In these clinical practice guidelines, specific recommendations are made for determining the most effective methods of diagnosing and treating hypogonadism in adult male patients. The target populations for these guidelines include the following: (1) men with primary testicular failure requiring testosterone replacement (hypergonadotropic hypogonadism); (2) male patients
with gonadotropin deficiency or dysfunction who may have received testosterone replacement therapy or treatment for infertility (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism); and (3) aging men with symptoms relating to testosterone deficiency who could benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.
Initial hormonal evaluation generally consists of a testosterone determination, in conjunction with a free testosterone or sex hormone-binding globulin level, in patients with clear symptoms and signs but normal-range total testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin levels. Other possible tests include semen analysis, pituitary imaging studies, genetic studies, bone densitometry, testicular ultrasonography, testicular biopsy, and specialized hormonal dynamic testing.
Therapeutic options generally consist of testosterone replacement by injections, patches, or topically applied gel in hypergonadotropic patients and in hypogonadotropic patients not interested in fertility. In hypogonadotropic patients interested in fertility, gonadal stimulation options can be considered, including human chorionic gonadotropin stimulation therapy with or without human menopausal gonadotropin (or follicle-stimulating hormone) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone pump therapy. These therapies may be combined with assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization with
intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which may allow pregnancy to occur with very low numbers of sperm.