Description: Causes of Hermaphrodites and Pseudohermaphrodites
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Hermaphroditism -- A state of intersex or sexual ambiguity, involving the GENOTYPE, the GONADS, the reproductive tract, and/or the external GENITALIA or PHENOTYPE. This concept covers TRUE HERMAPHRODITISM and PSEUDOHERMAPHRODITISM. True hermaphrodites are rare and they possess gonadal tissues of both SEXES, tissues from the OVARY and the TESTIS. Pseudohermaphrodites possess gonadal tissue of one sex but exhibit external phenotype of the opposite sex.
Pseudohermaphroditism -- A condition of sexual ambiguity in which the individual (pseudohermaphrodite) possesses gonadal tissue of one SEX but exhibits external PHENOTYPE of the opposite sex. Female pseudohermaphroditism is an individual with XX karyotype, normal development of OVARIES and internal reproductive tract, but with ambiguous or virilized external GENITALIA. Male pseudohermaphroditism is characterized by the presence of a Y CHROMOSOME and TESTES, but the genital tract and external genitalia are ambiguous or completely female.
HERMAPHRODITISM, TRUE -- A rare condition of sexual ambiguity in which the individual possesses gonadal tissues of both SEXES, tissues from the OVARY and the TESTIS. There can be a testis on one side and an ovary on the other (lateral), or there may be combined ovarian and testicular tissue (ovotestes) on each side (bilateral). Most common karyotype is 46,XX. Others include 46,XY and 45,X/XY.
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