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. 2014;1(2):4.
doi: 10.15226/2374-6890/1/2/00108. Epub 2014 May 30.

Reproductive Dysfunction From the Stress of Exercise Training Is Not Gender Specific: The "Exercise-Hypogonadal Male Condition"

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Free PMC article

Reproductive Dysfunction From the Stress of Exercise Training Is Not Gender Specific: The "Exercise-Hypogonadal Male Condition"

Amy R Lane et al. J Endocrinol Diabetes. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Investigative studies point to participation in exercise training as having significant detrimental effects upon reproductive hormonal profiles in men. Specifically, men chronically exposed to training for endurance sports exhibit persistently reduced basal (resting-state) free and total testosterone concentrations without concurrent LH elevations. Men displaying these symptoms have been deemed to exhibit the "Exercise-Hypogonadal Male Condition" (EHMC). The exact physiological mechanism inducing the reduction of testosterone in these men is currently unclear, but is postulated to be a dysfunction within the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal regulatory axis. The potential exists for the reduced testosterone concentrations within EHMC men to be disruptive and detrimental to some anabolic-androgenic testosterone-dependent physiological processes. Findings, while limited, suggest spermatogenesis problems may exist in some cases; thus, infertility risk in such men is a critical concern. Present evidence suggests the EHMC condition is limited to men who have been persistently involved in chronic endurance exercise training for an extended period of time, and thus is not a highly prevalent occurrence. Nevertheless, it is critical that endocrinologist and fertility clinicians become more aware of the existence of EHMC as a potential problem-diagnosis in their male patients who exercise.

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