Both male and females have gonads. In males, the gonads are the testes or testicles which are the male sex (reproductive) glands. They are primarily located behind the penis in a pouch of skin which is called scrotum.
In females, the gonads are the ovaries that are a pair of reproductive glands. They are basically located in the pelvis on either side of the uterus and have two primary functions i.e. they produce eggs and female hormones.
Gonadal and menstrual disorders arise primarily from hormone dysfunctions wherein the ovaries and testes produce hormones in different amounts (low or high).
Facts related to gonadal and menstrual disorders:
- In boys, the gonadal disorders lead to serious complications that include hypogonadism (a condition that results in low testosterone production) and infertility. These gonadal disorders are mostly treated with hormone replacement therapy.
- While menstrual disorders in girls are generally caused by imbalances in estrogen and progesterone or maybe in certain cases these are related to an overactive or underactive thyroid.
- Menstrual disorders can cause an abnormal early or late onset of puberty, irregular or absence of periods, very light periods or very heavy periods.
Ambiguous genitalia – Uncertainty pertaining to a child’s sex may be extremely traumatic for the individual, parents and other family members and includes profound psychological and reproductive consequences for the patient. Once you are aware of the genetic cause, it can improve patient outcomes and well-being and thereby aids in decision making.