5 Signs of Male Hypogonadism

5 Signs of Male Hypogonadism

Your sex hormones, namely testosterone, have some obvious, and not-so-obvious, effects on your overall health and wellness. When you’re not producing normal levels of testosterone, a condition called hypogonadism, the symptoms can show up in many areas of your physical and mental health.

To give you an idea of the extent of the changes you may experience when you have male hypogonadism, the team here at Arizona Urology pulled together some information on five of the more common signs of this condition.

What’s a normal level of testosterone?

When discussing testosterone deficiency, it may be helpful for us to first review where normal levels of testosterone should fall. Testosterone is measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) and the best time to measure these levels is in the morning when your testosterone production is most active.

Under normal circumstances, your output should be between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL — young men should fall between 600 and 900 ng/dL, while elderly men can expect levels to be in the 500-800 range. The reason for the disparity is that men produce 1% less testosterone a year starting in their 30s.

The two types of hypogonadism

It’s also important to understand that there are two types of hypogonadism:

  1. Primary hypogonadism — your testicales aren’t producing enough testosterone
  2. Secondary hypogonadism — testosterone production declines because of faulty brain signaling

While these two types of hypogonadism produce the same symptoms, how we go about treating the issue can be different depending upon the underlying source of your testosterone deficiency.

Five common signs of hypogonadism

As we mentioned, the loss of testosterone can cast a wide net over your physical and mental health, but we’re going to focus on five of the more commonly reported side effects:

1. Changes in sexual function

Whether you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve or maintain an erection long enough for intercourse) or your libido has dropped, changes in sexual function are among the first signs of hypogonadism.

2. Enlarged breasts

Also called gynecomastia, the loss of testosterone can upset the balance of sex hormones in your body, allowing estrogen to have more influence. As a result, you may experience swelling or enlargement of your breast tissue.

3. Infertility

Another common side effect is male infertility because your sperm production and quality is often affected by hypogonadism.

4. Loss of facial and body hair

Testosterone is responsible for your more male characteristics, which includes facial and body hair. If you’re beginning to lose hair around your body, hypogonadism may be to blame.

5. Bone and muscle loss

Hypogonadism can lead to the loss of muscle and bone mass due to the imbalance in your sex hormones.

We’ve listed only physical symptoms above, but the loss of testosterone can also lead to cognitive difficulties and symptoms of depression.

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, your first step is to come see us so that we can evaluate your symptoms and testosterone levels to see if the two are related. To get started, contact one of our locations in Goodyear, Glendale, Gilbert, or Phoenix, Arizona.

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