Turner syndrome is a genetic condition related to a chromosomal abnormality in girls. It affects about 1 in every 2,500 girls, and one in which a female does not have the usual pair of two X chromosomes. Girls who have this condition can be shorter than average and often have early loss of ovarian function which can lead to infertility.
Girls with TS usually have normal intelligence, but may experience learning difficulties, particularly in mathematics. Many also have a problem with tasks requiring spatial skills, such as map reading or visual organization, and sometimes hearing is impaired.
Turner syndrome (TS) was first described in 1938 by an endocrinologist named Dr. Henry Turner. He began his journey with this condition after he noted a set of common physical features in some of his female patients. As Dr. Turner discovered, TS is the result of a chromosomal abnormality in which a female infant is born with only one X chromosome (instead of two) or is missing part of one X chromosome.
In most cases, untreated females with this disorder are short in stature (average final adult height is 4 feet 7 inches) and may have a variety of associated physical features and medical problems.
Because females with TS don't have proper ovarian development, they usually don't develop all of the secondary sexual characteristics expected during adolescence and are infertile as adults. However, advances in medical technology, including hormonal therapy and in vitro fertilization, can help women with this condition.
Other health problems that may occur with TS include kidney and heart abnormalities, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes mellitus, cataracts, thyroid problems, and arthritis.
Girls with Turner's Syndrome can often suffer from hyperactivity, low self esteem and some psychological issues related to their differences. However, they are not at risk for other health issues.
Despite the physical differences and other problems that can occur, with appropriate medical care, early intervention, and ongoing support, a girl with Turner syndrome can lead a normal, healthy, and productive life.
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Aimee Boyle is a regular weekly contributor to EmpowHER