Klinefelter’s Sanity Check
Klinefelter’s Syndrome-there’s a somewhat ominous ring to the term, isn’t there? When we meet men with moobs who have been diagnosed with Klinefelter’s Syndrome, our first advice is not to panic. Let’s start with a bit of a sanity check.
The first thing to know is that Klinefelter’s is fairly common. According to the National Institutes of Health, between one in 500 and one in 1,000 men are born with the condition, which is essentially an extra X chromosome (sometimes more than one). This means these men have an XXY configuration rather than the usual XY. The second X chromosome can generate a host of symptoms, but most can be treated.
Men with Klinefelter’s can develop gynecomastia, or moobs. Our New York patients are no exception-we see several men with a definite or suspected Klinefelter’s diagnosis each year. Male breast reduction is the solution to rid these patients of unwanted breast tissue, and once banished, the moobs will not return.
Many other common characteristics of Klinefelter’s arise from low testosterone levels. For most men, taking testosterone supplements can help in several ways, including improving muscle mass, deepening the voice and promoting bone strength. Fertility can be an issue, but advances in treatment are making it possible for many Klinefelter’s patients to father children.
Physical traits that can characterize an XXY male often fall within the ranges of normal variation. These can include being taller than average and having scant body hair.
It is true that some males born with Klinefelter’s have challenges related to learning and developing language. The earlier these symptoms are spotted, the more likely patients can overcome and manage obstacles. Therapists and counselors can help.
Be assured that many XXY males are asymptomatic-meaning they never develop the syndrome that triggers “feminine” traits that point to a Klinefelter’s diagnosis. Still other men have very few traces of the condition. These facts-plus the reality that there’s no standard or even typical set of symptoms among XXY males-is leading the medical community away from using the term “Klinefelter’s Syndrome”.
So, if you have been identified as an XXY male, there’s no need to panic. If you develop man boobs and they affect your quality of life, seen an experienced gynecomastia surgeon. Consult your primary care physician or appropriate specialist for any other symptoms that bother you. Then, simply, get on with life.