When a child is born, one of the first questions asked is “Boy or girl?” Sometimes the question is not so easy to answer. In those cases, parents can find themselves a situation they most likely didn’t expect, and are unsure how to deal with. There may be many questions about how to handle matters in the coming days and weeks. In the longer term, they will need to participate in decisions that affect how the child is raised, and what treatment, if any, the child will receive.

To assist in these situations, we discuss here the various kinds of atypical sex development and DSD that become obvious at birth or in the early neonatal peoiod. 

To provide information in a concise, useful and consistent way, we address the following questions for each:

• What is this situation or condition called?
• What causes it?
• How common is it?
• Is it a cause for concern?
• What is usually done about it?

 

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Last updated: 7 August 2021 PK

Edit history: Author P. Koopman 9/2009; revised PK 5/2011, 3/2013, 5/2013, 8/2013, 7/2015