Long-term health issues related to disorders or differences in sex development/intersex

Maturitas. 2016 Dec;94:143-148. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.10.003. Epub 2016 Oct 5.


DSD (Disorders or Differences in Sex Development) and Intersex are terms used to describe a diverse group of congenital conditions where the development of the reproductive system is different from what is usually expected. These conditions usually present at birth or adolescence and the health implications are wide ranging and often life-long. Given the complexity of many of the conditions, health care input when required should be provided by a multidisciplinary team who have appropriate expertise. Holistic care should include the consideration of the risk of cancer, prevention of osteoporosis, advice on hormones, sexual health and fertility options, and ongoing support in order to optimise quality of life and wellbeing. There is little evidence on the health of this group of individuals beyond middle age. Research in this field is essential to guide clinicians in providing high-quality care but also to allow affected individuals to make informed decisions about their own health care. This review will focus on the gynaecological aspects of multidisciplinary management.

Keywords: Androgen insensitivity syndrome; Congenital adrenal hyperplasia; DSD; Differences of sex development; Disorders of sex development; Intersex.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Disease Management*
  • Disorders of Sex Development / complications*
  • Disorders of Sex Development / diagnosis
  • Disorders of Sex Development / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / etiology
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Quality of Life*