Treatments for Ambiguous Genitalia in Children

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Contact the Department of Urology

  • 1-617-355-7796

Treatment for ambiguous genitalia depends on the underlying disorder.

  • Assigning the gender is important for treatment purposes and for the emotion well being of the child.
  • Usually, treatment involves performing corrective surgery to remove or create the appropriate sexual organs.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could also be a part of the treatment process.

Ambiguous genitalia treatment at Boston Children's Hospital

At Boston Children's Hospital, a team of health care providers and you will determine the appropriate sex assignment. This determination will inform the course of treatment. You, as parents, will be involved every step of the way.

The Gender Management Service Clinic (GeMS) is designed to address psychosocial issues that may arise from ambiguous genitalia. Our treatment team includes urologists, endocrinologists and geneticists, as well as a research psychologist, social workers and nurses who run support groups.

In the past, disorders of sexual differentiation like ambiguous genitalia were seen as medical emergencies that needed to be addressed immediately. Parents were not always involved in the decision-making process, which varied from center to center. In recent years, however, adult patients have formed national advocacy groups that have changed the thinking about how to manage ambiguous genitalia. At the GeMS, families are intimately involved in the life-changing decisions.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944