Hormone Deficiency

Male hormone deficiency, also known as androgen deficiency, is when there is a decrease in the levels of male sex hormones needed for optimal health. The functions of the male sex hormones include:

  • Development and maturation of the male sex organs
  • Growth of facial and body hair
  • Voice changes
  • Increasing muscle mass and bone density

Symptoms

Features of hormonal deficiency in men include:

  • Reduced sexual desire
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Increased body fat
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Loss of bone density
  • Hair loss
  • Gynecomastia
  • Depression

Causes

  • Age: There is a normal reduction of male hormone production from the age of 30 onwards.
  • Testicular Abnormalities: Injury or medical conditions such as genetic disorders or mumps
  • Pituitary Gland Abnormalities: Benign tumors such as adenomas
  • Hypothalamus Abnormalities: Such as congenital abnormalities

Diagnosis

Hormonal deficiency can be identified by discussing your symptoms or problems related to sexual function with your doctor and undergoing a complete physical examination, blood tests, semen analysis, and other specific tests such as genetic tests or MRI scanning.

Treatment

Treatment for hormone deficiency is usually testosterone replacement therapy. The testosterone may be administered as injections, capsules, tablets, gels, lotions, or creams. If a pituitary gland abnormality has been detected, gonadotrophin injections may be administered to stimulate testosterone and sperm production. Possible candidates for testosterone replacement should undergo a prostate examination to rule out undiagnosed prostate cancer.