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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about hypogonadism?

Hypogonadism is a syndrome that is also called androgen deficiency. When you have hypogonadism, your body does not make enough testosterone.

What increases my risk for hypogonadism?

  • Genetics and older age
  • Pituitary and testicular tumors and conditions
  • Medicines and drug abuse
  • Cancer, HIV, and diabetes
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Kidney, liver, heart, and lung diseases
  • Obesity and malnutrition
  • Acute illness such as the mumps

What are the signs and symptoms of hypogonadism?

  • Decrease in the number of times you have an erection
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased libido
  • Testes that are small or getting smaller
  • Decreased pubic hair
  • Increased sweating and hot flashes
  • Increase in breast size and body fat
  • Decrease in muscle mass and physical activity tolerance

How is hypogonadism diagnosed?

Tell your healthcare provider when your symptoms started. You may need blood tests to measure the level of testosterone or other hormones in your body. You may need an MRI of your head and neck. The MRI may show if there is a problem with your pituitary gland. Your pituitary gland controls the hormones in your body. You may be given contrast liquid to help the organs show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

How is hypogonadism treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your hypogonadism. You may need any of the following:

  • Medicines may be needed to replace the testosterone hormone in your body. Your healthcare provider may also tell you to stop taking certain medicines.
  • Surgery or radiation therapy may help correct a problem with the pituitary gland.

When should I call my doctor?

  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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