Changes to default sex options in Cliniko

We've made changes to our sex field in Cliniko due to feedback and to keep our options up to date with current terminology.

John Colvin·

A screenshot of Cliniko's sex field drop down, on a decorative background.

We've just made some changes to the default options for the sex field in Cliniko. But first a refresher on the terms sex and gender:

Sex refers to biological/physiological characteristics and gender is a social/cultural concept. Sex and gender are often used interchangeably, but the distinction is important, especially in medical software.

We've made these changes due to feedback we've received and to keep our options up to date with current terminology. These changes will not affect existing data, so you will still see the previous terms if you've chosen them for any patients in the past. We also still have the specify option, which allows for entering any text for the sex field.

The previous default options were:

  • Female
  • Male
  • Intersex
  • Female to Male
  • Male to Female

The new options are:

  • Female
  • Male
  • AFAB
  • AMAB

We've also removed intersex based on the recommendations of Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA). Their recommendation is to use a separate question for collecting information related to sex characteristics, such as:

“Were you born with a variation of sex characteristics (this is sometimes called intersex or differences of sex development)?”

If you have a need to collect this information, you can use our new custom patient fields feature to add it to your patient profiles. For more information about IHRA and their recommendations visit

We've also removed "Female to Male" and "Male to Female" and added AFAB and AMAB. AFAB means assigned female at birth and AMAB means assigned male at birth. For more information on how these terms relate to healthcare, we recommend reading this article from The Cleveland Clinic.

As always, we know how important (not only socially, but medically) it is critical to be accurate when it comes to recording sex and gender identity so we hope these changes assist. If you have any questions regarding the updates to the sex field, please reach out to our team.

For additional information on current options to record sex and gender identity within Cliniko, we also recommend checking out our support guide.

Author information

John Colvin is a Cliniko software developer. When's he not coding in sweatpants, you'll find him riding an electric bicycle, eating faux-meat, playing online battle royales, or snuggling his tiny dogs.

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