Male hypogonadism: symptoms, cause, treatment, risk …

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on October 25th, 2018
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Male Hypogonadism

What is Male Hypogonadism?

Male hypogonadism is the inability of the testicles to produce testosterone, sperm or both.

Male hypogonadism also is called testosterone deficiency.

What are Testicles?

Testicles are external genital organs that are part of the male reproductive system. These two oval-shaped organs reside in a pouch of skin that hangs below the abdomen and behind the penis. The skin of pouch that contains the testicles is called the scrotum. In addition to producing the sperm cells that are necessary for reproduction, the testicles secrete the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone plays an important role in the development and maintenance of typical masculine physical characteristics.

During fetal development, testosterone is necessary to form male genital organs. During puberty, testosterone is essential for the development of secondary sexual characteristics, such as facial hair, greater muscle mass and a deeper voice. In adult males, testosterone maintains muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, bone mass, sperm production, sex drive and potency.

Testicles are also called testes.

Symptoms of Male Hypogonadism

There are many different symptoms of male hypogonadism. The symptoms depend on the stage of life at which they occur. Symptoms during fetal development will differ from symptoms during puberty and adulthood.

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