The History of Modern Andrology


  • Aldo Isidori Chair of Andrology, University of Rome "La Sapienza", I


Societies , Education , Infertility , Erectile Disfunction


The beginning of the history of modern Andrology as a clinical science can be located at the mid-century of 1900. The term itself of "Andrology" was first proposed in 1951. At that time, basic scientists coming from different cultural backgrounds - the main roots were urology, endocrinology and in some cases dermatology - "discovered" their common interest in the field of the male reproductive system, whose pathology and even physiology have been for a long time ignored or disregarded, often considered a shame more than a clinical entity. Very soon, many other specialists joined the team; among these biologists, genetics, psychologists etc., under, for the first time in history, the common definition of "Andrologists". They organized themselves in National and International Societies whose members, at the moment, are more than 8,000; holding national and international Meeting Workshops and Conventions all around the world and editing Textbooks and Journals. On the educational ground, pre - and post graduated courses are held in several Countries, both for medical students and doctors. Although a melting-pot of different cultural basis, today Andrology can be defined an unitary medical discipline dealing with the pathophysiology of the male reproductive system during all the life course of the male subject, from development to maturity and senescence. Shortly, and according to the WHO definition, it deals with male reproductive health. Quite similar to what is Gynecology for the female subject. The late arrival of the andrological discipline on the stage of modern medicine gave it the advantage of utilizing all the modern achievements of basic and clinical science, from molecular biology to ultrastructure, to genetic etc., reaching levels of high quality. Today, modern andrology, according to the principles of Evidence-Based Medicine, and although much is left to do, can effectively manage all the main pathologies of the male organism, form infertility to erectile dysfunction, but taking care of problems of puberty and senescence ("andropause") as well; giving to the male subject the "quality of life" that must be granted to every human being.