What is Andrology?

Andrology is a medical specialty that focuses on male health, including issues with the male reproductive system and urological issues that are specific to males. It is the inverse of gynecology, which deals with medical difficulties unique to women’s health, including reproductive and urologic issues. Andrology refers to abnormalities in the genital connective tissues as well as alterations in cell volume, such as genital hypertrophy or macrogenitosomia.

Branches of Andrology

Male-specific medical and surgical procedures include vasectomy, vasovasostomy (one of the vasectomy reversal procedures), orchidopexy, and circumcision, as well as intervention to treat male genitourinary problems such the following:

  • Balanitis
  • Carcinoma of the penis
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Epididymitis
  • Epispadias
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Frenulum breve
  • Hydrocele
  • Hypospadias
  • Infertility
  • Micropenis
  • Orchitis
  • Paraphimosis
  • Penile fracture
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Phimosis
  • Post-vasectomy pain syndrome
  • Priapism
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatitis
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Seminal vesiculitis
  • Spermatocele
  • Testicular cancer
  • Testicular torsion
  • Varicocele

Origins of Andrology

The origins of contemporary andrology as a clinical science can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century. In 1951, the term “andrology” was coined for the first time. At the time, basic scientists from various cultural backgrounds who were into medical fields such as urology, endocrinology, and in some cases dermatology discovered their shared interest in the male reproductive system, whose pathology and even physiology had been ignored or disregarded for a long time, and which was often considered a shame rather than a clinical entity. They organized themselves into National and International Societies, with over 8,000 members, and held national and international Meeting Workshops and Conventions all over the world, as well as publishing textbooks and journals. On the educational front, pre-and post-graduate courses for medical students and doctors are held in several countries.

Current Status

Andrology can now be regarded as a unitary medical science dealing with the pathophysiology of the male reproductive system throughout the life course of the male subject, from development through maturity and senescence, despite being a melting pot of many cultural backgrounds. Because of its late debut on the stage of modern medicine, andrology has had the opportunity of incorporating all of the most recent advances in basic and clinical science, from molecular biology to ultrastructure, genetics, and other fields, to generate high-quality results. Modern andrology, based on Evidence-Based Medicine principles, can now effectively manage all of the major pathologies of the male organism, from infertility to erectile dysfunction, as well as problems of puberty and senescence (“andropause”), giving the male subject the “quality of life” that every human being deserves, even though much work remains to be done.

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