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Infertility is a huge stumbling block for both men and women alike. Inability to produce a child results to emotional turmoil brought about by disappointment and embarrassment. Many partnerships have been shattered by this one great factor that completes a family. Where ever in the world you may be -- even in China where a One-Child Policy is at work -- infertility sure is a big issue. There are many causes of infertility and one of them is a condition known as Hypogonadism. But wait, there is more to Hypogonadism than just causing infertility.

Hypogonadism is a reproductive system defect where the functionality of gonads or sex glands (testes for men, ovaries for women) is lacking. It is also known in the medical world as Gonadal Deficiency. The gonads play two important roles in the body. The first is to produce normal levels of hormones that are significant in a person’s growth. The second is to produce healthy sperms and eggs that are important for pregnancy to occur. Therefore, if Hypogonadism is present, hormone deficiency and infertility occurs. The signs and symptoms of this condition are usually traced to a decline in testosterone and estrogen levels and infertility and impotence in both men and women. There are some cases where Hypogonadism only affects the production of hormones or the production of reproductive cells alone. But the common fashion is that it involves both.


Hypogonadism is classified into two according to its causes. In Primary Hypogonadism, the sex glands themselves are defective. There is no outside element that causes the malfunction. This may be due to genetics, the effects of surgery, an autoimmune disorder, or infection. In Central Hypogonadism, the defect is brought about by tumors or infections on the part of the brain that controls the gonads. This means that, the sex glands are not defective. It is the irregularity in the central nervous system that causes the problem.

As mentioned, Hypogonadism may be caused by a handful of factors. It could be due to genetic problems or it could also be induced by several medical conditions. One of these conditions is the presence of tumor in the brain. If the tumor is directly affecting the pituitary hormone that controls the sex glands, then Hypogonadism symptoms likely appear. Another factor that could cause this condition is the effect of surgery, radiation, and other medical processes. Use of steroids is also seen as a usual suspect. Liver and kidney ailments, infection, autoimmune disorders, and nutritional deficiencies may also cause Hypogonadism.


The common, visible symptoms of Hypogonadism are those that are due to hormone deficiency. When certain levels of hormones are not achieved, it causes disturbances in a person’s growth. In young boys, the symptoms include non-development of muscles and beard. In young girls, menstruation never occurs. Their height development is also affected and their breasts are less likely to develop. In adults, the symptoms of low testosterone levels include energy loss, stress, sexual dysfunction, and mood swings. Although a decline in testosterone and estrogen level is experienced by both men and women as they age, it is not as harsh as when they actually have Hypogonadism. You can see the symptoms as far greater versions of decreased testosterone and menopause respectively.
Image: Hypogonadism

Hypogonadism also brings decreased body hair, breast enlargement, impotence and muscle loss in men and hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and menstruation loss in women. Risks for bone density loss and cardiovascular disease are also likely to be found on women with Hypogonadism. If it is Central Hypogonadism, those symptoms may occur along with visual loss, severe headaches, and other conditions such as Hypothyroidism and Anorexia Nervosa.

If you feel that you are experiencing the effects of hormone deficiency too early in your life, then it is a glaring sign that you need to consult a doctor because the problem may not be as simple as you see it. It is especially important to have yourself checked immediately when visual impairment and severe headaches occur.


The basic tests done to possible candidates for Hypogonadism are intended to check their testosterone and estrogen levels, including the pituitary hormones that control the sex glands. Other tests may include a sperm count, levels of milk hormone prolactin, thyroid level, blood test, blood chemistry, and genetic analysis. Sometimes a sonogram, MRI, and CT scan are also found useful.


The simplest treatment for Hypogonadism is Hormone Replacement Therapy. To lessen the burden or symptoms of hormone deficiency, hormone-infused medicines are prescribed. If infertility becomes a serious concern, injections or pills are used to stimulate the production of healthy and functioning sperms or eggs. Some cases may also require the use of radiation and surgery. Reduction in the production of hormones may bring in serious problems for women in the form of endometriosis and even cancer. Doctors are mostly concerned about these risks. If they feel you are likely to develop both ailments in the process, they will have to prescribe a more complicated treatment like putting you under radiation therapy or removing your uterus altogether.

Although most of the known causes of Hypogonadism cannot be prevented, it would still be helpful to keep a healthy lifestyle all throughout. Maintaining a healthy eating habit and a normal body weight would be ideal not only for your wellbeing. It can also save you from Hypogonadism. You must also take advantage of your youth. Keep an active lifestyle and infuse regular exercises in your day-to-day endeavor.


Also, never put for another day your urge to consult a health professional when you feel that something is not right. Early detection and correct diagnosis is important in a sense that the source of the problem is stopped before it creates anymore damage. In cases like Hypogonadism, which is a treatable disease, you need not to suffer long and hard. You can easily free yourself of the harsh effects of your sex glands defects with the right amount of treatment under the guidance of a medical expert. Acceptance that a problem is present -- no matter how emotionally challenging it may be -- is important because that is the only time you can find something to solve it. Never fear about divulging your impotence or infertility especially if it is to a doctor. For one, doctors swore on secrecy. They will not strut around to expose your condition. Second, and the most important thing of all, is that they can help you solve your problem.
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