An Overview of Hypergonadism

It is no surprise that women are more vulnerable to health issues when compared to men. This is because of their genetic and biological structure. One of the main issues that most women complain about will be the hormonal imbalance. At times, women may feel bloated, irritable, depressed, or ecstatic without any reason. In simple words, they may feel like their emotions are not under their control any more. In such cases, their hormones could be at blame.

Hormones can be simply defined as the chemical messengers that aid in the proper functioning of cells as well as the organs of a person. Even though both men and women are equally prone to hormonal imbalance problems, the feminine gender is usually found to be at more risk. In most cases, women suffer from hormonal imbalances during pregnancy, menstruation period, menopause, etc.

The increase or decrease in the amount of hormone level in the body can cause many other disorders as well such as thyroidism, gonadism, PCOD, etc. One of the most prominent issues in that regard, which demands immediate medical attention, is hypergonadism.

What is Hypergonadism?

Hypergonadism is a condition in which the gonads or the reproductive glands of a person tend to produce the hormones in excess. In general, as a result of hypergonadism, the patient may overproduce the male reproductive hormone called testosterone or the female reproductive hormone called estrogen.

On the other hand, hypogonadism is a health condition in which the gonads of a person tend to produce reproductive hormones at an abnormally lower level. Although hypergonadism is rare when compared to hypogonadism, both the disorders can affect fertility, puberty, and other issues associated with the development of sexual organs and reproduction, depending on when the health disorder occurs in the life of the person. Thankfully, both hypogonadism and hypergonadism can be treated with proper medical assistance.

The Symptoms

Depending on the time of occurrence of hypergonadism, it showcases various symptoms. In the case this health issue occurs prior to the puberty period of women, it can cause precocious puberty, which means, “Early and rapid onset of changes related to sexual maturity”. Even though mood swings is one of the major symptoms in this case, it will not be significant enough to cause long-term physical or psychological complications.

Unfortunately, hypergonadism is only one of the many causes that lead to precocious puberty. Hence, it will take a number of tests to find out the real cause. Some of the other health issues that can lead to precocious puberty include genetic disorders, central nervous system abnormalities, tumors in ovaries, hypothyroidism, adrenal gland disorder, etc. Some of the red flags that indicate you are likely suffering from precocious puberty triggered by hypergonadism are given below.

  • Acne
  • Mood swings
  • Early or irregular menstrual cycles
  • Coarse body hair
  • Early breast development
  • Early growth spurts
  • Lower voice

Furthermore, the common symptom that a woman exhibits if hypergonadism is developed after puberty is abnormal facial hair growth. If you encountered most of these symptoms, it is recommended to consult a physician right away so that you can choose an adequate treatment plan.

The Causes

In most cases, the cause for hypergonadism cannot be identified. Such condition is termed as idiopathic hypergonadism. Nevertheless, some of the common health conditions that can lead to hypergonadism are given below.

  • Tumors in ovaries
  • Fatal infections
  • Autoimmune disorders such as Addison’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, etc.
  • Kidney or liver diseases
  • Surgery
  • Genetic hormonal abnormalities
  • Encephalitis
  • Injury to genital glands, pituitary glands, endocrine glands, or adrenal glands

Another major cause for hypergonadism is the usage of anabolic steroids. This is because of the ability of those steroids to produce higher amounts of testosterone and estrogen hormones.

Complications

Hypergonadism can cause many complications in a woman other than acne marks and facial hair growth. Note that one of the major issues related to hypergonadism is its interference with the menstrual cycle. This may make it difficult for a woman to conceive in the future. Usually, the complications from hypergonadism will be related to its underlying cause, and hence, it can be alleviated with proper treatment and care.

The Treatment

If you are diagnosed with precocious puberty or if you find physical changes in your body because of hormonal imbalance, it is recommended to consult a doctor. When it comes to treatment, it will be harder to cure hypergonadism when compared to hypogonadism because the aim is to reduce the amount of hormone level in this case; this is much difficult that increasing the hormone level.

The hormonal treatments that are used to control hypergonadism include inducing a mixture of different hormones tailored to your regular hormone levels. This process will be usually slow since it requires adequate time to determine the right combination of hormones to be injected at the proper dosages. Moreover, the treatment process will be easier if doctors can determine the underlying cause such as tumors, hypothyroidism, etc. In the former case, hypergonadism can be cured by removing the tumors and following proper after-care.