Swyer’s syndrome (complete gonadal dysgenesis)

If you have Swyer Syndrome your body doesn’t have working gonads. Your gonads (often called “streak gonads”) don’t make T, but you probably still make a little bit of T with your adrenal glands. That T might be enough to cause some changes since your body can respond to it (like skin oil body odor, and pubic and armpit hair). However, the natural T you have isn’t enough to help you go into puberty.

That’s why doctors typically recommend the hormone E, if you have Swyer’s: it helps your body go through puberty.

Although you have a Y chromosome, you may have a small uterus (a.k.a. a womb); if you do, it might grow if you take certain hormones. You might even be able to have a period one day, if it gets big enough to have lining shed. Since your body doesn’t have eggs or make sperm, it can’t contribute genes to make a baby. However, with a donor egg and sperm, some women with Swyer’s have been able to carry a baby in their uterus (if they have one) and give birth. Of course, this isn’t too common, but it might be something to consider later on.

Swyer’s streak gonads: Should they stay or go?

Like with other conditions, if you still have your streak gonads, your doctors might be discussing removal and the risks they carry. If this is the case, check out our section on Gonads: Should they stay or should they go?  Your doctor and parents will talk to you more about it, and don’t be afraid to ask them important questions

In the Puberty: Outside section, we show a range of body responses to T. When you go back, check out what happens when you don’t have T or have a little. Also check out the changes your body takes with E.

Vaginas vary a lot in size. Girls with Swyers may be more likely than others to have vaginas on the smaller end of the scale. It just depends on your body and how it grew before birth. All vaginas, no matter the size, stretch, and your vagina doesn’t have to be a specific size to enjoy having sex. You might decide that you want to stretch yours–a process called ‘dilation’. For more on vaginas and how to stretch them, check out our step-to-step guide.

If you are thinking about starting dilation, talk to an experienced gynecologist to understand what is needed before you start. It’s important to involve an experienced gynecologist in this from the start. This typically means a gentle examination and working with them on a plan to go through the process of helping expand it. Everyone has different needs for their body. Talking with a doctor first is important to make sure you are doing what is right for you and your body.