Pediatric Disorders of Sexual Development
The ovaries and testes (gonads) develop early in a fetus, based on whether the fetus’s 23rd pair of chromosomes is two X chromosomes (female) or an X and Y chromosome (male). Through a complex cascade of hormonal signals involving the gonads, internal and external genitalia develop into male or female. When this complex process is disrupted or altered, a baby can be born with genitalia that do not look like a typical male or typical female and are considered ambiguous genitalia. These types of conditions are called disorders of sex development (DSD).