Is There Such A Thing As A ‘male Menopause’
The “male menopause” is an unhelpful term sometimes used in the media.
This label is misleading because it suggests the symptoms are the result of a sudden drop in testosterone in middle age, similar to what occurs in the female menopause. This is not true.
Although testosterone levels fall as men age, the decline is steady at less than 2% a year from around the age of 30 to 40, and this is unlikely to cause any problems in itself.
A testosterone deficiency that develops later in life, also known as late-onset hypogonadism, can sometimes be responsible for these symptoms, but in many cases the symptoms are nothing to do with hormones.
Signs Of Andropause In Men And How To Treat It
Almost everyone is familiar with the fact that when women reach middle age, their bodies begin to go through a process known as menopause. However, did you know that a percentage of men go through a similar development? This process, known as andropause, obviously has some distinct differences from menopause, but they share many similarities regarding their symptoms. At CosmeticGyn Center in Dallas, TX, we offer several methods of treatment for andropause that can leave men feeling just as healthy at 45 as they did at 25. Dr. Otto Huertas, a board-certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon, is experienced in helping patients overcome these imbalances and return to their normal lifestyles using hormone replacement therapy.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Testosterone As The Central Player In Andropause
Testosterone levels in men begin to drop at the age of 40. They continue to drop between 1 and 2 percent each year after that. As an article in the European Journal of Pain states, both men and women have testosterone. The difference is that men have more of it. Its responsible for hormonal changes and it participates in muscle, bone, and sexual organ growth.
As such, its no wonder that lower levels of this hormone can result in symptomatology related to sexual functioning. It can affect things such as sexual desire, the ability to have an erection, or sperm production. Aside from affecting people sexually, it can also affect other bodily functions such as sleep. Some experts call this andropause.
If a doctor finds that theres a testosterone deficit and they have confirmed the diagnosis medically, the patient may turn to hormonal treatment. The problem is that some men abuse hormonal treatments and take them without needing them.
The medical authorities in the United States have had to warn people that these treatments should only be used by those who need them. Thus, only people with some disease or injury that affects their permanent testosterone levels should use them. These treatments arent appropriate for men whore going through the normal aging process. You shouldnt use testosterone patches, pills, or injections without medical control. Doing so could expose you to health risks.
How Is Male Menopause Diagnosed
To make the diagnosis of male menopause, the doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about symptoms. He or she may order other diagnostic tests to rule out any medical problems that may be contributing to the condition. The doctor will then order a series of blood tests, which may include measuring testosterone level.
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How Long Does Andropause Aka Male Menopause Last
Andropause, or male menopause, can bring on a host of uncomfortable symptoms like weight gain, low sex drive, and fatigue, among many others. If youve experienced these symptoms lately, you may be wondering if theyre connected to the lower levels of testosterone associated with andropause. You may also be wondering, how long does male menopause last? And, more importantly, how can it be treated?
How Long Does Male Menopause Last
Because male menopause is less well-defined than female menopause, this is a complicated question to answer. According to some sources, the uncomfortable effects of male menopause can last 15 to 20 years as the body gradually adjusts to lower testosterone production. But because testosterone levels continue to decline over a lifespan, many argue that if left untreated, male menopause lasts indefinitely. While some men may not notice symptoms of this hormonal change at all, others who experience a more rapid loss of testosterone productionor who are especially sensitive to the lossare more likely to feel the discomforts.
How Do Hormone Levels Change With Age
Testosterone reaches its peak during the 20s. The testosterone level that is developed by the body does not remain the same during a mans entire lifespan. Several changes happen in the body during the age. Changes in testosterone production tend to be among these changes.
Numerous studies have been conducted to determine when testosterone levels start to drop. Researchers find that it can vary from one man to the next. In many men, testosterone production starts to decline when the man reaches 30 years of age.
According to a paper by Harvard Medical School, however, this drop may only occur at the age of 40 for some men.
Once a man reaches the age where their testosterone will start to decline, the process happens very slowly. Most men only experience a 1% drop in testosterone levels every year.
Sometimes the drop in testosterone tends to happen faster. A more significant decline in testosterone tends to be more prevalent among older men. Some cases of young men with testosterone deficiency have been noted too, however.
Is There Such A Thing As Male Menopause
Andropause or male menopause are both terms used to describe age-related hormonal changes in males. This stage in life has also been known as testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency, and late-onset hypogonadism. Whatever term you use, male menopause involves a drop in testosterone and similar symptoms in men over the age of 50.
Treating Low T: 3 Barriers
But getting men in for treatment generally proves challenging. First of all, most men dont often go to the doctor. Men are 25 percent less likely to see a doctor than a woman, Smith says. We are ourselves the biggest barrier. We see it as we dont need the doctor. Were not advocates for our health.
