Question: You know, I have a big problem: I have a 6 year old daughter, right now we are doing research because the doctor says her clitoris is perhaps larger than normal. I am confused, it could be a case of hermaphroditism and I would like you to help me as soon as possible. Please send me all the information you have on this subject, including genetics, heritage, etc. Everything that is related.

This is very new and unknown to me. I have been looking for information on the web, but unfortunately there is a great lack of information regarding this matter. I am very interested in this subject and I want to investigate cases, illnesses, development, etc. Can you help?

Answer: There is information on this website that addresses this topic. Some of the material has been translated into Spanish.

In Spanish

In English Clitoral and Labial Size

A large clitoris in not always an indication of hermaphroditism. There are normal and healthy girls and women who have a clitoris that measure up to 6cm (2.5 inches) in length. It really is no different than having a large nose or ears.

A girl may have a large clitoris as the result of many things. It may be a physical family trait passed down from generation to generation. She could have been exposed to increased levels of hormones while still the womb, as the result of increased hormones in your own body. Your body could have produced these hormones on its own or they could have come from medications you were prescribed during your pregnancy. She could have a genetic defect that has resulted in her being a hermaphrodite. If she is a hermaphrodite, surgery can never change this. Surgery can make cosmetic changes, but she would never be one gender or the other. Her clitoris could just be a normal random variation that occurs in one form or another in all people. All girls and women have genitals that are uniquely shaped and colored. Your daughter is no different in that respect.

A large clitoris does tend to look like a small penis. This is because the clitoris and penis develop from the same tissues during early fetal development. Since the clitoris and penis are created from the same tissues they function the same. If you daughter's clitoris happens to look like a penis, it is still just a clitoris. A penis is merely a fully developed clitoris; they are one and the same.

A former co-worker's six-year-old daughter also had an unusually large and prominent clitoris. It was clearly visible even when she was walking about while undressed. My co-worker was not overly concerned about it even though she knew it was unusual. Her daughter did like to examine and touch her clitoris, which is normal for all girls regardless of the size of their clitoris.

Be careful of the doctors, they may traumatize your daughter and make her feel abnormal. They may abuse her in the process of doing examinations and tests, trying to determine if she is healthy. Do not allow your daughter to be treated like she is an experiment for the doctors to test and dissect. Many women who did have unusual genitals have felt very traumatized by what the doctors did to them when they were younger. If your daughter does not want to be examined, or have tests performed on her, then do not force her. Limit the number of doctors who examine her to as few as possible. If there are no indications of a medical problem, it is best to just let her be.

Here is a link to an article that has recommendations on how to treat children with ambiguous genitals.

Archive Copy of File on server

There are many doctors who recommend cutting off or reducing a clitoris that is above average in size. I highly recommend you not allow this to happen. This can cause more harm than good. It will lead her to believe there was something wrong with her and that she was somehow defective. She will feel she has something to keep hidden. The doctors will tell you that if you remove her clitoris she will grow up to be a normal woman, this is a false statement to make. It will likely adversely affect her sexuality later in life. It would make it harder for her to experience sexual pleasure. Look at it this way, if your daughter developed large breasts during puberty would you force her to have them reduce or removed?

You can find some information in medical journals, at least ones published in English. You can find many of them listed on the Internet. Search the medical journals at the below website. Many if not most of the medical journals are about surgical management of ambiguous genitals, unfortunately.

There are also websites for people who are intersexed. Keep in mind that male and female are actually slightly different versions of the same thing, not two distinctly different sexes, as many believe.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.