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Perceptions of femininity and motherhood for outpatients with Turner Syndrome and variants: a qualitative study in a public health service, in southeast Brazil

Abstract

Chvatal VLS, Higa R, B├â┬â├ć┬ĺ├â┬é├é┬Âttcher-Luiz F, Turato ER.

Approximately one in every 2.500 live-born female is a TS carrier. The most important clinical signs noted are: stunted growth, broadened shoulders, low hairline, absent secondary sexual characteristics, primary amenorrhea and, in all cases, infertility. This article aims to analyze the perceptions of femininity and motherhood for outpatients with TS and variants. To interpret meanings of these phenomena experienced by women, clinical-qualitative method was applied through semi-directed psychological interviews performed with 13 patients. After fluctuating readings of the interviews was conducted content analysis whose discussion was based on psychodynamic concepts, bringing the following results: feelings of uselessness and fears of reduced fecundity, vitality, strength and sexual desire were reported; the phenomenon of menstruation holds a central place in the mental functioning of the women studied, since it is related to their perceptions of how their femininity is constituted; but the meaning of femininity for them did not seem to be closely associated with the ideas of motherhood and reproduction; they gave priority to other desires and social meanings, such as studying, working and achieving social autonomy, and the possibility of adopting children. These results can guide the public services of health in the attendance the patients with TS and variants.

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