Are you aware of the fact that men go through their own menopause too? Sometimes there have been jokes about it when they act moody but male menopause is actually a fact and often brings with it, a lot of emotional, physical, and mental strain. Often known as reverse puberty, men go through andropause – where “Andro” Means Men or Males.
What Is Male Menopause?
Even though men go through andropause, commonly known as male menopause, it is quite different from menopause in women. For women, as ovarian activity reduces, the hormones plummet abruptly, while for men, this happens gradually. As men come closer to 30 or 40 years of age, there’s a gradual decrease in libido and testosterone levels along with an increase in fatigue.
Male menopause differs from female menopause in many ways as not all men experience it. For some men, it doesn’t involve a complete shutdown of your reproductive organs. However, with andropause, there may be problems in sexual drive and health, due to lowered hormone levels.
Symptoms of Male Menopause
Generally, this slow decrease happens by one percent every year. By the time men reach 80 years of age, testosterone levels would have fallen significantly.
This fall in the levels is called testosterone deficiency or late-onset hypogonadism. While for some men the fall in testosterone levels might not bring significant change or might look like aging, for others it might bring along a lot of discomforts.
If you notice these changes and are above the age of 40, you could be going through andropause. Like menopause, andropause is quite natural, you might experience changes in physical, sexual and psychological wellness and it is advised to consult a doctor if your daily activities are hampered.
List of Symptoms of Male Menopause to Look For
- Change in mood (irritability)
- Loss of weight and muscle mass
- Unexplained weight gain
- Reduced libido
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Decreased testicle size
- Unable to maintain an erection or decreased spontaneous erection
- Loss of body hair
Diagnosing and Treating Andropause
While it could be likely that you are experiencing andropause, often these symptoms might also be due to some other underlying cause and not testosterone deficiency.
Sometimes, men can suffer from erectile dysfunction as a result of high blood pressure medicines but mistake it for andropause. As men age, it is also quite natural for the semen production and frequency of erections to reduce overtime.
However, to eliminate possibilities, your doctor might ask you to get your blood tested. If your testosterone levels are low, your doctor might even check to see if you suffer from any other hormone deficiency.
When testosterone deficiencies cause symptoms that cause discomfort, doctors may sometimes suggest testosterone replacement therapy in different forms. It can be done through injections, pills, patches on the skin or even creams.
This, however, comes with a lot of side-effects and increases the chances of strokes, heart attacks, and blood clotting in the veins. Doctors might sometimes recommend against testosterone therapy because it increases the chances of metastatic prostate and breast cancer.
Now that you are aware of what andropause or male menopause is, you are equipped to understand whether some changes are normal or require medical attention.
If you are a woman who’s reading this, if your man seems irritable, lethargic or if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, you could approach a doctor to determine the actual cause. ‘
Along with a diagnosis from the doctor, some changes in lifestyle, eating habits and getting more active could also help men see significant change or improvement in their reproductive health.
Lead a healthy life and always keep in mind that ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Natural is better than chemical, in most long-standing situations.