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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.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
Current as of: April 4, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
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