Hypogonadism is a medical condition in which an individual experiences a reduction or an impairment in the functional activity of the gonads. This could occur in males, and also in females. The testes and ovaries are affected in males and females respectively. This results in a reduced production of sex hormone. Males will have a low amount of sex hormones, also known androgen. An example of the male sex hormone is testosterone. On the other hand, females will have a reduced production of their sex hormone, estrogen. Other hormones that are affected by hypogonadism include progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, anti-mullerian hormone, activating and so on. Hypogonadism also inhibits the process of sperm production, also known as spermatogenesis, and ovulation. This might result in infertility, which might be partial or complete, depending on the degree of hypogonadism. Physicians can buy stem cells online that can be used for the treatment of hypogonadism.

Classification Of Hypogonadism

Hypogonadism can be classified based on the source of the problem. They are classified into two parts. These include

  1. Primary hypogonadism: This occurs as a result of a defect of the gonads. Examples of disease that could cause hypogonadism include Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome and so on. In addition, there is some disease that can also lead to the development of hypogonadism. An example is the mumps disease.  Mumps disease causes testicular failure. Varicocele is another disease that also affects hormonal production by the testes.
  2. Secondary hypogonadism: This occurs as a result of an impairment in the hypothalamus, and also in the pituitary gland. Secondary hypogonadism is also known as central hypogonadism. An example of hypogonadism that occurs as a result of the lack of hormone response is androgen insensitivity syndrome. This is a condition where there are insufficient receptors to bind to the receptors. This eventually leads to different clinical phenotypes of sexual features, despite XY chromosomes. Secondary hypogonadism lies outside the gonad. There are some diseases that can also cause secondary hypogonadism. These are hemochromatosis and diabetes mellitus

Hypogonadism can also be classified into two other types. These are;

  1. Congenital: This is the type of hypogonadism that occurs as a result of congenital diseases. Examples of this include conditions like Nooman syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome and so on.
  2. Acquired: Some of the examples of acquired hypogonadism include conditions like mumps disease, traumatic brain injury, hemochromatosis, anabolic steroid-induced hypogonadism, opioid-induced androgen deficiency. In addition, there are some medications that can also lead to hypogonadism. Examples of the drugs include codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine and so on.

 

                               Hormones Versus Fertility

Hypogonadism can either affect hormone production or the fertility. However, it involves the two in most cases. Examples of the condition in which

  • hypogonadism affects hormone production more than fertility include hypopituitarism and Kallman syndrome. Fertility is reduced in these two conditions until the hormones are replaced. This is done through the process called hormone replacement.
  • Examples of hypogonadism in which fertility is affected more than hormone production include congenital diseases such as Klinefelter syndrome and Kartagener syndrome.

                What Are The Causes Of Hypogonadism?

  1. Klinefelter syndrome: This is a congenital disease of the sex chromosomes. X and Y. A male should normally have one X and one Y chromosome, however, in Klinefelter syndrome, the individual would have 2 X chromosomes, in addition to a Y chromosome. The Y chromosome contains the genes that would determine the gender of the child, and also control the sexual development. The extra X chromosome in Klinefelter syndrome would lead to an abnormal development of the testes, which would eventually lead to an abnormal and inadequate production of testosterone in the child.
  2. Infection: One of the diseases that could lead to hypogonadism is mumps. Mumps infection usually affects the testes, salivary gland, especially during childhood. This can also occur in adults. One of the complications of mumps infection is that it affects the functions of the testes, eventually leading to low testosterone production.
  3. Hemochromatosis: This is a condition in which there is a lot of iron in the blood serum. This also affects the gonads and might result in the production of sexual hormones. In females, this may lead to a low production of estrogen, and low production of testosterone in
  4. Undescended testicles: This occurs in males, and it’s a condition in which the testicles fail to move down to the scrotum, but remains in the abdomen. Sometimes, this might affect just one testicle, and it might also affect the two testicles. This condition usually resolves by itself within the first years of life, however, there are cases when it doesn’t resolve. This would lead to the low production of testosterone.
  5. Traumatic brain injury: Traumatic brain injury can also lead to hypogonadism, especially when it happens in childhood.
  6. Medications: There are some medications that can also lead to hypogonadism. Examples of the drugs include codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine and so on.
  7. Age: Age is a factor that plays a part in the development of hypogonadism. Older adults tend to have a low production of sex hormones. This includes both the male and female sex hormones.

 

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypogonadism?

  1. Delayed puberty: People affected by hypogonadism tend to start puberty later than normal.
  2. Infertility: People affected by hypogonadism do present with infertility. This can be either partial or complete infertility, depending on the severity of the hypogonadism.
  3. Abnormal social behaviors: People who are affected by hypogonadism usually behave in a different way, as compared to people with normal functioning gonads. Sex hormones do play a role in the sexual development of people and are largely a determinant in how one behaves.

How Is Hypogonadism Currently Treated?

  1. One of the prevalent ways of treating hypogonadism is to do hormone replacement. This can be by transdermal, or by using patches or drugs in the form of pills.
  2. Clomifene can be used by both male and females. This drug is capable of stimulating the natural production of sex hormones.

               Stem Cell Therapy And Hypogonadism

Scientists have used stem cells to increase the level of testosterone back to normal, in people males affected by hypogonadism. This was done by transforming adult skin cells to develop Leydig cells of the testes, which produces testosterone. It’s been suggested that with further researches and studies, stem therapy would be a more effective way of treating hypogonadism, in both males and females.

 

References

Chang, S., Skakkebæk, A. and Højbjerg Gravholt, C. (2015). Klinefelter Syndrome and medical treatment: hypogonadism and beyond. HORMONES.

Han, T. and Bouloux, P. (2009). What is the optimal therapy for young males with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism?. Clinical Endocrinology, 72(6), pp.731-737.

MULLIGAN, T., FRICK, M., ZURAW, Q., STEMHAGEN, A. and MCWHIRTER, C. (2008). Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 60(7), pp.762-769.

Raivio, T. (2013). Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism. Endocrine Abstracts.