Testicular Disorders and Infertility: Hypogonadism


Hypogonadism which is defined as low testosterone level in body is characterised by presence of low serum testosterone level (< 300 ng/dL) that is normally associated with one or more clinical symptoms. Records have indicated that in America, around 1 in 18 men are affected by testosterone deficiency who are ranging from 30-79 of age which is found to increase to 1 in 8 with age ( 60-79 years). Whereas about 1 in 200 Australian men are found to show low testosterone in blood serum, many of which are not recorded as all cases are not diagnosed.

Testosterone is a key male sex hormone, very essential for development of body growth and masculine characteristics in men. Testosterone’s main function is to promote proper development and functioning of primary reproductive tissues in man’s body such as testis, prostate, seminal vesicles, epididymis and penis. It also promotes man’s sex drive (libido) and other development of sexual characteristics e.g. body and facial hair growth, growth of testes and man’s genital organs. This hormone also helps in development of healthy growth of bone and muscle tissues in men. As testosterone hormone plays key role in overall development of men health, its deficiency can lead to various mild and chronic health related problems in men which are discussed in below section in detail.

Recent studies have shown the level of testosterone in body decreases slowly in body with aging. But the rate varies from men to men. It is observed that unlike in women, where there is rapid decline in hormone level which occurs during their menopause phase, in men experience slow and continuous decline in their sex hormone.

Deceasing of sex hormone, testosterone in men is natural with aging process. But there are number of other causes which leads to symptoms of hypogonadism such as injury to testicles, chemotherapy, obesity, stress and various syndromes like Klinefelter’s Syndrome, mumps orchitis, pituitary and inflammatory disorders.

Although testosterone is known as sex hormone and majorly plays critical role in determining sexual characteristics of men, hypogonadism syndrome in men leads to both sexual and nonsexual symptoms and health related problems. Sexual problems include lack of desire for sex (low libido), erectile dysfunction (poor erection function, weaker or fewer erections) and decreased in overall sexual activity.

Non-sexual symptoms include increase in body weight and fat content, tiredness and lack of energy level, reduced muscle mass and mood swings and depression.

Researches have proved that there are number of metabolic disorders that are found to be associated with low testosterone level in body.

One of the major problems related with testosterone deficiency is that it affects directly the sexual functions in men such as sexual desire and sexual performance. The sexual problems associated with low testosterone level in men are reduced desire for sex, low sperm production, fewer erection or erections that happen spontaneously, especially while sleeping, erectile dysfunction, and in extreme situation can lead to infertility problems.

Therefore testosterone products are approved by FDA for use in those men who lacks or have low testosterone levels associated with certain medical condition which include symptoms like decrease in production of testosterone by testicle because of various reasons. 



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