Andrology (from Greek andros – man i logos – word) is a non-surgical, medical specialty that deals with male health, particularly relating to the problems of the male reproductive system and urological problems that are unique to men. It is the counterpart to gynaecology, which deals with medical issues which are specific to the female reproductive system.
Andrologic issues, previously underestimated and perceived less important than female disorders, have become subject to physicians’ and scientists’ interest only since the middle of the 20th century. The first specialist journal on the subject was the German periodical Andrologie (now called Andrologia), published from 1969 onwards. Andrology distinguished from among other disciplines like endocrinology, urology, sexology and paediatrics. Andrologic issues turned out to be difficult and demanding hard work to be discovered, hence patophysiology of male reproductive system is still not thoroughly investigated.
Sudden evolution of industry caused by natural environment pollution has greater and greater impact on female and male fertility disorders, as well as incidence of testicular cancer and cryptorchidism. Due to life extension, sexual and hormonal disorders among older men have become more frequent.
Since people want not only to live longer, but also in good health and wellbeing, andrology started to be more significant, as a science serving the improvement of life quality.
Andrology is focused on such health problems as:
- decreased hormonal activity of the gonads (hypoandrogenism) - hypogonadism,
- sexual dysfunctions,
- puberty disorders,
- defects of sexual development.
Until recently diagnostics and treatment of these disorders were limited due to lack of knowledge in this area. However, in the latest years, andrology has dynamically developed due to implementing biochemist methods, molecular biology and genetics. New techniques of hormonal and visual diagnostics have been developed. Moreover, thanks to information about andrology published in media men do not feel emabarrassed to inform doctors about their reproductive system ailments and it does not “diminish their masculinity” as it used to be perceived before. Andrology offers a wide range of diagnostic screenings and numerous methods of male reproductive system treatment.