What happens when a baby’s genitals cannot be easily classified as male or female?

When a baby is born with ambiguous genitals, doctors perform examinations and laboratory tests to determine exactly what condition the baby has. Determining the type of intersex condition is important, because some intersex conditions that cause ambiguous genitals (for example, certain types of congenital adrenal hyperplasia) can be associated with medical problems that may require urgent medical or surgical treatment.
Because we expect everyone to be identifiably male or female, the parents and family members of babies born with ambiguous genitals are usually eager to learn what condition the child has, so that sex assignment can occur without delay.

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