What Is Male Hypogonadism?
Testosterone is a steroidal male hormone that is important in development during puberty and for masculine growth while sperm is necessary for reproduction. Male hypogonadism is a disorder in which testes fail to produce sufficient amount of either one or both of them. Although male hypogonadism usually occurs due to increasing age, other factors like infections and injuries are also quite common. In some cases, male hypogonadism is found in children since birth. The symptoms and effects that show up will largely depend on the age and the cause of male hypogonadism.
What Are The Symptoms Of Male Hypogonadism?
The occurrence stages of male hypogonadism are divided into three parts: fetal, pre-puberty and adulthood. Fetal development of male hypogonadism means that the body is producing insufficient testosterone during fetal development. Eventually, a genetically male child may:
- Have underdeveloped male genitals.
- Have some female genitals.
- Have genitals that are uncertain i.e. neither male nor female.
Male hypogonadism before puberty leads to an abnormal development and may cause:
- Less deepening of voice.
- Abnormal growth of testes and penis.
- Abnormal growth of body hair.
- Gynecomastia, breast tissue, develops.
- Insufficient development of muscle mass.
- Abnormal growth of arms and legs.
In adults, male hypogonadism usually damages the reproductive function. Symptoms may include:
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Declining mass of bone i.e. osteoporosis.
- Development of Gynecomastia.
- Declining muscle mass.
- Abnormal body and beard hair growth.
Due to deteriorating testosterone, victims may also suffer the following symptoms:
- Concentration problems.
- Deteriorating sex drive.
- Hot flashes.
It is recommended to see medical attention as soon as the symptoms show up.
What Causes Male Hypogonadism?
There are two types of male hypogonadism: primary and secondary. Primary hypogonadism occurs due to a problem in the testes while secondary hypogonadism is a result of a problem in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. These are the parts that send signals from the brain to produce testosterone. Primary hypogonadism is usually caused due to the following factors:
- Mumps orchitis that affects testosterone production.
- Klinefelter syndrome that occurs due to an additional chromosome.
- Testicle injury.
- Cancer treatment.
- Testicles not properly descended.
On the other hand, secondary hypogonadism may occur due to the following factors:
- Inflammatory disease.
- Old age.
- Concurrent illness.
- Consuming certain medicines like opiate pain medication.
- Kallmann syndrome which is an abnormal development of hypothalamus.
- Pituitary disorders.
How Is Male Hypogonadism Diagnosed?
Diagnosing hypogonadism is not the only thing to do but knowing the cause is very important for proper medications and treatment. Doctors may use certain tests to evaluate testosterone blood level along with observing pubic hair growth, testes size and muscle mass. Once male hypogonadism is confirmed, doctors use the following to know the root cause:
- Pituitary imaging.
- Hormone testing.
- Testicular biopsy.
- Semen analysis.
- Genetic observation.
How Is Male Hypogonadism Treated?
Doctors make a treatment plan depending on the cause and stage of hypogonadism. Hormone replacement could help if the cause is testicular failure while assisted reproduction is also used in other cases. For pre-puberty hypogonadism, testosterone replacement therapy is generally used. This therapy can be done through several ways including:
- Implantable pellets.
- Buccal cavity.
By : Natural Health News