What is Turner’s Syndrome?

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Mckenna Vincelette, Staff Writer

It’s the end of Sixth grade. Most of the girls I know that are my age are going through puberty, getting boyfriends, or even experiencing their first kiss. What’s wrong with me? Why am I shorter than everybody else? Why do I have to wear an estrogen patch to go through puberty? The answer is the fact that I have Turner’s Syndrome.

According to kidshealth.com, Turner’s Syndrome, or gonadal dysgenesis  is a genetic disorder that affects  about 1 in every 2500 girls. It results in one of the X chromosomes being tipped off or completely nonexistent. I was diagnosed at birth.

Symptoms

The Mayo Clinic states that some of the signs/ symptoms of Turner’s Syndrome at birth or during infancy are a webbed neck, receding or small lower jaw, and arms that turn out towards the elbows. For teens it could mean short stature, learning disabilities, and difficulty in social situations.  Girls with Turner’s Syndrome also require frequent visits with an endocrinologist.  

Medications/Treatment

People suffering from Turner’s Syndrome are given growth hormone shots to help with the height because Turner’s girls’s are very short by nature. I took the shots. Estrogen patches or pills are also used to induce puberty.

Types

There are three different kinds of Turner’s Syndrome. One is monosomy,  which is the complete absence of a second X chromosome (this is the type I was diagnosed with), Mosaic Turner’s Syndrome is when some cells have two copies of the x chromosome, while others just have one,or one complete copy and one altered copy. The last kind is the Y material. This is where girls only have one copy of the x chromosomes and some Y chromosomes  material. This type of Turner’s syndrome can lead  to gonablastoma, which is a type of cancer.

My personal experience with Turner’s Syndrome has not been that dramatic. I have lived a fairly normal life, and have not experienced such of the major complications that can come from Turner’s Syndrome  such as kidney problems or heart problems. I have had some problems associated with TS such as hearing, and even had to get tubes put in my ears as a child. As I have grown up, I have learned that my version of Turner’s is mild, and that there are girls out there who have it a lot worse than I do.

I think the biggest struggle with it for me is the feeling that nobody else understands what I’m going through. They don’t know what it’s like to have this strange genetic condition that prevents you from having kids, and many other things. I try to talk to my parents about it, but they don’t really understand where I’m coming from.  I am going to a Turner’s Syndrome conference in  November, so I will be meeting lots of girls that can relate to what I’m going through.  I often wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have Turner’s Syndrome. Would I be more popular? Why can’t I have kids?

       Turner’s Syndrome is something that affects my life every day. At times, I feel like I’m so alone in the situation, that I’m the only person in the world who can’t have kids.  Whether you’ve heard of it before or not, it matters to me.