don’t happen. However, this is still generally something that is changed later, when your child is older — or even an adult — and decides for themselves. Instead, intersex people should be able to decide for themselves when they’re older if they want treatment or surgery. They can also happen due to other causes. What Does It Mean to Identify as Nonbinary? A hermaphrodite may be born with both sex organs or may be born with one main sex organ, but possess part of a second opposite organ. What exactly does “nonbinary” mean? Beyond visible features, other physical characteristics may also cause … For example: If a baby is born with female anatomy on the outside and male anatomy on the inside, this is also something that happened randomly around the time of conception. As we’ve already talked about, there are many different varieties — a spectrum. I was accused of pretending to be in pain, to get attention. When Will My Baby Sleep Through the Night? “Congratulations — it’s a girl,” you hear. Most people are giving $100 right now. And some people are born with external genitals that fall into the typical male/female categories, but their internal organs or hormones don’t. The short answer is that unless there’s also a health condition (like urine not flowing out of the body properly), you don’t need to do anything in terms of medical intervention. Intersex isn’t new, and it isn’t political in and of itself. But with a strong support system that includes you, your baby can thrive into adolescence and beyond. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Or somebody else could be born with a mix of both male and female genitalia but have male genetic makeup. You may have even learned your baby’s sex before birth in a similar way: Nothing between the legs on the ultrasound? Here’s Why It Matters, Guide to Baby Wearing: Benefits, Safety Tips, and How To. But social stigma and barriers are still very real. Some see a vagina and other organs on scans, whereas others insist that there’s nothing to be seen. The girls around me started to become women. Doctors always assign intersex babies a legal sex (male or female, in most states), but, just like with non-intersex people, that doesn’t mean that’s the gender identity they’ll grow up to have. Looking back now, learning that “intersex” exists was a big turning point for me. If you mean physical, as in both male and female sexual genitalia, they would look the same as you or I. Not only does one have to live with a body that's so uniquely different, it also makes for a very confusing puberty.