Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) in Children

  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a genetic disorder in which the adrenal gland produces an overabundance of certain male hormones called androgens. As a result, a child with CAH is born with a reproductive tract that is not normally developed, and the child is neither “fully”  male nor female.

    Here are some basics about CAH:

    • CAH is one of the most common disorders of sexual differentiation and the most common cause of ambiguous genitalia in newborns.
    • CAH affects one in 5,000 to 15,000 babies in the United States and Europe. CAH affects newborns of both genders equally.
    • Females born with this condition are typically born with an enlarged clitoris, but with normal internal reproductive structures.
    • Males born with this condition have normal genitals at birth, but may become more muscular or develop pubic hair and a deeper voice well before puberty.
    • Females with CAH need hormone replacement therapy, and in some cases, reconstructive surgery. Males with CAH typically only require medical follow-up.
    • With medical management, surgical management and psychosocial support, children with CAH can lead full and healthy lives and enjoy a normal life expectancy.

    How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches congenital adrenal hyperplasia       

    The Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) and Gender Management Service (GeMS) at Children's is a multidisciplinary clinic that treats children with CAH 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.

    Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: Reviewed by David A. Diamond, MD © Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2011

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BrowseSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations

Related Services

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close