Low testosterone signals towards a medical condition named hypogonadism in males. It is defined by the deficient production of testosterone and sperms due to either underactive male sex gonads i.e. testes or underactive pituitary gland or hypothalamus. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus regulate the secretion of testosterone by the testes through the production of hormones stimulating the gonads. Low testosterone causes symptoms like delayed puberty, impaired development of masculine features diminished sex drive, infertility, and erectile dysfunctions.
Do Urologists Treat Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone problem can be treated by testosterone replacement therapy by your urologists and endocrinologists. A urologist and endocrinologist can treat the condition of low testosterone or hypogonadism. Urologist is a specialist in dealing with the problems related to male sex organs. Urologist will provide you with primary care. Urologist may require the help of an endocrinologist if there is fertility issue in the specific cases. An endocrinologist is an expert who can tackle the hormonal imbalances in both males and females.
Testosterone is a male hormone whose levels determine the masculine characteristics in a man. Its main action is to stimulate the production of sperms and sex drive in males. It also helps in the building of muscular and bony mass of a man. Its normal range in healthy man is 300-1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). If its level drops lower than 300 ng/dl, then the condition is termed as hypogonadism. A blood test is useful to determine the levels of testosterone circulating in the blood.
The production of testosterone reduces with the age usually after 30 years of age. After the age of 60 years, 2 out of 10 men have a low level of testosterone.
Low Testosterone Causes
Low testosterone is of two types- primary or secondary hypogonadism. Primary hypogonadism is the underactive testes that cannot produce a sufficient amount of testosterone for normal sexual functions or development of sex organs. It includes inherited causes like Klinefelter syndrome, undescended testes, infection like mumps, direct injury, hemochromatosis, autoimmune diseases like Addison disease, liver or kidney disease and exposure to radiation.
Secondary hypogonadism is determined by underactive pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which is unable to produce hormones that can stimulate testes to secrete testosterone. Its causes are malnutrition, toxins, stress, systemic illness, pituitary, and hypothalamic disorders, aging, obesity, HIV infection and side effects of some medicines.
The symptoms of low testosterone are-
Disturbed development of sexual organs
- Abnormal breast development
- Lack of body hair
- Loss of muscle or bone mass
- Underdeveloped male gonads
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lack of sex drive or libido
Low Testosterone Complications
Low Testosterone Diagnosis
Low testosterone can be diagnosed by the blood test that determines the levels of testosterone in the blood. Your physician will perform your physical examination to assess the proper growth of the sexual organs and your body according to your age. Physician may ask you for other tests such as semen analysis, hormone testing, pituitary imaging, testicular biopsy, and genetic studies to detect the exact cause of low levels of testosterone to plan for treatment.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is used to manage low testosterone. It is prescribed in the form of lozenge, gel or patches or injection. It is avoided in the form of pills as the pills can cause side effects like stomach upset.
Low testosterone or male hypogonadism presents the diminished functioning of male sex organs, feminine features like developed breasts and diminished masculine characteristics like lack of muscle mass. Testosterone replacement therapy can treat male hypogonadism prescribed in the form of gels, injections or patches. Urologists can treat this condition who is an expert in male sex organs with the help of an endocrinologist.
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