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adenoma: a benign tumor composed of glandular tissue
adrenal glands: two organs located one on the upper end of each kidney
AIS: Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. There are two forms known as Complete AIS (CAIS) and Partial AIS (PAIS).
amenorrhoea (alternate spelling amenorrhea): abnormal suppression or absence of menstruation
androgens: the general term for any one of a group of hormones which govern the development of the sexual organs and the secondary sexual characteristics of the male
carrier: a person that carries, but does not express, a gene for a particular recessive trait
chromosomes: threadlike strands of DNA and associated proteins in the nucleus of cells that carry the genes and functions in the transmission of hereditary information
endocrinologist: a medical doctor who studies the endocrine system, hormones and disorders of the endocrine system
germ cells: male (sperm) and female (egg) cells
gonad: an organ that produces gametes (germ cells), especially a testis or ovary
gonadectomy: surgical removal of the gonads (sex glands). In AIS, this is the removal of the testes.
HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy: technically this is the replacement of both oestrogen (estrogen) and progestogen by tablet, injection or transdermal patch. Sometimes this term is used even though the only hormone being replaced is oestrogen.
inguinal hernia: A hernia is the protrusion of any organ through the wall of the cavity that holds it. In AIS, an inguinal hernia is the protrusion of the testes through the inguinal canal.
intersex state or intersexualilty: the condition resulting from faulty sex differentiation during the development of the foetus
karyotype: the number, form and size of chromosomes in a cell nucleus
Mullerian ducts: either of two embryonic tubes that become the uterine tubes, uterus and part of the vagina in the female and that form the prostatic utricle in the male
oestrogen (alternate spelling estrogen): any of several natural or synthetic substances formed by the ovary, placenta or testis, that stimulate the female secondary sexual characteristics and exert systemic effects such as the growth and maturation of long bones
orchid: a plant that takes its name from the Greek word "orchis" which means "testes." Orchids were so named because of the resemblance of their root bulbs to testes. What emerges from this seemingly masculine looking root, however, is the beautiful flower known as an orchid.
osteopenia: any condition presenting less bone than normal
osteoporosis: a disease in which the bones become extremely porous, are subject to fracture, and heal slowly
phenotype: a person's physical characteristics as determined by the interaction between his or her genotype-quota of genes-and the environment
testes: the male reproductive gland, the source of spermatozoa and androgens
testosterone: a male sex hormone secreted by the testes
vaginal hypoplasia: excessive smallness of the vagina
Wolffian duct: a duct in the embryo that becomes the vas deferens in the male and forms vestigial structures in the female