Psychosexual outcome in women affected by congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency

Amy B. Wisniewski, Claude J. Migeon, Matthew A. Malouf, John P. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Purpose: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency results in increased adrenal androgen secretion. When the deficiency is severe, the result is the salt losing (SL) form, and when the deficiency is partial, the result is the simple virilizing (SV) form of CAH. We documented long-term satisfaction with gender, cosmetic appearance and function of the genitalia, and surgical management practices in a group of women with CAH due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. Materials and Methods: Psychosexual and surgical outcome were assessed in 41 women with CAH using an interview, a written questionnaire and a physical examination. When appropriate, outcome measures were compared to those in unaffected control women. Results: Women in the SL group were more likely to question their female gender and report sexual concerns, and less likely to have sexual relations with a partner than those with the SV form or control women. Overall women with CAH were moderately satisfied with the cosmetic appearance of the genitalia but the SL group reported worse genital function than the SV group. Physician rated appearance of the genitalia was better than ratings provided by patients and women with the SL form were judged to have a worse cosmetic outcome of genital reconstruction than women with the SV form. The most common response concerning the optimal timing for genital reconstruction was during infancy and early childhood, although a number of women favored waiting until later for these procedures or did not respond to this question. Conclusions: Women with the SV form reported greater satisfaction and fewer concerns regarding their psychosexual and surgical outcome than women with the SL form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2497-2501
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Abnormalities
  • Adrenal hyperplasia, congenital
  • Genitalia, female
  • Hermaphroditism
  • Sexual dysfunctions, psychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychosexual outcome in women affected by congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this