X chromosome

Synonyms: Sex chromosome

Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine, Obstetrics/gynecology

Clinical Definition

The X chromosome is a sex chromosome, which determines gender. Typically, each cell in the body has 23 pairs of chromosomes, or a total of 46, with 22 somatic pairs and one pair of sex chromosomes.  Females have two X chromosomes; males have one X and one Y.

In Our Own Words

The X chromosome is one of the sex chromosomes. The other sex chromosome is the Y chromosome. Each cell in the body typically has 22 pairs of regular chromosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes that determine a person’s gender,  for a total of 46. Women are typically XX and men are typically YY. Chromosomes contain the DNA and coding genes that govern how the body grows and functions. The X and Y chromosome are the genetic material that determines if a person is a man or a woman. 

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  • The Cleveland Clinic. "Genetic Testing and Male Factor Infertility." Diseases & Conditions. May 2013. http://my.clevelandclinic.org. Accessed November 2013.
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. "Chromosome." Medical encyclopedia. May 2013. http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/chromosome. Accessed November 2013.
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