Sexual differentiation disorders are a set of conditions in which an individual’s internal reproductive organs and external genitalia do not match. So it is difficult to determine the child sex in some cases. In these cases of disorders of sex differentiation (DSD), the sex chromosomes may still be male (XY) or female (XX) but the child’s genitals and reproductive organs might be those of the opposite sex. It in turn makes sex determination of the child difficult. It was clarified initially that we are talking about diseases that affect the appearance of genital organs and not about diseases causing difficulties in the sexual relationship. It is the primary responsibility of the family to get an early consultation for the child as the child is unaware and ignorant of the condition. Majority of such disorders are due to enzyme defects in the synthesis of sex steroids
Treatment at the right time is necessary for dealing with such disorders. Disorders of sexual differentiation are inherited conditions, which means these disorders are present at birth. It is usually caused by irregularities that occurred during the growth of the reproductive system. In certain cases, these abnormalities can be caused by exposing the foetus to the hormones of contrary sex in the womb.
Disorders of sexual differentiation are complex and unusual conditions which require a team of experts comprising geneticists, psychiatrists, neonatologists and endocrinologists. It is important to realize that as an adult if these abnormalities are not treated at the right time, they will be socially stigmatized