Genetics Home > Turner Syndrome and the Ovaries

Turner syndrome and the ovaries are closely related -- most women with Turner syndrome experience loss of ovarian function early in childhood, and thus do not enter puberty at the normal age. In most cases, women with Turner syndrome do not have ovaries with healthy oocytes (eggs) capable of fertilization and embryo formation.

An Overview of Turner Syndrome and the Ovaries

Unknown genes on the X chromosome regulate the development and functions of the ovaries. Most individuals with Turner syndrome experience loss of ovarian function early in childhood, and thus do not enter puberty at the normal age.
 
Some teenagers may undergo some breast development and begin menstruating, but cease further development and menses during the later teen years. In rare cases, women with Turner syndrome may have apparently normal ovarian function with regular menses until the mid-20s before ovarian failure occurs. A few spontaneous pregnancies have been reported.
 

Turner Syndrome and the Ovaries: Treatment

It is standard medical practice to treat girls with Turner syndrome with estrogen, to induce breast development and other features of puberty, if menses has not occurred by age 15 at the latest. Girls and women with Turner syndrome should be maintained on estrogen-progesterone treatment to maintain their secondary sexual development and to protect their bones from osteoporosis until at least the usual age of menopause (50 years).
 

Turner Syndrome and the Ovaries: Infertility

Most women with Turner syndrome do not have ovaries with healthy oocytes (eggs) capable of fertilization and embryo formation. Current assisted reproductive technology, however, may allow women to become pregnant with donated oocytes.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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