Page ContentHypogonadism/Low TKelsey-Seybold urologists provide specialized care for men with low testosterone, or hypogonadism. Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough testosterone, which is the hormone that is key during puberty to develop adult male physical features, such as muscle strength and mass, facial and body hair, voice and sex drive. Testosterone is also needed to produce sperm. When men have low levels of testosterone, it’s called hypogonadism or “Low T.” While testosterone levels naturally decrease with age, hypogonadism can be present at birth, or it may develop later in life, due to illness or infection. There are two types of hypogonadism: primary and secondary. Primary originates from a problem with the testicles themselves, while secondary develops due to a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.Symptoms Can VarySigns and symptoms of hypogonadism are typically present at puberty for those who were born with it. When it occurs later in life, symptoms are usually most apparent after age 40. When present at puberty, symptoms include:Decreased development of muscle massNo deepening of the voiceImpaired growth of body hairImpaired growth of the penis and testiclesExcessive growth of the arms and legs in relation to the rest of the bodyDevelopment of breast tissue When Low T develops due to aging or illness/injury, symptoms include:Lower sex driveWeaker and infrequent erectionsIncrease in body fatLower energyReduced muscle massFeeling depressedAnemia (low iron)Loss of bone calcium Common Causes of Low TestosteroneWhen present at birth, hypogonadism is most often the result of an inherited trait or congenital abnormality. Later in life, certain conditions and health problems can contribute to hypogonadism, or Low T. Some of these are:High blood pressureHigh cholesterolDiabetesBeing overweightHIV/AIDSLong-term opioid useDiagnosis and TreatmentLow testosterone is typically diagnosed with a blood test. In general, a diagnosis of low testosterone is made if your hormone level is below 300 ng/dL. A PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test may also be performed to check for signs of prostate cancer. Most men with hypogonadism or Low T undergo Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).This can involve:Skin gel - most common; rubbed onto shoulders and upper armsInjections - typically administered in a doctor’s officeLong-acting pellets - implanted under the skin to slowly release testosteronePatches - prescription transdermal patch that allows testosterone to enter the bloodstream through the skinPills - not yet approved for use in the United StatesSide effects of all types of TRT may include:AcneBreast swelling or sorenessHigh red blood cell countSwelling of the feet or anklesSmaller testiclesInfertility If you were born with hypogonadism or suspect you may have developed low testosterone, the urology specialists and at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston can administer necessary diagnostic tests, discuss the benefits and risks of TRT, and monitor your progress throughout treatment.