Hypergonadism is a condition in which your gonads overproduce hormones. Gonads are your reproductive glands. In men, gonads are the testes. In women, they’re the ovaries. As a result of hypergonadism, you can end up with higher-than-normal levels of testosterone and estrogen.

Causes of Hypergonadism

There are several health conditions that are known to cause hypergonadism. Some of them include:

  • Tumors (benign or malignant) in the ovaries or testes

  • Liver or kidney disease

  • Severe infections

  • Surgery

  • Some autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Addison’s disease

  • Genetic hormonal abnormality

  • Injury (lesion) to the pituitary gland, genital glands, pineal glands, adrenal glands, or endocrine glands

  • Encephalitis

Symptoms of Hypergonadism

Some symptoms of hypergonadism and precocious puberty are unique to each sex.

In girls, hypergonadism can cause:

  • Early and irregular menstrual cycles

  • Early breast development

  • Coarse body hair

In boys, hypergonadism can cause:

  • More muscle mass

  • Increased sex drive

  • Spontaneous erections and nocturnal emissions

Diagnosis of Hypergonadism

  • If hypergonadism is suspected, your doctor may order a blood test to see if hormone levels are unusually elevated.

  • Additional tests might include a pelvic ultrasound to get a more detailed view of the adrenal glands and other parts, such as the ovaries (for women).

  • Brain imaging may be done to look for tumors of the pituitary gland.

Complications of Hypergonadism

  • Aside from acne and other physical changes, such as facial hair on women and more breast tissue in men, hypergonadism can cause some more serious complications.

  • Hypergonadism can interfere with regular menstrual cycles.

  • That can make it difficult for women to become pregnant.

  • Men may also have fertility challenges, especially if their hypogonadism was caused by anabolic steroid use.

  • Anabolic steroids can affect testicular health, including reducing the production of sperm.

  • Generally, the complications associated with hypergonadism are related to the underlying cause.

  • Treating the cause may help reduce symptoms and complications brought on by hypergonadism.

Treatment of Hypergonadism

  • Treating hypergonadism is difficult. The goal is to reduce hormone levels, which is more difficult than trying to increase hormone levels.

  • The hormonal treatments that are administered for hypergonadism include a combination of hormones tailored to your particular levels.

  • This can be a slow process. It may take some time to find the right mix of hormones at the right dosages.

  • If a specific cause can be diagnosed, then treatment will also focus on caring for that condition.

  • If a gland has a tumor, for instance, it may be necessary to surgically remove the tumor.

  • If the cause is severe underactive thyroid, you may be prescribed strong doses of thyroid medication to help restore healthier body chemistry.

diseases treatments health disorders hypergonadism prevention reproductive-system

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