Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH) is a form of hypogonadism that is due to a problem with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.
HH is caused by a lack of hormones that normally stimulate the ovaries or testes: gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
There are several causes of HH:
Kallmann syndrome is an inherited form of HH. Some patients with Kallmann’s also have anosmia (loss of the sense of smell).
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment depends on the source of the problem, but may involve:
The right hormone treatment will cause puberty to start and may restore fertility. If the condition begins after puberty or in adulthood, symptoms will often improve with treatment.
Call your health care provider if:
Gonadotropin deficiency; Secondary hypogonadism
Styne DM, Grumbach MM. Puberty: Ontogeny, neuroendocrinology, physiology, and disorders. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 25.
Updated by: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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