Testicular failure is also called as male hypogonadism by some experts. However, some others believe that they are not synonyms of each other and testicular failure is a cause of male hypogonadism.
Testicular failure is a disorder in which the required amount of testosterone or sperm, or both of these, is not produce din the body. Testosterone is required for normal development of male sexual characteristics.
Testicular failure can be classified in two types. It can be primary or secondary type of testicular failure.
Primary Testicular Failure- in primary testicular failure type, the problem lies in the testicles itself.
Secondary Testicular Failure- in this type, the problem lies in the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus. These are the areas of the brain which are responsible for sending signals to the testicles for producing testosterone. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland work together to send signals to the testicles for the release of the testosterone. If this function of the hypothalamus or the pituitary is compromised, then it may result in secondary testicular failure.
Testicular failure is a disorder where testicles are affected with underproduction of testosterone, a hormone that is very essential for the normal growth and development of male sexual characters. The reduction in levels of this hormone can cause various health problems like osteoporosis and infertility, and some other problems like lack of concentration and loss of sex drive and also a general feeling of being unwell. Most forms of testicular failure cannot be cured. However, hormone replacement therapy can revert the symptoms to normal in most cases.
Can Primary Testicular Failure Be Cured?
Most of the forms of testicular failure cannot be reverted back to normal which includes primary testicular failure. In some cases, symptoms can be reversed with the help of testosterone replacement therapy. However, this does not cause any positive effect on issues regarding fertility.
Also, the treatment and the cure largely depend on the cause of the testosterone failure and the age at which it is diagnosed. Let us have a look at the causes of primary testicular failure.
Both the types of testicular failure can be either inherited or may happen afterwards, like due to reason of injury, infection etc. sometimes, both types can be seen together.
Causes of primary testicular failure are-
Genetic Abnormality- some genetic condition like Kinefelter syndrome may be a cause of primary testicular failure. In this syndrome, there is an extra x chromosome present along with one x and one y chromosome. Due to this extra x chromosome, the testicles may develop abnormally, which may cause reduction in making of testosterone.
Undescended Testicles- the testicles develop in the abdomen before birth. Then they move into the scrotum where they are supposed to stay permanently. If this does not happen and the testicles fail to descend, there may be a compromise in the production of testosterone.
Mumps Infection – if mumps infection involves the testicles along with the salivary glands and if this infection occurs in adolescence or even after reaching adulthood, it may cause a serious damage to the testicles. This will then affect the testosterone production.
Injury – testicles are situated outside of the abdomen. They are generally more exposed to injuries. if an injury happens to the otherwise normal testicles, their functioning may get hampered resulting in underproduction of testosterone. If one of the two testicles are damaged, it may not lead to complete testosterone deficiency though.
Hemochromatosis- this is a condition named for the presence of too much iron in the blood.
Cancer- if one is undergoing any treatment for other type of cancer, the treatment can compromise the testosterone production. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy both may affect the testosterone production. Though the effect of these treatments may not be permanent, however, permanent infertility can still occur. It is advisable to think about sperm freezing before starting on any chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
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