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Hypogonadism is a condition that causes decreased function of the gonads, which are the testes in males and the ovaries in females, and decreased production of sex hormones. You may be born with the condition or it can develop later in life from injury or infection. Some types of hypogonadism can be treated with hormone replacement therapy.

There are two forms of the condition – primary hypogonadism resulting from problems of the testis or ovary and central hypogonadism caused by problems with the pituitary or hypothalamic glands. Central hypogonadism leads to decreased levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormones (FSH), released by the pituitary gland.

The condition may have genetic, menopausal, autoimmune and viral causes, or may develop after cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Fasting, weight loss, stress and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia can also cause the condition.

Our Approach to Hypogonadism

UCSF is an international leader in endocrinology care. Our team provides comprehensive consultations, evaluations and treatments for a wide range of hormone disorders, such as hypogonadism.

In men and premenopausal women, we can usually treat hypogonadism successfully with hormone replacement therapy. We may also use hormonal treatments to restore fertility.

Pituitary tumors cause some cases of hypogonadism, and treatment involves removing the tumor. UCSF surgeons pioneered a minimally invasive procedure to remove pituitary tumors, called the transsphenoidal approach, which is safer than traditional surgery and leaves no scars. UCSF has more experience with this procedure than any other program in the nation and has a record of excellent outcomes.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-diabetes-and-endocrinology

    Best in Northern California for diabetes care & endocrinology

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.