Hypogonadism and opioids

The Bottom Line: A recent study reported hypogonadism in 75% of 12 men and 21% of 14 women. The prevalence of opioid induced hypogonadism is not widely recognized.

Reddy Opioid induced hypogonadism. Source: BMJ. British medical journal 2010 vol:341 pg:c4462

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Opioids modulate gonadal function primarily by acting on opioid receptors in the hypothalamus; and this leads to decreased release or disruption to the normal pulsatility of gonadotrophin releasing hormone secretion. This results in reduction of the release of luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland, and of testosterone or oestradiol from the gonads.

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