Disorders/Differences of Sex Development

Disorders (or differences) of Sex Development (DSD) is a broad term used for medical conditions in which development of sex chromosomes, gonads, or sexual anatomy is atypical.

The DSD Clinic at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is an interdisciplinary clinic designed to:

  • Provide excellent, compassionate and accessible care that promotes long-term physical and emotional well-being for persons with DSD and their families.
  • Partner with persons with DSD and their families to ensure comprehensive and coordinated care that meets individual needs and promotes continuous improvement.

The birth of a baby with any physical difference is stressful. A DSD may be additionally overwhelming because of the rareness of these conditions and the possible initial uncertainty about gender, as well as how to explain this to family and friends. Often these are conditions that parents have never read about or encountered before.

At conception, “we all start out the same.” DSD are differences in the typical path of sex development between conception and birth. These different paths may be influenced by the arrangement of sex chromosomes, the functioning of our gonads (i.e. testes, ovaries), and our bodies’ response to hormones. DSD can occur in both boys and girls.

Since DSD are already present at birth, they are usually detected in infancy or early childhood. However, some DSD are not apparent until later in life. For example, the first sign of a DSD might be that a child’s body does not show signs of puberty at the expected age.

Members of the University of Michigan DSD team at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital understand that each child with a DSD is unique, and that each family has different concerns and needs. Our team of providers specializes in diagnosing DSD and providing clinical care for infants, adolescents and young adults and provides seamless transition to adult specialists.

Our mission is to partner with our patients and their families to provide comprehensive, coordinated care that meets long-term physical, social and emotional needs.

Take the next step:

To learn more about the DSD program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, call 734-232-0436.