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Disorders of male reproduction and male hypogonadism 

Disorders of male reproduction and male hypogonadism
Chapter:
Disorders of male reproduction and male hypogonadism
Author(s):

P.-M.G. Bouloux

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0252
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date: 25 February 2021

The adult testis performs two principle functions: the synthesis and secretion of androgens, and the production of male germ cells, the spermatozoa. Testosterone is essential for male sexual differentiation, growth, and function of the male genital tract, secondary sexual characteristics, sexual potency, and production of spermatozoa. Hypogonadism may be due to disorders of the pituitary/hypothalamus (secondary or hypogonadotropic hypogonadism) or testes (primary or hypergonadotropic hypogonadism). Its symptoms and signs depend on the age of onset of androgen deficiency. Prepubertal presentation is with sexual infantilism, delayed puberty, and eunuchoidal body proportions. Male infertility may affect 5% of men of reproductive age and is caused by a heterogeneous group of disorders. The commonest cause (60% of cases) is ‘idiopathic’ azoo/oligozoospermia, although many cases are now recognized as due to discrete gene defects associated with impaired spermatogenesis. Other causes include cryptorchidism, testicular tumours, genital tract infection, obstructive azoospermia, and sperm autoimmunity.

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