Male hypogonadism occurs when the body isn’t able to produce sufficient amount of testosterone or the capability to produce sperm is impaired. Testosterone is the hormone that has great responsibility for masculine growth and development during the puberty. A boy can be born with hypogonadaism or the condition can develop later due to injury or infection. The symptoms and the treatment of male hypogondaism will differ depending on the cause and time of appearance of the condition. In some cases the solution may be testosterone replacement therapy.
The symptoms of male hypogonadism depend on what period of the man’s life the condition developed. They can begin even with the development of the fetus, before puberty or during adulthood.
- Hypogonadism during fetal development
If the body isn’t able to produce enough testosterone during the period when the fetus develops, the condition may result with damaged growth of the external sex organs. A male child can be born with: female genitals, genitals nither male nor female, underdeveloped male genitals.
- Hypogonadism during puberty
The puberty period may be delayed and the development may not be normal or sufficient. This condition usually causes: lack of full muscle mass development, lack of the depending of the voice and weak body hair growth, damaged testicles and penis growth, bigger development of the body and arms in relation with the body and development of breast tissue.
- Hypogonadism during adulthood
During adulthood, hypogonadism can alter some physical characteristics of the man or damage the function of his reproductive system. The symptoms are usually: infertility, diminished hair growth, lack of muscle mass, bone mass loss, erectile dysfunction and development of breast tissue.
- Other symptoms that can appear as a result of hypogonadism can be emotional or mental, or even symptoms similar to the menopausal symptoms that women have. They can be: fatigue, nausea, flashes of hotness, lack of concentration and lack of sex drive.
It is important to see the doctor if a man is experiencing some of the symptoms so the appropriate treatment can be established.
Male hypogonadism occurs when the testicles do not produce sufficient amount of the male sex hormone testosterone. Two types of this condition exist: primary and secondary. The primary type, or also primary testicular failure is a problem in the testicles, whereas the secondary type of hypogonadism means that the problem lies in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland parts of the brain that send the signal to the testicles to produce testosterone.
Either type of hypogonadism may appear due to the inheritance factor or it can be acquired later in life. Sometimes, both types can appear together.
The causes for primary hypogonadism are usually: Klinefelter syndrome, undescended testicles, mumps orchitis, hemochromatosis, cancer treatment or injury to the testicles.
In secondary hypogonadism the testicles are normal but they do not function properly because of problems with the pituitary or hypothalamus. The following conditions can be the cause for the secondary type of hypogonadism to occur: Kallmann syndrome, pituitary disorders, inflammatory diseases such as sarcoidosis, histocystosis and tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, certain medications as opiate pain medicines and hormones, overweight, concurrent illness, or simply aging normally.
The risk is higher if the male had:
- Testicle infections
- Testicle injury
- Tumors in the testicles or the pituitary
- Untreated sleep apnea
- Family history
The complications are different depending on the age the condition first appeared.
- Complication during fetal development-the baby can be born with ambiguous or abnormal genitalia.
- Complications during puberty when the development is delayed or incomplete-the boy can have: damaged penis and testicle growth, unproportional growth (bigger arms and legs than the body proportion), bigger male breasts and lack of beard and body hair.
- Complications during adulthood: infertility, erectile dysfunction, lack of sex drive, enlarged breasts, muscle weakness and loss, Lack of beard and body hair, exhaustion, osteoporosis
The treatment also depends on the age of the patient.
- Treatment for adults can be:
-Testosterone replacement therapy-if the cause of hypogonadism is testicular failure; the therapy can restore sexual function and muscle strength, prevent bone loss, increase the sex drive, and give a sense of well-being
-Pituitary hormones-can stipulate sperm production
-Surgery (plus medication and radiation)-if there is a pituitary tumor
-assisted reproduction-technology that includes variety of techniques designed to help couples that have been unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy
- Treatment for boys:
-Testosterone replacement therapy-that stimulates further normal development that can be problematic for boys experiencing hypogonadism during puberty
-pituitary hormons-can stipulate testicle growth
- There are different types of testosterone replacement therapy. It can be:
-gum and cheek