Male Hypogonadism : Causes – Symptoms and Treatment

In medical terms the definition of male hypogonadism is the inadequate functioning or the inability of the testicles to produce sperms or testosterone hormones; manifestation deficiencies in gametogenesis. Hypogonadism especially in men with low levels of testosterone hormones results to the incompetence of the gonads which is the gamete or reproductive cell producing glands. This condition may also be acquired by women but in men this condition is also known as a testosterone deficiency.

The external organs of the male reproductive system are the penis and the testicles which is also called the testes. The testicles are two oval-shaped genital organs that reside inside a pouch-like sac of skin called the scrotum hanging underneath the male abdomen and hiding behind the penis. These reproductive organs are responsible for the production of sperm cells which are very necessary for human reproduction. Secretion of the testosterone hormones happens inside the testicles which are essential and plays a major role in the maintenance and development of the physical attributes of the masculine gender.

An abnormality in the development of the testicles or a defect in the pituitary gland or in the brain is the cause of male hypogonadism. The common complications of this condition are decreased in sex drive, difficulty in concentrating, hot flashes, irritability, fatigue and depression.

Male hypogonadism may happen during fetal development, puberty and up to adulthood, but the symptoms will differ from each stage. During the fetal development stage the symptom will be ambiguous genitalia; during the puberty stage symptoms are, development of breast tissue, impaired growth of body hair, penis and testicles, lack of deepening of the vocal chords, decreased muscle mass development and the unreasonable growth of the limbs in relation to the body’s trunk, while during the adulthood stage, the symptoms are; osteoporosis, increase in the accumulation of body fat, breast tissue development, also decreased muscle mass development, inadequate growth of beard and body hair, decreased size and firmness of the testicles, erectile dysfunction and infertility. There are two classification types of male hypogonadism. Primary hypogonoadism is when the deficiency of the androgen is result of diseases of the testicles otherwise known as hypergonadotrophic hypogonadism. The secondary classification of hypogonadism is when the result of the disease in the brain or the pituitary gland otherwise known as hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism.

Treatment is available for male hypogonadism conditions but will vary depending on the cause of the condition. Common treatment procedures are pituitary hormone therapy and testosterone replacement therapy. Referral to a specialist of this kind of condition such as an endocrinologist is very much recommended. The modalities of androgen replacement administrations are oral testosterone, testosterone implants, patches, esters, gel or testogel, and buccal testosterone preparation which is new in the market, a mucoadhesive tablet that is pasted to the gums and placed just right above the incisors. This method showed physiological levels of achieved testosterone in most patients, but with infrequent local side effects which includes bitter taste, gingivitis and gum irritations. Not all of the methods mentioned are proven to be reliable; some of them showed slow progress to no progress at all. Infertility and sub fertility may be a permanent complication of this condition. It is recommended to undergo counseling for the acceptance of the potential life-long testosterone treatment.