Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Teens
Turner syndrome (TS) is a genetic condition found in females only. It affects about 1 in every 2,500 girls.
Girls with Turner syndrome are usually shorter than their peers. The good news is that if TS is diagnosed while a girl is still growing, she can be treated with growth hormones to help her grow taller.
Early loss of ovarian function means that girls with TS also are infertile (can’t become pregnant). However, advances in medical technology, including hormonal therapy and in vitro fertilization, can help women with this condition.
Girls with TS are all different. Some may have many physical differences and symptoms, whereas others have only a few medical problems. With the right medical care, early intervention, and ongoing support, a girl with Turner syndrome can lead a normal, healthy, and productive life.
Turner syndrome is the result of a chromosomal abnormality.
Usually, a person has 46 chromosomes in each cell, divided into 23 pairs, which includes two sex chromosomes. Half of the chromosomes are inherited from the father and the other half from the mother. The chromosomes contain genes, which determine an individual’s characteristics, such as eye color and height. Girls typically have two X chromosomes (or XX), but girls with Turner syndrome have only one X chromosome or are missing part of one X chromosome.
Turner syndrome is not caused by anything a girl’s parents did or did not do. The disorder is a random error in cell division that happens when a parent’s reproductive cells are being formed.
Girls born with the X condition in only some of their cells have mosaic Turner syndrome. Often, their signs and symptoms are milder than those of other girls with the X condition.
The condition is named for Dr. Henry Turner, an endocrinologist, who in 1956 noted a set of common physical features in some of his female patients.
Most girls with Turner syndrome who don’t get treatment are shorter than their peers, with an average final adult height of 4 feet 7 inches.
They can have other related physical features, such as:
Girls who have Turner syndrome don’t have typical ovarian development. Because the ovaries are responsible for making the hormones that control breast growth and menstruation, most girls with TS will not go through all of the changes associated with puberty unless they get treatment for the condition. Nearly all girls will be infertile, or unable to become pregnant on their own.
Other health problems that may happen with TS include kidney problems, heart problems, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes mellitus, vision problems, thyroid problems, and abnormal bone development.
Some girls with TS may have learning problems, particularly in math. Many also struggle with tasks requiring spatial skills, such as map reading or visual organization. Hearing problems are more common in girls with TS, as is ADHD. Some girls also have problems with body image or self-esteem.
Girls with Turner syndrome are usually diagnosed either at birth or around the time they might be expected to go through puberty. If a baby girl has some of the signs of Turner syndrome, a doctor will usually order a special blood test called a karyotype (pronounced: CARE-ee-oh-tipe). The test counts the number of chromosomes and can identify any that are abnormally shaped or have missing pieces.
In some cases, there are no clear signs that a girl has the condition until she reaches the age at which she would normally go through puberty.
If the karyotype blood test shows that a girl has Turner syndrome, her doctor may order additional tests to check for problems with the kidneys, heart, hearing, and other problems that are often associated with Turner syndrome.
Because TS is a chromosomal disorder, there’s no cure for the condition. But a number of treatments can help:
Although girls with Turner syndrome may have certain learning difficulties, most can attend regular school and classes, and usually:
If you have Turner syndrome, you know that it can affect you in several ways. But it’s only a small part of your total physical, emotional, and intellectual self.
Here are some suggestions that can help you cope:
If you have a friend who has Turner syndrome, remember to respect her emotional and physical needs. For example, she may not always feel comfortable talking about her condition, so let her share only what she feels OK with. You can support your friend just by hanging out and doing things you enjoy together and by being a good listener if she turns to you for advice or comfort.
If you suffer from a chronic illness, you know it can be anything but fun. But you can become better informed and more involved in your care. Here are tips to help you deal.
Concerned about your growth or development? Puberty can be delayed for several reasons. Luckily, doctors usually can help teens with delayed puberty to develop more normally.
We all have problems with self-esteem at certain times in our lives. Here are some tips that might help.
When your body changes, so can your image of yourself. Find out how your body image affects your self-esteem and what you can do.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.