Genital Surgeries in Intersex Children

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) opposes medically-unnecessary genital surgeries performed on intersex children.

Many intersex children are subjected to genitalia-altering surgeries in infancy and early childhood without their consent or assent. The surgery can lead to decreased sexual function and increased substance use disorders and suicide. Scientific evidence does not support the notion that variant genitalia confer a greater risk of psychosocial problems.

The risk of neoplasia in intersex individuals has not been verified, and genitalia-altering surgeries should not be offered to minimize this risk.

Genital surgeries should only be recommended for intersex infants and children for the purpose of resolving significant functional impairment or removing imminent and substantial risk of developing a health- or life-threatening condition. (2018 July BOD)