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Conditions We Treat: Gonadal and Menstrual Disorders

Both men and women have gonads. In males, they are the testes, or testicles, the male sex glands that are part of the male reproductive system. They are located behind the penis in a pouch of skin called the scrotum.

The female gonads, the ovaries, are a pair of reproductive glands. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus, and they have two functions: They produce eggs and female hormones.

Gonadal and menstrual disorders stem primarily from hormone dysfunctions; the ovaries and testes produce many of the same hormones, but in different amounts.

Gonadal and Menstrual Disorders:  What You Need to Know

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  • In men, “gonadal disorders” refer to disorders of the testes, or gonads, which are the organs in men that produce sperm and hormones, including testosterone.
  • Gonadal disorders in men can lead to serious complications, including hypogonadism—a result of low testosterone production—sexual dysfunction and infertility. Gonadal disorders are often treated with hormone replacement therapy.
  • Low testosterone can be identified through a blood test typically performed in the morning, when levels are highest, as testosterone levels can drop by as much as 13 percent during the day.
  • Menstrual disorders in women are usually caused by imbalances in estrogen and progesterone or are related to an overactive or underactive thyroid.
  • Menstrual disorders can include abnormally early or late onset of puberty, very light periods, very heavy periods and irregular or absent periods. They can also affect ovulation, including increasing the risk for ovarian cyst development, problems during pregnancy and the early onset of menopause.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins for treatment of gonadal and menstrual disorders?

Dr. Adrian Dobs is an active investigator in the field of male and female sex hormone disorders. She is a clinical investigator who has published extensively about HIV-related endocrinopathies and about the risks and benefits of testosterone replacement therapies.

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