Klinefelter Syndrome

Klinefelter Syndrome and Male Sexual Dysfunction

A genetic disorder that affects males can occur when a boy is born with an extra x chromosome. This extra x disorder is known as Klinefelter syndrome. Men without the extra x are also described as X-Y males and it happens in 1 out of 1,000 males according to WebMD and 1 out of 500 according to Dr. Cunha 2013.

This genetic disorder occurs when the genetic material in the egg or sperm splits unevenly but is not passed on genetically through their own genetic structure, (Journal of Sex Research 2013). These genetic mutations can appear as 47XYY, 47XXX, 48,XXXY, 48,XXYY, 49,XXXXY.  These men can have a normal sex life. With early diagnosis and TRT (testosterone replacement treatment) during puberty some of these symptoms can be altered.

If low testosterone is not identified until after puberty then the penis may not grow to an adult size by age 18 or the adolescent boy could have enlarged breasts. Some men may have sparse body hair and wide hips that are more feminine in appearance. These boys may also have weaker bones and less energy than boys their own age. These boys can be taller than other boys and have less muscle mass. Their voices may not be as deep and in almost all men with Klinefelter’s syndrome, the testicles remain small.

Most of these men cannot father children due to low sperm count and in some, sterility. But they can have a normal sex life. If they are experiencing sexual dysfunctions, it is related to their own performance anxiety and or from low testosterone if not replaced. hey can however, have sperm collected through TEST (testicular sperm extraction test) which uses a needle to take out sperm for in vitro fertilization. It is not guaranteed that in vitro fertilization will be successful. Some research states that if fertility treatment is started early, they may be able to father children.

Some boys with Klinefelter’s syndrome have language and learning problems, as well as speech difficulty, With speech therapy and educational programs these boys can be helped with the above symptoms through interventional developmental problems. Mental health support is essential in order for the boy and the family to adjust to this alteration in growth and development of their male child. These boys may be shy, less confident and lack ability in sports which often has them leading an isolated life during adolescence. Eventually, as they mature into adult males these boys appear to sort out their differences and function in normal jobs and have a life that is fulfilling.

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