Objective: Changes of sex hormone levels in disorders of sex development (DSD) can affect the body, including the vocal folds, during and after foetal development. The voice is a gender characteristic that may also be affected. There is a lack of knowledge on voice alteration in DSD. To explore this in different forms of DSD, we describe the prevalence of voice alterations and investigate patient satisfaction with voice. Design: The study is part of dsd-LIFE, a multicentre cross-sectional clinical evaluation project assessing the long-term outcomes of surgical, hormonal and psychological interventions in individuals with DSD. Patients: The study included 1040 individuals with different forms of DSD, that is Turner and Klinefelter syndromes, different degrees of gonadal dysgenesis and 46 XY DSD. Participants were recruited through patient advocacy groups and health care. Measurements: Satisfaction with voice, Adam's apple, if patient's self-identified gender was mistaken on the phone leading to distress. Results: A vast majority of the participants with DSD (between 58.3% to 82% in various groups) were not satisfied with their voice, and approximately 15% (n = 147) were mistaken on the phone in accordance with self-identified gender. For 102 participants, this caused distress. Conclusions: We have identified that voice problems are a cause of distress in all forms of DSD. This result needs to be confirmed and compared with controls. We recommend that evaluation of the voice should be included in future international guidelines for management of DSD.
Nygren, U., Södersten, M., Thyen, U., Köhler, B., Nordenskjöld, A., & The dsd-LIFE group (2019). Voice dissatisfaction in individuals with a disorder of sex development. Clinical Endocrinology, 91(1), 219-227. https://doi.org/10.1111/cen.14000