Genetics Home > Testosterone Treatment for Klinefelter Syndrome
To obtain these benefits, a male with Klinefelter syndrome must decide, on his own, that he is ready to stick to a regular schedule of injections. Sometimes, younger adolescents, who may be somewhat immature, are not quite ready to take the shots. It is an inconvenience, and many don't like needles.
Most physicians do not push these young men to take the injections. Instead, they usually recommend informing adolescents with Klinefelter syndrome and their parents about the benefits of testosterone injections and then let them take as much time as they need to make their decision.
Individuals may respond to testosterone treatment in different ways. Although the majority of males with Klinefelter syndrome ultimately will benefit from testosterone, a few will not.
To ensure that the injections will provide the maximum benefit, those who are ready to begin testosterone injections should consult a qualified endocrinologist (a specialist in hormonal interactions) who has experience treating males with Klinefelter syndrome.
Side effects of testosterone injections as a treatment for Klinefelter syndrome are few. Some individuals may develop a minor allergic reaction at the injection site, resulting in an itchy welt resembling a mosquito bite. Applying a non-prescription hydrocortisone cream to the area will reduce swelling and itching.
In addition, testosterone injections may result in an enlarged prostate, which is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This condition is common in chromosomally normal males as well, affecting more than 50 percent of men in their 60s, and as many as 90 percent in their 70s and 80s. In males with Klinefelter syndrome receiving testosterone injections, this condition may begin sometime after age 40.
Men receiving treatments for Klinefelter syndrome should consult their physicians about a regular schedule of prostate examinations. BPH can often be detected early by a rectal exam. If the prostate greatly interferes with the flow of urine, excess prostate tissue can be trimmed away using a surgical instrument that is inserted in the penis through the urethra.