Mixed gonadal dysgenesis
Our Gender Management Service team members are experts dedicated to treating disorders like mixed gonadal dysgenesis. We constantly ask ourselves: What factors can help us best to predict success? What are the most important forms of support we can provide these children and parents?
David A. Diamond, MD, Associate in Urology
What is MGD?
At Children’s Hospital Boston, we understand that a diagnosis of mixed gonadal dysgenesis (MGD)—when a child’s sex organs aren’t clearly male or female—can feel overwhelming.
That’s why our physicians are focused on family-centered care: From your first visit, you’ll work with a team of professionals who are committed to supporting all of your family’s physical and psychosocial needs.
Here’s what you need to know about MGD:
- MGD is one of the most common disorders of sexual differentiation and the second most common cause of ambiguous genitalia in newborns.
- Gonads are the body’ sex organs. Boys develop gonads called testicles and females develop gonads called ovaries.
- A child with MGD has an undescended testicle on one side and a dysgenetic (improperly developed) gonad on the opposite side.
- Since MGD causes a child’s genitalia to be ambiguous, babies aren’t born as “girls” or “boys”. They are assigned a sex after they’re diagnosed with MGD.
- Typically, the decision on whether to raise a child with MGD as male or female is based on anatomic findings.
- MGD can sometimes be inherited, but is most often idiopathic, meaning it has no identifiable cause.
- The complexity of treatment varies depending on your child’s exact anatomy.
- Sex assignment is extremely crucial for treatment purposes as well as the emotional well being of your child.
How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches mixed gonadal dysgenesis:
We treat children with MGD through Children’s Gender Management Service (GeMS) Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic that cares for children with MGD and other disorders of sexual differentiation. Here at GeMS, we’re sensitive to the both the physical and the psychosocial aspects of these conditions, and work closely with patients and their families to find the treatment that works best for everyone. We will work closely with you to decide on the best approach to treating your child and caring for him as he grows into adulthood.
To make a referral: call 617-355-7476 and ask for Kim Withrow
|Gender and sexuality competence: visions for the future treatment of sexual minority youth|
|Scott Leibowitz, MD, of Children’s Department of Psychiatry, talks about a soon-to-be launched gender and sexuality psychosocial pilot program he has coordinated at Children’s, which will be the first of its kind in the United States. Check out his blog post on Thriving to learn more.|
Mixed gonadal dysgenesis: Reviewed by David A. Diamond, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2011