Klinefelter syndrome, also known as 47XXY, is a genetic condition where you have an extra X chromosome. It’s congenital; which means that you’re born with it. Klinefelter syndrome is a common chromosomal disorder; affecting one in 550 men. However, many people with Klinefelter syndrome are never diagnosed. Klinefelter syndrome is the most common cause of hypogonadism, a condition that stops your body from producing sperm and testosterone. This means that if you have Klinefelter syndrome, it’s likely that you’re infertile. Small testicles after puberty are a strong indication of Klinefelter syndrome. Other symptoms of Klinefelter syndrome include taller than average height, reduced facial hair, reduced body hair, reduced muscle strength, breast development—also known as gynecomastia, osteoporosis, feminine fat distribution—such as on the thighs, varicose veins and low energy. A diagnosis of Klinefelter syndrome is confirmed with blood tests. It can be diagnosed before or immediately after a child is born. Because the symptoms aren’t always obvious, an adult might not be diagnosed until they seek medical help for infertility, a loss of sex drive or a bone fracture. The majority of Klinefelter cases are diagnosed in adulthood. Klinefelter syndrome can’t be cured. Instead, it’s managed with lifelong testosterone therapy to help maintain general well-being. To learn more about this and other
men’s reproductive and sexual health issues, go to healthymale.org.au or speak to your doctor.