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Hypogonadism occurs when the body's sex glands produce little or no hormones. In men, these glands (gonads) are the testes. In women, these glands are the ovaries.
The cause of hypogonadism is primary or central. In primary hypogonadism, the ovaries or testes themselves do not function properly.
Causes of primary hypogonadism include:
The most common genetic disorders that cause primary hypogonadism are Turner syndrome (in women) and Klinefelter syndrome (in men).
In central hypogonadism, the centers in the brain that control the gonads (hypothalamus and pituitary) do not function properly. Causes of central hypogonadism include:
A genetic cause of central hypogonadism that also takes away the sense of smell is Kallmann syndrome in males. The most common tumors affecting the pituitary are craniopharyngioma in children and prolactinoma in adults.