Male hypogonadism is defined as the failure of the testes to produce testosterone, sperm, or both. The disorder is exceedingly common. Testosterone is the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty.
Some males may be born with low testosterone, or it can develop later in life from injury or infection. The effects, and what you can do about them, depend on the cause and at what point in your life low testosterone occurs. Some types of male hypogonadism can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy.
In adult males, low testosterone may alter certain masculine physical characteristics and impair normal reproductive function. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decrease in beard and body hair growth
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Development of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
- Loss of bone mass (osteoporosis)
Hypogonadism can also cause mental and emotional changes. As testosterone decreases, some men may experience symptoms similar to those of menopause in women.
There are two basic types of hypogonadism:
Primary hypogonadism, also known as primary testicular failure, originates from a problem in the testicles. Common causes of primary hypogonadism include:
- Klinefelter Syndrome – Congenital abnormality of the sex chromosomes
- Undescended Testicles
- Elevated Iron Levels
- Injury to the Testicles
- Cancer Treatment
Secondary hypogonadism indicates a problem in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland, parts of the brain that signal the testicles to produce testosterone. The hypothalamus produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which signals the pituitary gland to make follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone. Luteinizing hormone then signals the testes to produce testosterone. A number of conditions can cause secondary hypogonadism, including:
- Abnormal Hypothalamus Development
- Pituitary Disorder
- Inflammatory Disease
- Normal Aging
There are several ways to effectively treat hypogonadism. Enhancing the body’s ability to make its own testosterone is the most favorable. This can be done with a combination of Nutraceutical supplements that we offer. Another option is to supplement with testosterone replacement (TRT) that your body would produce normally. It is critical to combine TRT with appropriate diet, exercise, lifestyle and stress management.
The alternative treatment for hypogonadism can stimulate testicular growth and does not interfere with fertility as TRT does. If utilizing TRT, then at a later time when fertility is desired, it may be induced with either pulsatile luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) or (more commonly) with a schedule of hormonal injections and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).