Differences of sex development (DSD) can result in young women’s bodies looking and functioning differently to what is expected within generalised society. Learning to talk about yourself and your body to others can be difficult for all adolescents and it is a normal aspect of psychosocial development. For those young women with DSD understanding their difference can be difficult as their knowledge is often gathered from parents who may not recall or be able to share information.
Our paper describes how a group of these young women started to think about self and others, as important aspects of attachment. There is a need for these young women to master complex medical information that can inform how they understand their bodies at the same time as explore their physical and emotional comfort in sharing information. Nurses and other professionals, within multi-disciplinary DSD teams, have the opportunity to support these young women to move from the theory behind understanding their condition to having the courage and confidence to share aspects of their difference in ways that meet these young women’s needs.
Dr Caroline Sanders, PhD, MBE, PGD, PGC, RN
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and University of Central Lancashire
Sanders C, Carter B, Lwin R (2015) Young women with a disorder of sex development: learning to share information with health professionals, friends and intimate partners about bodily differences and infertility Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.1266