The reproductive system is complex and finely balanced. Even a small disruption in the release of reproductive hormones can lead to fertility issues, making it difficult for some couples to become pregnant. Infertility testing from the Houston Fertility Center can pinpoint the underlying cause of infertility to help us determine the best fertility treatment plan.
One hormonal condition that can lead to fertility issues is hypothalamic hypogonadism. Specializing in reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Sonia B. Kristiansen helps patients improve their chances of conceiving with hypothalamic hypogonadism treatment at her Houston, TX fertility center. If you would like more information about hypothalamic hypogonadism and its treatment, please contact the Houston Fertility Center to schedule your consultation.
What Is Hypothalamic Hypogonadism?
Hypogonadism is a condition in which the sex glands produce insufficient or no sex hormones. Hypogonadism may be congenital and present at birth or may be acquired as a result of injury or infection. It may also develop in women with a low body weight or restrictive diets, or those that regularly participate in strenuous exercise.
There are two forms of hypogonadism, primary and secondary hypogonadism. With primary hypogandism, issues stem from the testes or ovaries themselves, resulting in the production of fewer sex hormones. With secondary hypogonadism, also known as hypogonadotropic or hypothalamic hypogonadism, issues stem from the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.
The Role of the Hypothalamus In Reproduction
The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that helps regulate the pituitary gland and the nervous system. The reproductive system is largely controlled by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the gonads, which are the ovaries in females and testes in males.
The hypothalamus triggers the production of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). When GnRH reaches the pituitary gland, it signals the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH and LH are essential for the maturation of the ovarian follicles and spermatozoa, which is necessary for reproduction.
Disturbances of any portion of the connection between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, or gonads can impact fertility in men and women.
Treatment for Hypothalamic Hypogonadism
The treatment of hypothalamic hypogonadism will vary based on each patient's unique circumstances but is most often treated with hormone replacement therapy. With hormone replacement therapy, medications are given to replace the hormones that are not being sufficiently produced. These hormones may include FSH, LH, progesterone, estrogen, or testosterone and may be administered in pill form or through injections.
Hormone replacement therapy has been associated with helping men with hypothalamic hypogonadism increase sperm production and women improve fertility.
For women with hypothalamic hypogonadism, hormone replacement therapy can help regulate the reproductive cycle and encourage ovulation. Getting the reproductive cycle back on track can greatly increase a woman's chances of becoming pregnant.
Learn More about Fertility Treatments
If you and your partner are having difficulty getting pregnant, fertility treatment from the Houston Fertility Center may be right for you. To learn more about our fertility treatments we welcome you to schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.