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Types, Causes and Symptoms of Female Hypogonadism

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ajay Kumar Gupta 88% (187 ratings)
MBBS
Sexologist, Jaipur  •  37 years experience
Types, Causes and Symptoms of Female Hypogonadism

Hypogonadism in females occurs when your sex glands produce little or no sex hormones.The sex glands, also called gonads that are responsible for ovary formation in females, breast enlargement and in menstrual cycle.

What Are the Types of Female Hypogonadism?
There two types of hypogonadism are primary and central hypogonadism.

Primary Hypogonadism: Primary hypogonadism means that you don't have enough sex hormones in your body due to a problem in your gonads. Your gonads are still receiving the message to produce hormones from your brain, but they aren't able to produce them.

Central Hypogonadism or Secondary Hypogonadism: In central hypogonadism, the problem lies in your brain. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland in your brain, which control your gonads, aren't working properly.

Causes of Primary Hypogonadism:

  1. Autoimmune disorders, such as Addison's disease and hypoparathyroidism
  2. Genetic disorders, such as Turner syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome
  3. Severe infections
  4. Liver and kidney diseases
  5. Hemochromatosis, which happens when your body absorbs too much iron
  6. Radiation exposure
  7. Surgery of your sex organs

Causes of Central or Secondary Hypogonadism include:

  1. Genetic disorders, such as Kallmann syndrome (abnormal hypothalamic development)
  2. Infections, including HIV and AIDS
  3. Pituitary disorders
  4. Inflammatory diseases including sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, and histiocytosis
  5. Obesity
  6. Rapid weight loss
  7. Nutritional deficiencies
  8. Use of steroids or opiates (especially long-term usage)
  9. Brain surgery
  10. Radiation exposure
  11. Injury to your pituitary gland or hypothalamus
  12. A tumor in or near your pituitary gland

Symptoms that May Affect Females Include:

  1. Lack of menstruation
  2. Slow or absent breast growth
  3. Hot flashes
  4. Loss of body hair
  5. Low or absent sex drive
  6. Milky discharge from your breasts

Treatment for Hypogonadism in Women: Your treatment will involve increasing the amount of female sex hormones in your body. Your first line of treatment will probably be estrogen therapy if you've had a hysterectomy. Either a patch or pill can administer the supplemental estrogen hormone. Estrogen must be balanced with progesterone, because taking estrogen alone leads to a dangerous build up of the lining of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia) that can lead to cancer of the uterus. Low-dose testosterone may be added for women with hypogonadism who have a low sex drive. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

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