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Conditions: Low Testosterone

Overview - Low Testosterone

What is hypogonadism and the role of Testosterone?

Hypogonadism refers to reduced or absent secretion of testosterone. Testosterone is produced primarily by the testes. Testosterone plays an important role in the development and maintenance of many male physical characteristics such as sex drive, sperm production, muscle mass and strength, fat distribution and bone mass.

In primary hypogonadism, the testes themselves do not function properly. Secondary hypogonadism occurs if there are problems in the brain, (hypothalamus or pituitary gland), both of which play important roles in controlling the sex glands.

As a man ages, it is normal for testosterone levels to gradually decline. In America, approximately 2 million to 4 million American men have hypogonadism, but only about five percent currently receive treatment. In 2003, a large VA center survey suggests that the prevalence of men presenting with impaired libido and erectile dysfunction due to low testosterone may actually be much larger than previously thought.

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