Texas Institute for Reproductive Medicine & Endocrinology, P.A.
REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (Endocrinology of the Reproductive System)
The disorders managed by Reproductive Medicine specialists are the result of hormonal or metabolic disorders. While the patient may complain of a single, specific symptom, for example cessation of menstruation (amenorrhea), the causes for this symptom may be multifold and may originate in totally different parts of the body. It could be the result of : a) a genetic abnormality; b) abnormal function of one or more of the endocrine glands; c) a variety of metabolic disorders (diabetes etc.); or d) local disorders of the ovaries or the uterus etc.
In most women who do not menstruate spontaneously it is simple to induce periods by administering female sex hormones, such as birth control pills. This form of treatment, however, frequently may disguise the underlying disease by masking the symptoms. It is more appropriate to diagnose and remedy the underlying problem which, by itself, may be more serious than the presenting symptom. Thus, rather than prescribing birth control pills to regulate the menstrual flow, it is more effective to make a precise diagnosis of the cause of the abnormal cycle and to treat that cause.
Even in childhood, minor symptoms which may appear to be of no major consequence, such as development of facial hair or body hair in a prepubertal girl, chronic acne which does not respond to the standard dermatologic treatment, persistent menstrual irregularity, an inappropriate growth pattern, etc. may be signs of a serious disorder (e.g. a hormone producing tumor or a serious hormonal imbalance). The problem of irregular periods during adolescence frequently has been minimized. This symptomatology, too, may be a sign of a disease involving different organs of the body. Early detection and treatment may prevent serious consequences later in life (infertility, major surgery, etc.). In some girls, a major symptom such as acne or excessive hair growth may be the only sign of an underlying systemic disorder. It is important to emphasize that reproductive endocrine disorders in the adolescent can be easily corrected in the early stages of the disease, but may become difficult to manage later in life, after years of neglect.
Reproductive system disorders in the male also may have markedly varying causes. For example, impotence or lack of sexual desire (libido) may be due to hormonal imbalances, trauma, neurologic diseases, pituitary tumors, psychological factors, etc. Here, as in the female, an appropriate multifaceted management approach is essential. Although the symptom (e.g., impotence) may suggest that the problem is primarily and directly related to the reproductive organs, it actually may reside in a totally different part of the body and the cause of the symptom (e.g., a pituitary tumor or a blocked iliac artery) may be much more serious to the patientís general health or even his life than the symptom (impotence) triggering the doctor visit.
Hirsutism (excessive hair growth)
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Reproductive System Disorders In The Male
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