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Turner Syndrome: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

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.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • 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 or nurse advice line 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. Non-fat 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.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.