Another factor that can impair male fertility is known as hypogonadism, a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough testosterone. Hypogonadism can occur at any life stage, from fetal development to late adulthood. There are two types of hypogonadism: primary and secondary. Primary hypogonadism stems from a problem with the testicles. Secondary hypogonadism is caused by a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.
In adult men, symptoms of the disorder can include the following:
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Decreased muscle mass
- Decreased hair growth
- An increase in breast tissue
To check for hypogonadism, doctors will perform a simple blood test to analyze testosterone levels. If testicular malfunction has caused hypogonadism, treatment consists of testosterone supplementation. If the cause originates in the pituitary gland, hormone replacement therapy may help kick-start the body's ability to produce healthy sperm. In both cases, it's possible to reverse the infertility caused by hypogonadism and allow men with the condition to father children.