Detecting hypogonadism early can be difficult, dependent upon the levels of testosterone in the body and other presenting factors. In many cases the syndrome is discovered in early adolescence, and proper treatment during puberty can result in limiting the long-term effects. But often hypogonadism is not discovered until a couple has difficulty conceiving children.
There are limited treatment options for adult hypogonadism caused by testicular failure, though there are methods to help couples conceive. The standard treatment in this case is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), specifically Testosterone Replacement Therapy. If the cause is pituitary in nature, stimulating the pituitary gland is sometimes successful in restoring function.
If HRT is indicated, the methods of supplementing testosterone are offered in a variety of dosage routes, including:
- Testosterone injections
- Testosterone gels
- Surgical pellet implantation
Each of these methods carries its own benefits and drawbacks. Gels can usually be self-applied, while pellet implantation requires no daily upkeep for people who may be unable to make it to the clinic regularly and are unable or unwilling to apply the gel for themselves.
Unfortunately, HRT is not without significant side effects, and a person receiving these therapies must be closely monitored. The major risks of this form of supplementation are heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism. Any of these can result in death or serious disability. Patients undergoing these treatments must be educated about the early warning signs of each, and should be encouraged to seek emergency treatment quickly if those warning signs occur.
Ultimately all forms of HRT carry risk, and physicians must properly monitor those risks. If you or someone you love suffered an adverse condition after receiving hormone therapy, and you suspect the hormones may have played a role, please consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case.