Also known as: uncertain genitalia.
What are ambiguous genitalia?
When a newborn infant's genitals are not clearly male or female, the infant is said to have ambiguous genitalia. The baby genitals may have external features of both sexes and/or the sex organs may not match his/her internal sex organs or their genetic sex.
What causes ambiguous genitalia?
While the cause is not always known, abnormalities of sex organ development may result from genetic, or environmental (from for example the mother taking some hormones or drugs) factors, or the baby may not produce enough/too much of a hormone or the hormone could not act correctly because of insensitivity of the organ itself.
Some examples are:
A genetic female produces an excess of male hormone from the adrenal gland (congenital adrenal hyperplasia)- she might have a small penis.
A genetic male’s genital tissue doesn’t respond normally to male hormones because of a genetic abnormality (androgen insensitivity syndrome), or not enough testosterone is produced by the baby’s testis. He might have a penis so small that it resembles a clitoris.
What are the symptoms of ambiguous genitalia?
Infants fall into a number of broad groups. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital group of geneticists, endocrinologists, urologists, pediatric surgeons, neonatologists, psychologists and social workers will explain, where appropriate the many variations within each group.
What are ambiguous genitalia care options?
Treatments for these quite rare conditions depend on the type of the disorder, but may include a combination of hormone medications and corrective surgery to produce the appropriate external sex organs. Timing of treatment will depend on a number of issues and will occur following a full discussion between parents and all members of the health care team involved.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: 3/30/2018 7:43:11 AM
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Camp Roaring Sun, which began Monday and runs through Friday, allowed children ages 6 through 12 to take part in traditional camp activities such as swimming, playing outside, and going to a baseball game. All the activities are monitored by Nicklaus pediatric endocrinology nurses to ensure a safe and healthy environment.
The medical staff, employees and volunteers of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital mourn the passing of our esteemed Dr. Sanjiv Bhatia, a longstanding leader and dedicated champion for children with complex medical conditions and their families.