Differences of sex development (DSDs) are a group of rare conditions where the reproductive organs and genitals don't develop as expected.
If you have a DSD, you'll have a mix of male and female sexual characteristics.
You may have sex chromosomes (bundles of genes) normally associated with being female (XX chromosomes) or male (XY chromosomes), but your reproductive organs and genitals may be:
- of the opposite sex
- not clearly male or female (ambiguous or atypical)
- a mixture of male and female
This occurs because of a difference with your genes and/or how you respond to the sex hormones in your body. It can be inherited, but it often occurs randomly for no clear reason.
The most common times to find out that a child has a DSD is at birth or during adolescence.
The DSD Families website provides further details