People with innate variations of sex characteristics, or intersex traits, have any of a wide range of physical characteristics that differ from norms for female and male bodies. These traits are perceived in ways that create experiences and risks of stigmatisation, discrimination, violence and harmful medical practices intended to promote social and familial integration. Like all stigmatised populations, a range of different language is used to describe intersex bodies, but many individuals with these traits lack a vocabulary to understand themselves. Dominant frameworks treat people with intersex traits as disordered and in need of fixing and/or as an ‘other’ category of sex, in need of recognition. Neither approach respects the diversity of the population and differing personal values and preferences. Specific traits are sometimes associated with specific health issues, frequently including innate or iatrogenic infertility, while one trait can be fatal if not medicated. Attempts to promote the right to bodily integrity seek to distinguish medical interventions to promote physical health and wellbeing from harmful but still prevalent interventions grounded in gender stereotypes or ideas about social and familial integration. A small but growing number of jurisdictions are taking action to promote bodily integrity and the right to health.