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Understanding What Causes Low Testosterone in Men

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Written by- Julian Carter

Low testosterone is also known as Male Hypogonadism.

It is a medical condition in which a man’s testicles can’t produce enough testosterone.

Identifying what causes low testosterone in men may help understand the condition better.

Let us explore the causes and possible treatment options in detail.

Causes of low testosterone in men

Male Hypogonadism or low testosterone levels is a common condition. The two types of Hypogonadism in men are Primary and Secondary Hypogonadism

Also, Primary and Secondary Hypogonadism have different causes. Let’s understand these causes in detail.

Primary Hypogonadism

Primary Hypogonadism is also known as primary testicular failure or Hypergonadotropic Hypogonadism.

It is a common medical problem in the testicles that stops them from producing enough testosterone.

The common causes of Primary Hypogonadism are:

  • Klinefelter’s Syndrome: It is when a man is born with three chromosomes (X, X, and Y). The extra X chromosome can cause abnormal development of the testicles and may result in low testosterone production.
  • Undescended testicles: It is when the testicles don’t descend from the abdomen before birth. This problem often gets better on its own within the first few years of life. However, this problem may cause testicle issues and low testosterone if not treated early.
  • Mumps orchitis: A mumps infection may damage testicles and lead to low testosterone in men.
Mumps: It is a viral infection that affects the salivary glands. It can also cause inflammation in the testicles.
  • Hemochromatosis: High iron levels in the blood may disturb testosterone production by causing testicular failure or pituitary gland dysfunction.
  • Injury to the Testicles: The testicles have more chances of getting injured as they are present outside the body. Any damage to the testicles may cause hypogonadism. 
  • Cancer treatment: Cancer treatment options like chemotherapy or radiation therapy may disturb testosterone and sperm production. The effects of treatments are often temporary, but there is a high risk of infertility issues. Men may consider preserving sperm before starting cancer therapy.
  • Normal aging: Low testosterone is common with increasing age. A study states that testosterone production starts decreasing in men aged 30 years or more. 

People may experience Primary Hypogonadism because their testicles are either damaged or have been removed.

As a result, their testicles will make little to no testosterone and sperm.

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Secondary Hypogonadism

ObesitySource: tongwoongboot
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Secondary Hypogonadism is the result of a problem with the pituitary or hypothalamus (parts of the brain).

A study states that Secondary Hypogonadism causes low testosterone levels because the Leydig cells are not stimulated enough.

These cells in the testes are responsible for testosterone synthesis. 

The common causes of Secondary Hypogonadism include:

  • Kallmann syndrome: It refers to a bad sense of smell with a hormonal disorder that delays or prevents puberty. The problem is caused by the abnormal development of the hypothalamus and may cause hypogonadism. 
  • Pituitary disorders: Problems in the pituitary gland due to surgery or any other medical reason can harm the release of hormones from the pituitary gland to the testicles. This may affect the normal testosterone production. 
  • Inflammatory disease: Some inflammatory diseases can also affect the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. This may lead to low testosterone production.
  • HIV/AIDS: This can cause low testosterone by affecting the hypothalamus, the testes, and the pituitary.
  • Medications: Research states that the use of certain medicines, like opiate pain medications and some hormones, can affect testosterone production.
  • Obesity: Being overweight may lead to Secondary Hypogonadism. However, one may reverse obesity-related hypogonadism by losing weight.
  • Stress-related Hypogonadism: Stress can increase cortisol levels in men. Increased cortisol levels may lead to low testosterone levels.

Normal aging in men can also cause Secondary Hypogonadism.

Low testosterone can cause fatigue, low libido, and mood changes. 

Treatment option for low testosterone

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Making certain lifestyle changes can help boost testosterone levels naturally.

These changes include getting proper sleep, eating a balanced diet, therapy, and exercising regularly.

However, Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is the main medical treatment option for low testosterone in men. 

TRT treatment options include injections, pellets, patches, gels, and pills.

Research states that low testosterone levels can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.

One can consult a doctor for prescription ED medicines like Viagra, Cialis, and more to help with ED caused due to low testosterone levels.

Always see a doctor before starting any medication or treatment plan.

Explore more about the various low testosterone treatment options. Read our article: A Complete Guide on Low Testosterone Treatment

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Key Takeaways

Low testosterone or Male Hypogonadism is a common problem in which a man’s testicles don’t produce enough testosterone.

Identifying the causes of low testosterone may help effectively treat the problem. But the question is- what causes low testosterone in men?

The two types of hypogonadism in men are primary and secondary hypogonadism.

The causes of Primary Hypogonadism include Cancer treatment, chemotherapy, normal aging, and more.

On the other hand, the causes of Secondary Hypogonadism include HIV/AIDS, medicine interactions, Obesity, and more.

Thus, all of these factors can lead to low testosterone in men.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can low testosterone be prevented?

Yes, one may prevent low testosterone by eating a balanced diet, getting proper sleep, therapy, and regular exercising. Be consistent with a healthy lifestyle to help prevent changes in testosterone levels.

What causes low testosterone in males?

The causes of low testosterone in men include Obesity, testicle injury, problems with some brain glands, medical interactions, and more.

How to increase male testosterone?

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is the most common treatment option to help with low testosterone. It includes pills, injections, creams, and more.

Can natural supplements help with low testosterone?

Yes, some natural supplements that may help with low testosterone are zinc, fenugreek, vitamin B6, Tribulus, magnesium, and more. However, doctors don’t recommend natural supplements due to their limited research and unknown side effects.

Can I take testosterone pills without medical advice?

No, do not take any testosterone medicine without a doctor’s advice. Self-medicating may cause unwanted side effects. Always see a doctor first to discuss your medical history and get a proper diagnosis.

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