Results 1 to 1 of 1

Thread: Understanding your HPTA and Hypogonadiism

  1. #1
    HRT Specailist
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Understanding your HPTA and Hypogonadiism


    So much terminology! So confusing! I'm posting this thread in hopes to help folks understand their HPTA system. I'm sure that during your research, you've come across many different terms that can be quite confusing for us. In this short post, you'll get a laypersons view so that folks with a non-medical background can educate themselves and improve communication. Please feel free to ask any questions in this thread.

    What is the HPTA?

    HPTA stands for Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis. This is link between 3 glands/clusters that create a chain reaction; resulting in testosterone and sperm production.

    This refers to the Hypothalamus. This is a small cluster in the brain that links your central nervous system to the endocrine system. This is where it all begins. Your Hypothalamus sends a signal out to the Pituitary gland. This signal is called Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH). Gonadotropins are your Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH). These are explained in the next step.

    This refers to the Pituitary gland in your brain that releases LH, FSH, and more (because it received the signal from the hypothalamus). To stay on topic, we'll just discuss LH and FSH. LH is a hormone that is sent over to the testes for the purpose of stimulating Leydig Cells to produce testosterone. FSH is another hormone sent to the testes for the purpose of sperm production, which is accomplished by stimulating Sertoli Cells. Both LH and FSH are required as they work in synergy for the betterment of production by the testes.

    Testicular (also known as Gonadal; ie HPGA):
    This refers to the testes. This is where your Leydig Cells and Sertoli Cells (mentioned above) reside. These are cells that produce testosterone and sperm when stimulated by LH and FSH (which arrived because the pituitary sent them). This event completes the chain reaction that started at the Hypothalamus, and now we have testosterone and sperm production.

    Hypogonadism and the Different Types:

    Hypogonadism is a medical term for Low T. The above is in fact, a very "dumbed down" description of your HPTA. So you see, this is quite the complex system. Because your HPTA operates in a chain-type reaction, our testosterone and sperm production are as strong as the weakest link. Any disruption in any part of this system, will hinder ending results. For example, if your Hypothalamus is sending GnRH and there is an issue with your Pituitary gland, the pituitary will fail at secreting LH and FSH. So then the testes don't have much to work with and that results in low T.

    There are 3 types of Hypogonadism:

    Primary Hypogonadism:
    This type of hypogonadism would indicate a problem with the testes. This simply means that the Hypothalamus and Pituitary are doing their jobs, but the testes are not responding properly and failing at proper production. So your LH and FSH levels could be in range or high, yet you still do not produce enough testosterone and/or sperm.

    Secondary Hypogonadism:
    This is also known as Gonadotropin deficiency. We learned earlier that gonadotropins are the LH and FSH hormones which are secreted by the pituitary. So this would be an issue in the brain where your pituitary failed to produce the hormones that your testes are looking for. So in this case, you would have low LH and FSH levels, therefore your testes can't produce testosterone, even if the testes are healthy.

    Late-onset Hypogonadism:
    This condition is age related. You would have had normal pubertal development and neither primary nor secondary issues. As we age, testosterone production slowly diminishes. Generally, this is notable at the age of 40, but certainly can happen a bit earlier. This is a natural occurrence in our bodies as we age.

    That's all folks. Hopefully you have a clear understanding of this chain of events and how men are affected.

    Have a powerful day,

    ~ Austinite
    Last edited by austinite; 08-31-2013 at 02:59 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts