Hypogonadism is a condition that occurs when the gonads (the testes or the ovaries) don’t produce sufficient amounts of the primary sex hormones [1]. In the case of male hypogonadism, the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone: the hormone known to play vital roles in sexual development and overall masculine growth in males.

See also: Low Testosterone Symptoms in Men: Your Quick Guide to Low Testosterone


Symptoms of male hypogonadism


Hypogonadism can develop during a number of stages of life and the signs and symptoms shown depend on when the condition evolves [2].

Symptoms of hypogonadism at birth include:

  • Ambiguous genitals
  • Underdeveloped male genitals
  • Female genitals

Symptoms of hypogonadism during puberty include:

  • Development of breast tissue
  • Decreased development of muscle mass
  • Curbed deepening of the voice

Symptoms of hypogonadism during adulthood include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease in muscle mass

See also: Low Testosterone Levels and Bodybuilding: What you Should Know


Causes of male hypogonadism


There are two types of hypogonadism: primary and secondary. While both can be inherited or develop later on in life, the common causes of both tend to differ.


Primary hypogonadism causes


Primary hypogonadism is known to occur due to a problem in the testicles, some of the most common causes include:

  • Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis, sometimes referred to as hereditary hemochromatosis, is a condition that causes your body to absorb too much iron from the foods you intake - this can have an effect on testosterone production [3].

  • Cancer treatment

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy can hinder your bodies ability to produce sperm and/or testosterone.

  • Mumps orchitis

According to the American Society for Microbiology, the mumps virus causes testicular disorders and can in turn decrease testosterone production [4].

  • Klinefelter syndrome

Klinefelter syndrome is a genetic condition, it occurs when a boy is born with more than one X chromosome [5]. This can affect testicular growth as well as testosterone production.

See also: Does Low Testostosterone Equal Low Mood?


Secondary hypogonadism causes


Secondary hypogonadism specifies an issue in specific parts of the brain that signal the testicles to produce the hormone testosterone, some of the most common causes include:

  • Medications

Hormones can be particularly vulnerable when it comes to certain medications. Some hormone and pain medications can have an effect on testosterone production[6].

  • Obesity

Being significantly overweight can decrease testosterone production [7].

  • Pituitary disorders

Pituitary disorders such as Cushing's syndrome can affect the release of hormones from the pituitary gland to the testicles; this can often result in lower testosterone production.

  • Kallman’s syndrome

Kallman’s syndrome is a condition associated with the delay or complete absence of puberty. It occurs due to a lack of production of hormones that affect sexual development [8].

See also: What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?


If you’re interested in knowing more about your testosterone levels, one of the most reliable ways to do so is with a test. This can be done in your local doctor’s office or from home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home Testosterone Test can measure the amount of testosterone in your blood with a simple finger prick sample. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.

See also: How do you Check Testosterone Levels From Home?



References

  1. Mayo Clinic. Male Hypogonadism. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019
  2. Mayo Clinic. Male Hypogonadism. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019
  3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Hemochromatosis. Online: Niddk.nih.gov, 2020
  4. National Institutes of Health. Mumps Virus Decreases Testosterone Production and Gamma Interferon-Induced Protein 10 Secretion by Human Leydig Cells. Online: Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 2003
  5. NHS. Klinefelter syndrome. Online: NHS.uk, 2019
  6. Mayo Clinic. Male Hypogonadism. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019
  7. National Institutes of Health. Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management. Online: Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 2014
  8. Mayo Clinic. Male Hypogonadism. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019