Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the body of the patient doesn’t produce the requisite amount of testosterone. It leads to impairment of the development of puberty in adolescent boys. It may also lead to the problem of less or no production of sperms. Some men may be born with the condition, but some men may acquire it at a later stage due to some injury or infection. The effects of the condition depend on how and when the condition happened. The effects depend on the cause and the time at which one acquires the condition. The condition is also known as Male Hypo HYPO.
Low activity of Pituitary gland and hypothalamus
The condition is often caused by the low secretion of testosterone, the hormone responsible for the male sex characteristics. There are two main types of hypogonadism:
Primary- It is caused by a problem in the testicles. This condition is also known as a primary testicular failure.
Secondary-This condition is caused by the malfunctioning of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland. These parts are responsible for stimulating the testicles to produce testosterone. The hypothalamus is responsible for producing the gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which sends an indication to the pituitary gland to produce 2 hormones – follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). luteinizing hormone, in turn, sends the signal to the testes to produce testosterone.
In certain cases, the primary and secondary hypogonadism can be seen.
Common causes of primary hypogonadism are as follows-
Klinefelter syndrome -It is a congenital chromosomal anomaly. While the normal male has XY chromosomes, the person with Klinefelter syndrome has two or more X chromosomes along with a single y chromosome. The extra X chromosome can cause underproduction of the testosterone.
Undescended testicles-It is the name given to the condition in which the testicles don’t descend to their proper place. The testicles may descend after a few years of the birth of the child. If the condition does not improve and no treatment is given, then it may result in malfunctioning of the testes and low testosterone production.
It may be caused due to
Kallmann syndrome-It is the condition in which the hypothalamus develops abnormally. It also leads to color blindness and an impaired sense of smell.
Problems with the Pituitary gland -If the pituitary gland acts in an abnormal way, it results in impaired testosterone production. A tumor in the pituitary gland may also cause testosterone deficiency. Radiation therapy or surgery conducted for a brain tumor can also cause hypogonadism.
Inflammation – diseases, such as sarcoidosis and tuberculosis, can affect the hypothalamus and cause low testosterone production, leading to hypogonadism.
HIV/AIDS-HIV/AIDS can lead to low levels of testosterone as it affects the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the testes.
The risk factors for hypogonadism are as follows –
- Untreated sleep apnea
Previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Kallmann syndrome
- Injury to your testicles
- Testicular or pituitary tumors
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Undescended testicles as an infant
- Mumps infection affecting your testicles
Treatment of male hypo hypo can be divided into two categories –
Treatment for adults
Hormone replacement– TRT or testosterone replacement therapy is used to cure this condition. It results in increased energy and sexual functionality.
Assisted reproduction- Hypogonadism may result in in infertility, therefore, such men should opt for assisted reproduction, which helps the couples in realizing their dream of becoming parents.
Treatment for boys
If the patient is a young boy the TRT can be used to stimulate puberty to promote the development of muscle mass, growth of beard and pubic hair, growth of penis and growth of the testicles.