Disorders of Sex Development
At Cook Children's, we understand how overwhelming it can be to learn that your newborn or young child has a disorder of sex development (DSD). Our DSD team is made up of some of the nation's top experts to partner with you on developing a plan for the best care for your child.
Cook Children's Pediatric Urology Program is among a handful of programs nationwide with the expertise to treat a wide range of disorders of sex development in children.
Our physicians, surgeons and medical teams have extensive experience in researching and understanding DSD, and in using the most up-to-date technology, knowledge and expertise to care for kids and their families. And, our experience means we understand one thing above all: the best way we can help your child and your family is by including you as partners in the treatment, care and support of DSD. You are not in this alone.
What is DSD?
Disorders of sex development (DSD) is an umbrella term for many conditions in which chromosomes, gonads and genitalia are not typically male or female. Sometimes DSDs are referred to as "intersex conditions." Often, a DSD is diagnosed in a child at birth, but sometimes the condition is not detected until later in childhood or adolescence. The majority of DSD conditions are not life-threatening or disabling and people with DSD can live a very healthy life.
In addition to medical treatments and decision-making, there are also emotional and social issues that patients and families often need help navigating. We are among the very few programs nationwide with behavioral health experts integrated into our DSD program. That's because we strive to be patient- and family-centered in the care we provide. We support families in educating their child about their diagnosis and medical history in an age appropriate way. We encourage caregivers to provide full disclosure to their children so they can grow into proud and confident adults who are experts on their own health.
We're here to help.
If your child has been diagnosed, you probably have lots of questions. We can help. If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices.