Urology :: Long-term Outlook for Children with Disorders of Sex Differentiation
With proper medical, surgical and psychosocial care, most children with disorders of sexual differentiation (DSD) lead healthy, normal lives. Making an educated determination of the child’s sex is important both for treatment purposes, as well as for the emotional well-being of the child.
As a child with DSD grows, it is important for the child’s family to understand the difference between sex and gender. “Sex” is a biological term that refers to the sex chromosomes of a person. An XY chromosome pair is typical for a male and an XX chromosome pair is typical for a female. Gender refers to the personality and attitude of a person; instead of being biological, gender is more about how the person feels—masculine or feminine.
In some cases, children may decide that they identify more closely with the sex they were not assigned to after birth. If this is the case, our center is prepared to further discuss these concerns with the child and the family and alter the child’s care as needed.
Some children born with atypical genitalia may have internal reproductive organs that allow them to live normal, fertile lives. Other patients may experience reduced or absent fertility as adults, making it difficult or impossible to have a child of their own. A good social support system is important for the family and the child.