Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough of the sex hormone testosterone. As many as 5 million men in the United Sates may not produce enough testosterone — the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty.
During fetal development, low testosterone can cause incomplete formation of sex organs. Low testosterone levels before puberty can permanently affect growth and development. After puberty, the development of hypogonadism is more likely to cause temporary problems that may improve with treatment. Some types of hypogonadism can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy.
Male hypogonadism means the testicles don't produce enough of the male sex hormone testosterone. There are two basic types of hypogonadism:
Primary. This type of hypogonadism — also known as primary testicular failure — originates from a problem in the testicles.
Secondary. This type of hypogonadism indicates a problem in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland — parts of the brain that signal the testicles to produce testosterone.
The following bilingual (English and Spanish) patient information
handouts are part of the series, "Hormones and You," prepared
by The Hormone Foundation, the public education affiliate of The
Endocrine Society, which serves as a resource for the public by promoting
the prevention, treatment, and cure of hormone-related conditions.