Both men and women can suffer from a condition called Hypogonadism, a gonadal deficiency wherein the sex glands produce few to no hormones. Tests for Hypogonadism can be conducted in the testes in men and the ovaries in women.

There are two kinds of Hypogonadism. The first is called Primary Hypogonadism, which results from low testosterone levels and above average FSH and LH levels. This gonadal deficiency may develop at birth or later in life.

In Primary Hypogonadism, the ovaries or testes do not function properly, resulting from an autoimmune disorder, developmental or genetic disorders, an infection, surgery, radiation, or liver or kidney disease. The most common genetic disorders that lead to Primary Hypogonadism are Turner syndrome and Klinefelter Syndrome.

The second form of Hypogonadism is called Central Hypogonadism, which results from the malfunction of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which control the gonads. Some causes for this malfunction may be bleeding, medication, genetic problems, tumours, trauma, weight loss, too much iron, infection, or nutritional deficiency.

Both men and women can suffer complications from Hypogonadism, such as infertility, impotence, weakness, and osteoporosis. They may have complications with the growth and development of the sex organs, including the maturation of the prostate, seminal vesicles, and penis. Hair distribution, including facial and body hair, will be affected, along with a change in body musculature and fat distribution. Women and men will likely experience mood depression, a decrease in sexual desire, and a loss of energy.

Symptoms of Hypogonadism may include breast discharge, gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men), and women in particular may develop ovarian suppression, which will cause their periods to become irregular or to cease altogether. Women may also experience vaginal dryness and breast atrophy, which is the loss of breast tissue.

The best way to prevent Hypogonadism is to maintain a normal body weight and practice healthy eating habits.

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