What is Andropause? (Male Menopause)
Andropause, also known as ‘male menopause’ refers to variations in male hormone levels as a result of growing older. Testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency, and late-onset hypogonadism are all terms for the same set of symptoms.
Men over the age of 50 have a decrease in testosterone production, which is known as male menopause. It’s frequently linked to hypogonadism. Low testosterone levels and comparable symptoms are present in both disorders.
Testosterone is a hormone generated in the testes of males. It serves as more than just a source of erotic stimulation – it also feeds puberty changes, provides mental and physical energy, maintains muscle development, controls your fight-or-flight response, and governs other crucial evolutionary aspects.
In some aspects, male menopause varies from female menopause. For one thing, it isn’t something that all males go through. Another differentiation is that it does not necessitate a total shutdown of your reproductive organs. Sexual difficulties, on the other hand, may emerge as a result of your reduced hormone levels.
Menopause in males can result in physical, sexual, and psychological issues. As you become older, they usually get worse. They may include the following:
- Low mood
- Decreased motivation
- Loss of self-assurance
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleep issues
- Increased body fat
- Decreased muscle mass
- Gynecomastia, or breast growth
- Decreased bone density
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low sex drive
Swollen or sore breasts, smaller testicles, hair loss, and hot flashes are also all possible side effects. Osteoporosis has been related to low testosterone levels associated with male menopause – this is a disorder in which your bones become brittle and fragile. While these are uncommon signs and symptoms for men, they usually strike about the same time as women approach menopause.
Understanding your Testosterone levels
Your testosterone levels naturally increase as you become older sexually. Testosterone is the hormone that causes the normal changes that occur throughout puberty in boys, such as:
- Muscle growth
- Increase of body hair
- Lowered voice
- Changes in sexual functions
Your testosterone levels will usually start to diminish as you become older. After men turn 30, testosterone levels drop an average of 1% every year. In some cases, certain medical disorders might cause testosterone levels to drop sooner or more dramatically.
Symptoms of andropause can vary from mild to severe. For more mild symptoms, simple changes to your lifestyle can help alleviate side effects as a short-term solution. By eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, implementing a consistent sleep-wake schedule and reducing stressors in your life are some of these lifestyle changes that can be made.
With that being said, as andropause is caused by hormonal imbalances, lifestyle changes will only help so much. A recommended form of treatment for andropause is bioidentical hormone replacement (BHRT). Unlike standard HRT, BHRT replaces the exact hormones that your body is deficient in.
For BHRT treatment, your hormone levels would be checked by a medical professional where any particular abnormalities you may have would be discovered using a complete blood test analysis. This test will also show vitamin deficits that may also be present.
Bioidentical hormones are then synthesised, which are chemically identical to your body’s hormones that are effective in alleviating the debilitating symptoms of andropause, whilst causing no negative side effects.