Can Male Menopause Be Treated
If testosterone levels are low, testosterone replacement therapy may help relieve symptoms such as:
- Loss of interest in sex
Just as with hormone replacement therapy in women, testosterone replacement therapy has potential risks and side effects. Replacing testosterone may worsen prostate cancer and increase the risk of heart disease, for example.
If you are considering androgen replacement therapy, talk to a doctor to learn more. Your doctor may also recommend certain lifestyle or other changes to help with some symptoms of male menopause. These include:
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What Causes Andropause
Testosterone is an androgen, or male hormone, produced in the testicles and the adrenal glands. Although women also require low levels of testosterone , higher concentrations of this sex hormone are responsible for producing the deeper voice, heavier muscle development, and increased volume of facial and body hair typically found in men. Additionally, testosterone regulates sexual desire, bone density, fat metabolism, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.
For men, testosterone peaks somewhere in their mid-20s and gradually declines from about age 30 onward at a rate of 1-2 percent per year. By age 70 or 80, it is common for mens testosterone levels to have fallen to half of their peak levels. Factors like stress, obesity, poor diet, and lack of exercise can contribute to faster testosterone loss and a worsening of andropause symptoms.
Unlike menopause for women, which tends to be a more rapid and dramatic hormonal change, andropause is a slow and lengthy processwhich can make it harder to identify. While the gradual decrease in testosterone may feel unnoticeable for some men, it can produce a variety of uncomfortable symptoms for others.
What Are The Symptoms
Andropause, or male menopause, generally consists of a decline in testosterone.
This hormone has many roles to play in the male body. With this in mind, several systems may be adversely affected if mens hormone levels decline too much.
The presence of low testosterone in men can cause numerous symptoms to develop. The severity of these symptoms will generally depend on how rapid testosterone levels are declining.
Symptoms tend to become worse over time. The risk of severe complications and symptoms is greater among men who do not receive appropriate treatment.
Some common male menopause symptoms in men include:
- There may be a reduction in the mans self-confidence.
- The man may find that their breasts are larger than it should be.
- Body hair depends on testosterone. With andropause, the man may find that his body hair is starting to decline too.
- There may be an increase in nervousness when testosterone declines.
- Some men find that they lack motivation when they have declining testosterone levels in their bodies.
In addition to these symptoms, men should be on the lookout for a decline in their performance during sex as well. Sexual dysfunction is another common symptom associated with low testosterone.
Testosterone does not play a direct role in an erection. Still, links have been made between testosterone deficiency and erectile dysfunction. This is primarily due to the effect that testosterone has on libido. Men with andropause are likely to experience low libido.
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Is There A Cure For Male Menopause
Can Male Menopause Be Treated? If testosterone levels are low, testosterone replacement therapy may help relieve such symptoms as loss of interest in sex , depression, and fatigue. But, as with hormone replacement therapy in women, testosterone replacement therapy has potential risks and side effects.
Are There Sex Hormone Changes In Men During Menopause
Hormone changes are a natural part of aging. Unlike the more dramatic reproductive hormone plunge that occurs in women during menopause, however, sex hormone changes in men occur gradually. Heres what you need to know. The term male menopause has been used to describe decreasing testosterone levels related to aging.
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Ask The Doctor: Is There Such A Thing As Male Menopause
Q.Does a man’s testosterone level always decrease with age? If my testosterone is low, do I need treatment for it?
A. Testosterone gradually declines over time in all men, but this does not necessarily lead to health problems. Some medications or illnesses can also suppress testosterone.
Although some decline in testosterone is inevitable, you should be careful about attributing symptoms to this change. Maintaining a healthy body weight and following a healthy lifestyle can help maintain higher testosterone levels and will certainly make you feel better.
William Kormos, M.D.
‘male Menopause Is Real’
“Male menopause is real,” said Jed Diamond, a psychologist and author of a series of books on the topic, including, “Irritable Male Syndrome.”
“I describe it as adolescence, the second time around,” he said. “Everybody goes through it, just as no one can say I didn’t go through puberty. Some have a fairly easy time and, for some, it’s more difficult.”
Part of the normal part of aging, male menopause is accompanied by a gradual decline in their sexuality, mood and overall energy. For most men, it arrives between the ages of 40 to 55, but for some it happens as early as 35 and as late as 65.
Not All Men Have Symptoms of Low Testosterone
“Men are more in denial about this than women,” said Diamond, who has a Ph.D. in international health and a master’s degree in social work. “It’s taken guys a little longer for the medical evidence to come out and for doctors to find ways to treat this. But more men are getting help.”
More men are also taking testosterone treatment in creams, gels or injections, Diamond said.
Dan began a holistic course of treatment that included testosterone shots and more exercise, better eating habits, herbal supplements, as well as a multivitamin and zinc.
“Those made a big difference,” he said. “But exercise has been the most profound thing. Without it, the other wouldn’t work. I do weights and yoga twice a week.”
