Pediatric Gonadal Dysgenesis

Pediatric Gonadal Dysgenesis

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Summary

Gonadal dysgenesis is a disorder in which a baby is born with two different gonads, which disrupts the normal production of sex hormones.

Expanded overview

A baby with gonadal dysgenesis is born with two different gonads: an undescended testis and an improperly formed “streak” gonad. In normal fetal development, gonads become either ovaries (in females) or testes (in males). In the case of gonadal dysgenesis, these two different gonads can’t produce normal sex hormones, so the child also has malformed sex organs. Children with this condition usually have ambiguous sex organs, so it’s difficult to classify them as “girl” or “boy.” Many people with this condition are able to have children with the help of modern fertility procedures, though most will not be able to reproduce naturally.

Gonadal dysgenesis is one of the most common disorders of sexual dysfunction and a common cause of ambiguous genitalia (genitals that aren’t clearly male or female).

Causes

Gonadal dysgenesis occurs due to abnormal development of a baby's gonads while they are in their mother's womb.

Symptoms

Children with gonadal dysgenesis do not typically have any symptoms, though they do tend to be shorter than average.

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