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Must I choose a gender for my child with androgen insensitivity syndrome?

Children who are born with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome usually have the physical appearance and gender identity of a female - they're just missing female reproductive organs. In those cases, the decision to raise a child as a female is easy for parents to make. However, children with partial AIS may not have such clear-cut physical characteristics. They may be born with ambiguous genitalia, both male and female physical characteristics, and either a male or female gender identity. When children are born with partial AIS, parents often feel pressure to choose a gender for their child and in the past, genital reconstructive surgery was often done to give the child a more "normal" appearance for whatever gender was chosen. However, doctors now often recommend that parents wait to do any kind of surgery until children are old enough to make their own decisions. Because this is a very complex issue, it's important to talk to doctors and psychologists before making any decisions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.