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After Treatment Noticing Fewer Aches And Pains
“After a year, the injections worked,” Dan said. “It’s not like I am doing physical feats that I was not doing before, but I was noticing a change when I would take groceries out of the car and move wood into the pile. Before, I used to groan as I did it and had more aches and pains.”
Diamond, who runs the Men Alive Clinic in Willits, Calif., said all men treat menopause differently. Some are in denial and others treat it medically.But male menopause is more complex than just increasing testosterone levels — involving hormonal fluctuation, changes in brain chemistry, interpersonal and societal changes.
“The changes have to do not only with hormones, but also sex changes that have to do with relationships and self-esteem changes. We evaluate all of these different areas,” he said, “We don’t just look at the test.”
Unlike women’s hormone replacement therapy, which uses estrogen from horses, doctors treat men with bio-identical testosterone, Diamond said.
“Biologically, it’s the same and it isn’t as expensive and they can manufacture it in large quantities,” he said.
That’s why doctors say the pharmaceutical companies are pushing treatment for low-T syndrome on television. Interestingly, direct-to-consumer advertising is only allowed in two countries in the world — New Zealand and the United States.
Men should be monitored while taking testosterone because it can cause problems for those with heart conditions or prostate cancer that is underway, Butler said.
What Is Male Menopause
Because men do not go through a well-defined period referred to as menopause, some doctors refer to this problem as androgen decline in the aging male — or what some people call low testosterone. It is normal for men to experience a decline in the production of the male hormone testosterone with aging, but this also occurs with conditions such as diabetes.
Along with the decline in testosterone, some men experience symptoms that include:
- Sexual problems
The relationship of these symptoms to decreased testosterone levels is still controversial.
Unlike menopause in women, when hormone production stops completely, testosterone decline in men is a slower process. The testes, unlike the ovaries, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone. Healthy men may be able to make sperm well into their 80s or later.
However, as a result of disease, subtle changes in the function of the testes may occur as early as age 45 to 50 and more dramatically after the age of 70 in some men.
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Diagnosing And Treating Male Menopause
Your doctor can take a sample of your blood to test your testosterone levels.
Unless male menopause is causing you severe hardship or disrupting your life, youll probably manage your symptoms without treatment. The biggest hurdle in treating male menopause may be talking to your doctor about your symptoms. Many men are too intimidated or shy to discuss sexual topics with their doctors.
The most common type of treatment for symptoms of male menopause is making healthier lifestyle choices. For example, your doctor might advise you to:
- eat a healthy diet
- get enough sleep
- reduce your stress
These lifestyle habits can benefit all men. After adopting these habits, men who are experiencing symptoms of male menopause may see a dramatic change in their overall health.
If youre experiencing depression, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Hormone replacement therapy is another treatment option. However, its very controversial. Like performance-enhancing steroids, synthetic testosterone can have damaging side effects. For example, if you have prostate cancer, it may cause your cancer cells to grow. If your doctor suggests hormone replacement therapy, weigh all of the positives and negatives before making your decision.
What Are The Causes Of Andropause
While menopause affects all women at some point in their life, andropause occurs in only a portion of men. As males grow older, their testosterone levels naturally begin to wane, especially once they’ve reached the age of 40. If these levels become low enough, andropause will begin to become a problem.
Common symptoms of andropause in men include:
- Mood swings
- Loss of bone density
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Warning Signs Of Male Menopause: Are You At Risk
The male mystique
Want to experience serious information overload? Google male menopause.
Within seconds, youll be faced with reams of advice, from acupuncturists to news outlets. As you dig deeper, you might learn that male menopause is quite controversial. Commentators argue about every aspect of the condition, from what it is, to what to call it, to whether it exists at all.
So what is male menopause? And if it does exist, how can you tell if you have it?
What Are The Signs Of Male Menopause
30 May 2013
Question: My husband told me he has no energy to do chores around the house because he’s suffering from male menopause. He’s a very funny guy.
Answer: Your husband was obviously trying to yank your chain, but there’s some truth in his joking. Fatigue is a common symptom of male menopause, also known as andropause .
Both andropause and male menopause are used to describe decreasing levels of the male hormone testosterone that come with aging. Most men see testosterone levels drop as they get older. Some have described andropause as puberty in reverse.
Age-related decline in testosterone levels is also called testosterone deficiency, androgen decline in the aging male or late onset hypogonadism .
Andropause is different from the menopause women experience. In menopause, the production of female hormone drops suddenly. In men, there’s a gradual decline in hormone levels.
When men reach about 40, testosterone levels usually begin to drop about one percent a year. The reduction is rarely noticeable in men younger than 60. By the time men reach their 80s, about half have low testosterone.
Young men often have testosterone levels exceeding 1000 nanograms per deciliter . The average testosterone level in 80 year-old men is 200 ng/dl.
Some men maintain normal testosterone levels into old age. And there are men with low testosterone levels who have no symptoms. The only sure way to learn if you are low on testosterone is by taking a blood test.
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