Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The primary treatments for nearly all girls and women include hormone therapies:

  • Growth hormone. Growth hormone therapy is recommended for most girls with Turner syndrome. The goal of this therapy is to increase height as much as possible at appropriate times during your daughter's childhood and adolescence. Growth hormone treatment is usually given several times a week as injections of somatropin (Humatrope, Genotropin, Saizen).
  • Estrogen therapy. Most girls with Turner syndrome need to begin estrogen and related hormone therapy in order to begin puberty and achieve adult sexual development. Estrogen may also help your daughter grow when used in conjunction with growth hormone. Estrogen replacement therapy usually continues throughout life, until a woman reaches the average age of menopause.

Transition to adult care

It's important to help your daughter prepare for the transition from care with your family doctor or pediatrician to her own adult medical care. Her doctor can continue to coordinate care among a number of specialists throughout her life. Regular checkups have shown substantial improvements in the quality and length of life for women with Turner syndrome. Particular problems that often arise during adulthood include hearing loss, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Healthy lifestyle habits, such as maintaining proper weight and exercising regularly, are important throughout life.

Periodic follow-up with a heart specialist (cardiologist) is important, as are regular ultrasounds of the heart (echocardiography). This test uses sound waves to produce an image of the heart, allowing the cardiologist to make sure your daughter's heart is healthy.

Pregnancy and fertility treatment

Few women with Turner syndrome can become pregnant without fertility treatment. Those who can are still likely to experience failure of the ovaries and subsequent infertility very early in adulthood. Therefore, it's important to discuss timing of pregnancy with your doctor.

Some women with Turner syndrome can become pregnant with the donation of an egg or embryo. This requires a specially designed hormone therapy to prepare the uterus for pregnancy.

In most cases, women with Turner syndrome have relatively high-risk pregnancies. It's important to discuss those risks with your doctor.

Aug. 20, 2011