Hypogonadism- Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment


Hypogonadism is a condition where your sex glands do not function properly. Your sex glands might produce too little or no sex hormones. The sex glands in men are called as testes and in females, they are called ovaries. They can also be named as gonads. The main function of sex hormones is to develop secondary sexual characters such as testicular development in men and breast development in women. These hormones play an important role in menstrual cycles and also the production of sperm.

Hypogonadism- Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Hypogonadism- Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Hypogonadism is also known as gonads deficiency. In males, it is referred to as low serum testosterone or andropause.

This condition can be treated with appropriate medical treatment.

Types of Hypogonadism

They are two types of hypogonadism. Let’s have a look at both types of hypogonadism:

  • Primary Hypogonadism:- It is also known as a primary testicular failure. Because the problem originated from the testicles. The main causes of primary hypogonadism are Klinefelter syndrome- in this condition they are a congenital abnormality of the sex chromosomes, undescended testicles, mumps orchitis, hemochromatosis, injury to the testicles and cancer treatment.
  • Secondary Hypogonadism:- In this condition, the problem is with the pituitary glands or hypothalamus which do not function properly. Hypothalamus produces a hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormones. This hormone signals the brain to produce follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones signal the testes to produce male sex hormone called testosterone. Common causes of secondary hypogonadism are Kallmann’s syndrome, pituitary disorders, inflammatory diseases, HIV/AIDS, certain medications, obesity and the normal ageing process.

Causes of Hypogonadism:-

The following are the causes of primary Hypogonadism:-

  • Autoimmune disorders which are addison’s diseases and hypoparathyroidism.
  • Severe infections which involve mumps in your testicles as well.
  • Kidney and liver diseases
  • Exposure to radiations
  • Hemochromatosis which due to more absorption of iron in the body
  • Sexual organ surgery
  • Genetic disorders

Causes of Central or Secondary Hypogonadism

  • Genetic disorders which includes kallmann’s syndrome
  • Infections
  • Pituitary disorders
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Obesity
  • Frequent Weight fluctuations
  • Brain surgery
  • Exposure to radiations
  • Any injury to pituitary gland

Symptoms of Hypogonadism

The following are the symptoms of hypogonadism seen in women:-

  • No menstrual cycle
  • No growth of breast or slow growth
  • Hot flashes
  • Less hair growth in the body
  • Low or Absence of sex drive
  • Milky discharge from breasts

The Following are the Symptoms of Hypogonadism seen in Men:-

  • Muscle loss
  • Loss of body hair is seen
  • Abnormal growth of the breast
  • Reduction in the growth of penis and testicles
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Osteoporosis
  • Low or Absence of sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Hot flashes
  • Difficulty in concentration


How to Diagnose Hypogonadism?

Your doctor will conduct a physical exam in order to assess the growth of secondary sexual characteristics. The doctor will also look for the levels of testosterone in the body. The following are the tests performed to confirm hypogonadism:

  • Hormonal testing
  • Analysis of the semen
  • Pituitary imaging
  • Genetics study
  • Testicular biopsy

Treatment for Hypogonadism

Treatment options available for females are as follows:-

  • Increasing the number of female sex hormones
  • Estrogen supplementation is done when hysterectomy is performed.
  • But in normal cases, the combination of estrogen and progesterone is given because there is a risk of developing endometrial cancer. If the increased levels of estrogen are alone is given.

Treatment in Male as Follows:-

  1. Testosterone replacement therapy is widely used in hypogonadism. You can get
    • Injection
    • Patch
    • Gel
    • Lozenge

Take a Note:-

Hypogonadism is a chronic condition which requires life-long treatment. Your sex hormones may decrease if you stop treatment. You will need support from groups and through therapy which can help you before, during and after the treatment.