Androgen insensitivity syndrome compromises sexual development before and throughout puberty. People with this syndrome have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome in each cell, making them genetically masculine. They may exhibit predominantly feminine exterior, sex features or indicators of both male and female sexual development because their bodies cannot respond to particular male sex hormones (called androgens).

Some bodies can’t process androgens at all. This condition is called complete androgen insensitivity syndrome. People with this disorder have female outward sex traits but no uterus. They are often reared as females and identify as females. Meanwhile, male internal sex organs (testes) of affected individuals are undescended, partially placed inside the pelvis or belly. If undescended testes are not medically removed, they have a minor possibility of developing cancer later in life.

Furthermore, partial and moderate occurs when the body’s tissues are partially responsive to androgens. People with partial androgen, also known as Reifenstein syndrome, might have predominantly female genitalia, genitalia that is primarily male, or genitalia with both male and female traits. They may have been born male or female and may identify as binary or non-binary sexual identities. Mild androgen insensitivity causes people to be born with male sex features. However, they are generally infertile and have breast enlargement during puberty.


The following are the two main types of AIS:

Complete androgen . A person with CAIS has feminine genitals.

Partial androgen . Those with PAIS may have female or male genitals. PAIS is sometimes identified when a baby’s genitals are not expected for a male or a girl.


The following are some of the symptoms for androgen insensitivity syndrome:

  • Cryptorchidism
  • Hypospadias
  • Micropenis

Breast development during puberty


Symptoms are what lead to the diagnosis of androgen insensitivity syndrome. The absence of menstrual blood might sometimes lead doctors to determine that a young female does not have a uterus. At the same time, several tests like semen analysis can be performed on adult males or biopsying their gonads. 


After puberty, estrogen replacement treatment is used as a therapy for complete androgen insensitivity syndrome. At the same time, surgical removal of undescended testicles is usually done to prevent them from becoming malignant. Corrective surgery may treat partial androgen insensitivity syndrome for individuals who want to fit the gender identity they chose.

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