Your doctor will conduct a physical exam during which he or she will note whether your sexual development, such as your pubic hair, muscle mass and size of your testes, is consistent with your age. Your doctor may test your blood level of testosterone if you have any of the signs or symptoms of hypogonadism.
Early detection in boys can help prevent problems from delayed puberty. Early diagnosis and treatment in men offer better protection against osteoporosis and other related conditions.
Doctors base a diagnosis of hypogonadism on symptoms and results of blood tests that measure testosterone levels. Because testosterone levels vary and are generally highest in the morning, blood testing is usually done early in the day, near 8 a.m.
If tests confirm you have low testosterone, further testing can determine if a testicular disorder or a pituitary abnormality is the cause. Based on specific signs and symptoms, additional studies can pinpoint the cause. These studies may include:
- Hormone testing
- Semen analysis
- Pituitary imaging
- Genetic studies
- Testicular biopsy
Testosterone testing also plays an important role in managing hypogonadism. This helps your doctor determine the right dosage of medication, both initially and over time.
Jan. 02, 2014
- Snyder PJ. Clinical features and diagnosis of male hypogonadism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Anawalt BD, et al. Performance of total testosterone measurement to predict free testosterone for the biochemical evaluation of male hypogonadism. The Journal of Urology. 2012;187:1369.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Snyder PJ. Causes of primary of hypogonadism in males. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Snyder PJ. Causes of secondary hypogonadism in males. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Grinspon RP, et al. New perspectives in the diagnosis of pediatric male hypogonadism: The importance of AMH as a sertoli cell marker. Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia. 2011;55:512.
- Pantalone KM, et al. Male hypogonadism: More than just a low testosterone. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2012;79:717.
- Snyder PJ. Testosterone treatment of male hypogonadism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Dietary Reference Intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Institute of Medicine. http://www.iom.edu/vitamind. Accessed July 31, 2013.
- Testosterone therapy in adult men with androgen deficiency syndromes. Chevy Chase, Md.: The Endocrine Society. http://www.endo-society.org/guidelines/Current-Clinical-Practice-Guidelines.cfm. Accessed July 31, 2013.