When a child is born with ambiguous genitalia, a sex should not be assigned until the proper information is available. Unfortunately, this also means waiting to name the child, which can be hard for parents. This waiting, however, allows the medical team to gather information and help the family make the best decision possible.
For many DSDs, there’s much information available in the medical literature and experience to be accurate in predicting whether the child will grow up to feel like a girl or feel like a boy. In these situations, as soon as the cause for the DSD is known, the sex can be assigned.
In other situations, however, predicting how the child will feel as he or she grows up is harder. In such cases, we take many things into consideration. These include the child’s appearance, the body’s ability to make certain hormones, the likely ability for sexual function as an adult and fertility potential as an adult. We encourage the family to bond with and enjoy their beautiful new child while we collect and assess this information as diligently and efficiently as possible. We are then able to provide information and guidance to the family to make the choice for the child.