Disorders of Sexual Differentiation

Our multidisciplinary team manages disorders of sexual differentiation within an ethical framework and educates parents to assist them in making informed decisions. Disorders of sexual differentiation (DSD) result from discordance between chromosomes, anatomical sex and hormones. If a problem occurs during the process of sexual differentiation, a baby’s sex can be difficult to determine based on the appearance of the external genitalia.

Traditionally, these conditions are treated by independent specialists: endocrinologists, gynecologists, geneticists and psychologists. To promote and foster collaboration, Texas Children's Hospital has created an internationally recognized Program for Disorders of sexual Differentiation. Our multidisciplinary team of ethicists, psychologists, urologists, gynecologists, endocrinologists, geneticists, and psychologists collaborate to determine diagnosis and appropriate treatments..

Our primary goal is to enhance the quality of life for children with DSD and their parents by effectively utilizing all the resources of Texas Children’s Hospital in an integrated care model. Our multidisciplinary team works daily to achieve this by involving and educating parents so you are comfortable making decisions within an ethical framework. The following patients are good candidates for evaluation by our multidisciplinary team:

  • Babies born with variations in the appearance of their genitalia
  • Children who might have chromosomes or hormones that differ from what is expected for their assigned sex
  • Children who might have problems developing during puberty

Children with any of the following conditions

  • Androgen insensitivity syndrome
  • Atypical or ambiguous anatomic differences
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Genetic disorders of gonadal determination
  • Gonadal dysgenesis
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Turner syndrome

What We Offer

Our multidisciplinary team of experts will work with children and their families closely so that we are certain of the medical needs of the child, the disposition of the child and the concerns and wishes of the parents and caregivers as we move forward with treatment. For each child, our goals are:

  • effective and appropriate anatomic function
  • support through developmental milestones affected by DSD
  • fostering an environment of emotional and mental wellbeing

Achieving these goals can involve a wide variety of treatment modalities. Regardless of what type of treatments are used, our dedicated staff has the experience necessary to guide families through the decision making process with evidence-based education and compassionate support.

Parents are provided with all diagnostic results and a significant amount of time is spent explaining the meaning of all test results. Parents have the opportunity to ask the opinion of their specialists concerning all medical options before making any decisions. Our psychologists participate in these discussions to ensure that you, as the parents, understand the information presented to you. In addition to presenting information, our team members encourage parents to voice questions or concerns, engage with us in dialogue, and review the information.

Request a Consultation

Parents who would like to schedule a consultation with our team of experts should ask their primary care provider or pediatrician to make a referral. Your doctor should fill out this form and fax it back to us at 832-825-9068.