A Finnish study of 23 girls with Turner syndrome found that an estradiol gel, a form of estrogen, may help. Turner syndrome is caused when 1 of 2 X chromosomes that girls normally have is missing. The chromosome disorder results in various physical characteristics and incomplete ovaries.
For the study, the patients applied the gel once a day on the skin of the lower trunk or thighs. Reporting in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (July 2004), the researchers found that the estradiol gel brings on slow, progressive pubertal development equal to natural puberty in such cases. Average blood levels of estradiol increased 8-fold during the 4-year study.
"The development of secondary sexual characteristics and uterine growth proceeded gradually during the study, mimicking natural puberty," investigators said. Researcher Saila Piippo added, "The treatment can also be individualized with dose adjustments based on the signs of pubertal development and uterine growth measured by sonography and (hormone) concentrations."