Should male gender assignment be considered in the markedly virilized patient with 46,XX and congenital adrenal hyperplasia?

Peter Lee, Christopher P. Houk, Douglas A. Husmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Purpose: We assess the outcome in 46,XX men with congenital adrenal hyperplasia who were born with Prader 4 or 5 genitalia and assigned male gender at birth. Materials and Methods: After receiving institutional review board approval and subject consent we reviewed the medical records of 12 men 35 to 69 years old with 46,XX congenital adrenal hyperplasia, of whom 6 completed social and gender issue questionnaires. Results: All subjects were assigned male gender at birth, were diagnosed with virilizing congenital adrenal hyperplasia at age greater than 3 years and indicated a male gender identity with sexual orientation to females. Ten of the 12 subjects had always lived as male and 2 who were reassigned to female gender in childhood subsequently self-reassigned as male. Nine of the 12 men had long-term female partners, including 7 married 12 years or more. The 3 subjects without a long-term female partner included 1 priest, 1 who was reassigned female gender, married, divorced and self-reassigned as male, and 1 with a girlfriend and sexual activity. All except the priest and the subject who was previously married when female indicated a strong libido and frequent orgasmic sexual activity. Responses to self-esteem, masculinity, body image, social adjustment and symptom questionnaires suggested adjustments related to the extent of familial and social support. Conclusions: Outcome data on severely masculinized 46,XX patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia who were assigned male gender at birth indicate male gender identity in adulthood with satisfactory male sexual function in those retaining male genitalia. In men who completed questionnaires results were poorer in those lacking familial/social support. Male gender of rearing may be a viable option for parents whose children are born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a 46,XX karyotype and male genitalia, although positive parental and other support, and counseling are needed for adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1786-1792
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology


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