Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism also known as central or secondary hypogonadism is a hormonal deficiency characterized by inadequate secretion of gonadotropic hormones such as follicle stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones by the pituitary gland. Secondary male hypogonadism may cause androgenic deficiencies in men which may result in poor growth and development of secondary sexual characteristics.
Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism may be classified as either primary (isolated) or secondary hypogonadism depending on the underlying causes and clinical symptoms presented.
Primary hypogonadism is caused by problems arising from testis and ovaries while secondary hypogonadism has different causes such as brain or pituitary tumor, head trauma, hypothalamus injury, certain medications, syndromes and systemic diseases (there are diseases that affect a wide array of body organs and tissues).
In idiopathic clinical presentations of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, congenital disorders have been indicated to be main cause of such. Examples of such congenital disorders are KallMann syndrome,CHARGE syndrome and Gonadotropin-releasing hormone insensitivity (GnRH).
There are varieties of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism treatment such as hormonal replacement therapies(testosterone supplements in men and estrogen pills in women) and treatment of underlying causes as in cases of pituitary/brain tumors.
Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism symptoms
The following are physical manifestations of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism:
1. Testicular and ovarian insufficiencies
Hormonal insufficiency is a clinical representation of testicular and ovarian insufficiencies such that testosterone and estrogen production is affected such that secondary sexual characteristics are impacted negatively, with clinical manifestation of bone mass and density reduction and vaginal dryness in women especially women in their menopausal stage.
2. Abnormalities in formation of genitalia
Another instance of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism symptoms in newborns and pubescent boys is that growth of genitals may be drasticallyaffected; absence of body hair and enlarged breast may also be seen in them.
3. Infertility and erectile dysfunctions
Men may have erectile dysfunction as well inability to produce motile sperm which may lead to prolonged infertility. This may also lead to low sex drive and depressed libido.
4. Poor bone mass and density
Osteoporosis is also common in patients diagnosed with prolonged secondary hypogonadism. Insufficient absorption of calcium from foods may cause poor bone mass with manifestations of arthritis.
5. Early menopause menstrual irregularities
This is common in women, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone insufficiencies may lead to poor menstrual flow, blood spotting in between periods. This may also lead to vaginal dryness thus causing painful coitus.
6. Low sex drive
This affects both men and women; low testosterone causes poor libido and poor sex drive.
The following are hypogonadotropic hypogonadism treatments:
1. Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)
Testosterone and estrogen supplements do help to restore sexual vitality, promote genitalia development as well as growth of pubic hair. It may also cause improvement of muscle mass. Testosterone supplements and pills have been in use to treat low sex drive in older men whose testosterone production has been experiencing a nose-dive over time. However, there are several risks and side-effects associated with HRTs as it may cause liver problems,hypercholesterolemia, edema, water retention and sleep apnea in men undergoing testosterone therapy.
Your health care provider are in the best position to determine when to take injections for this cause, they also help and they work faster.
3. Testosterone patch and pills
Another secondary hypogonadism treatment is testosterone patches which may be applied either dermal(as skin patch) or orally such that testosterone is released gently over time. If it’s a skin patch, it may rotated from one side of the body to another during the nights and for oral patches which are like tablet gum; they are not advisable to be chewed or swallowed, but may be swapped to the other sides. Long-term usage of pills may have side-effects such as cardiovascular problems and cholesterol buildup, so use it gently and consult with your doctor before embarking on one.
Gels containing hormones may also be rubbed on the skin, but you must avoid bathing so it can have maximum effect while it is being absorbed into the body.