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Disease Profile

Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Androgen insensitivity syndrome, partial; PAIS; Reifenstein syndrome, partial;


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Endocrine Diseases; Female Reproductive Diseases;


Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS) is a disorder of sex development that affects the growing reproductive and genital organs of a fetus.[1][2] Androgen insensitivity refers to the inability of the body of an individual with a 46, XY karyotype (usually leading to normal male development) to properly respond to male sex hormones (androgens).[2] In PAIS, the body partially responds to these hormones. Signs and symptoms of PAIS can vary greatly, causing a range of differences in genital appearance.[1][2] Some individuals have severe hypospadias, an unusually small penis, and bifid scrotum. More severely affected individuals may have female external genitalia with an abnormally large clitoris, partial fusion of the labia and gynecomastia (excessive development of male breasts).[1] In the least severe cases, the only symptom may be infertility. PAIS It is inherited in an X-linked recessive manner and is caused by mutations in the AR gene. Treatment depends on severity and whether the individual is being raised as male or female; management may include surgery, hormone replacement and psychological support.[2]


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
80%-99% of people have these symptoms
Aplasia of the uterus
Absent uterus
uterus absent

[ more ]

Bifid scrotum
Cleft of scrotum
Undescended testes
Undescended testis

[ more ]

Short penis
Small penis

[ more ]

30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Female pseudohermaphroditism
Gonadal neoplasm
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Enlarged male breast
1%-4% of people have these symptoms
Perineal hypospadias
Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Abnormal rib cage morphology
Abnormality of the rib cage
Absent vas deferens
Absent sperm in semen
Decreased activity of gonads
Male pseudohermaphroditism
X-linked recessive inheritance


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
    • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
    • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

      In-Depth Information

      • GeneReviews provides current, expert-authored, peer-reviewed, full-text articles describing the application of genetic testing to the diagnosis, management, and genetic counseling of patients with specific inherited conditions.
      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
      • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Ieuan Hughes. Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome. Orphanet. January 2011; https://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?Lng=EN&Expert=90797. Accessed 10/15/2013.
        2. Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, Partial. NORD. April 11, 2008; https://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/844/viewAbstract. Accessed 10/15/2013.