What is turner syndrome?

Turner Syndrome
Jump to

Turner syndrome: Overview

Most people have two sex chromosomes—one from each parent. Males have an X and a Y chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes. Turner syndrome occurs when a female has only one complete X chromosome. Girls with Turner syndrome tend to be shorter. And their ovaries do not produce enough female hormones.

Turner syndrome also can cause problems with other parts of the body. The aorta—the major blood vessel that takes blood from the heart to the body—may become narrow. This can raise blood pressure. Turner syndrome also can cause kidney problems, bone thinning (osteoporosis), diabetes, and a lack of thyroid hormone.

Turner syndrome is not usually passed down in families. It happens by chance. A test called an amniocentesis can be done during pregnancy. This test can show whether a baby will be born with Turner syndrome.

Estrogen and growth hormone can help females with Turner syndrome to develop at the time of puberty. Estrogen can help girls develop breasts. Growth hormone helps them grow in height. But women with this condition usually can't become pregnant on their own. They may be able to have a baby with an egg from another woman.

Turner syndrome

Turner syndrome is a condition in which a female's breasts, vagina, and uterus do not fully develop and puberty does not occur. Females with Turner syndrome may also have heart problems at birth, have learning disabilities, and end up much shorter in height than other members of their family.

Typically, a female has two X chromosomes. Females with Turner syndrome are missing all or part of one X chromosome. This affects sexual development and lowers the production of female hormones.

Turner syndrome is also called gonadal dysgenesis or monosomy X.

How can you care for yourself when you have Turner syndrome?

  • Make sure to go to follow-up appointments. Turner syndrome is a lifelong condition. Your doctor needs to watch for any problems. He or she may refer you to other doctors. These may include heart and kidney specialists and a doctor who specializes in hormones.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong. Women with Turner syndrome are at risk for developing thin bones. Ask your doctor how much calcium you need. Nonfat and low-fat dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, are good sources of calcium. You also can take calcium pills.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Walking, running, and lifting weights also will help make bones strong.

Turner syndrome in children: When to call

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if your child has any problems.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.