Helping Husbands With Women In Menopause
We talked to several men whove been through midlife with their partners, making them qualified to offer ideas on menopause help for men. This is for all the you out there who are now or one day may be sharing a life with a woman in menopause. Spoiler alert: Youre going to need patience, love, and some courage. Youve got this!
How Is Andropause Diagnosed
If you’ve been suffering from these symptoms and are above the age of 35, it’s certainly possible you may be going through andropause. Upon your arrival at CosmeticGyn Center, our Dallas, TX practice, we’ll bring you into one of our private treatment rooms to discuss your concerns before moving forward with an official examination.
A typical diagnosis of andropause usually includes:
- A conversation about your medical history
- A physical exam
- Blood work to test your hormones
- Diagnostic imaging, in some cases
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Consider this a wake-up call: Its not oestrogen but testosterone that is going to taper off as you get older.
Also known as andropause, it can occur as early as in your 40s, said Dr Ronny Tan, a urologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Parkway East Hospital.
And unlike menopause, which typically condenses its accompanying symptoms into the ages of 45 to 55 in women, andropause can stretch over decades in men.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION, MAN BOOBS AND OTHER SIGNS
According to Dr Tan, testosterone levels generally start to drop by one per cent every year after age 40. Most men would show signs in their 50s, he said, which include erectile dysfunction, loss of morning erections, drop in libido, decreased energy levels and loss of muscle mass.
Some men may also develop breasts or what the doctors term gynaecomastia.
There are various reasons for this, and one of them is the imbalance of the oestrogen and testosterone ratio in the body , said Dr Chiam Tut Fu, the medical director of Thomson Wellth.
As the testosterone level dips, the ratio will favour the development of male breasts.
Individuals who have a high body fat percentage may also develop gynaecomastia.
The enzyme, aromatase, is found in fatty tissue and this enzyme converts testosterone to the oestrogen known as oestradiol, said Dr Tan. Increased oestradiol can result in development of breast tissue in men.
HOW COMMON IS MALE MENOPAUSE?
The Stages Of Menopause: When Does It End
It is possible to divide the menopausal period into three distinct stages:
- Perimenopause: the months or years leading up to the final menstrual period
- Menopause: officially defined as 12 months after the final menstrual period
- Post-menopause: from 12 months after the final menstrual period onward
Perimenopause usually begins in a womans mid-40s. However, it can happen much earlier or later in some women. The exact duration of the perimenopause can also differ greatly.
Some women experience symptoms for several years before their final period. Others might not notice any significant changes until their periods stop altogether.
This makes it very difficult to predict precisely when menopause will end. However, some factors that might play a role include:
- Age of puberty
If you’re wondering how to lose weight during menopause, these tips will help you in your journey to better health throughout your menopause years.
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
SERMs are a category of drugs, either synthetically produced or derived from a botanical source, that act selectively as agonists or antagonists on the estrogen receptors throughout the body. The most commonly prescribed SERMs are raloxifene and tamoxifen. Raloxifene exhibits oestrogen agonist activity on bone and lipids, and antagonist activity on breast and the endometrium. Tamoxifen is in widespread use for treatment of hormone sensitive breast cancer. Raloxifene prevents vertebral fractures in postmenopausal, osteoporotic women and reduces the risk of invasive breast cancer.
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What Affects The Age You Start Menopause
Certain factors may affect when you begin menopause. Your family history, medical conditions, and hormones all play a role in when menopause is likely to occur for you.
Smoking may influence the age of menopause onset. Studies have found that smoking during the reproductive years was significantly associated with earlier menopause.
What Are The Treatment Methods For Andropause
As andropause is caused by an imbalance in hormones, it can also be treated by infusing the necessary hormones into the body. This treatment has come to be known as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. There are many ways for hormone replacement therapy to be administered, such as hormone pills, patches, creams, and suppositories. However, the preferred method of Dr. Huertas is what is called HRT pellet placement technique. Using this approach, a personalized dose of the essential hormones will be injected directly into your body underneath the skin of your upper buttock. Patients undergoing this treatment will be required to return to our office approximately every 4 6 months for a new dose of hormones, as well as regular blood tests to ensure your hormones are perfectly balanced.
No matter the treatment method, we always recommend being conscious of living a healthy lifestyle in order to maximize your results. A proper diet and exercise plan can drastically increase the benefits of HRT by increasing your body’s natural health and function. Additionally, they can help to quickly reduce some of the symptoms of andropause, including fatigue and depression.
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So What Exactly Is Testosterone And What Happens To It As I Get Older
Testosterone often described as the male sex hormone plays an important role in emotional and physical wellbeing. In men, its primarily made in the testicles also called the testes. Testosterone is responsible for the production of sperm and red blood cells. It also stimulates sex drive, maintains muscle and bone strength and regulates the distribution of body fat, says Dr Guyomar.
Men start to produce testosterone during puberty, peaking at around the age of 20. From the age of 30, testosterone levels normally start to decrease by around 1% to 2% per year. Known as the andropause, this decline happens more gradually than female menopause and is unlikely to cause any issues in itself.
What Are The Stages
The process happens slowly over three stages:
Perimenopause. Your cycles will become irregular, but they havenât stopped. Most women hit this stage around age 47. Even though you might notice symptoms like hot flashes, you can still get pregnant.
Menopause. This is when youâll have your final menstrual period. You wonât know for sure itâs happened until youâve gone a year without one. Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and other symptoms are common in this stage.
Postmenopause. This begins when you hit the year mark from your final period. Once that happens, youâll be referred to as postmenopausal for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that after more than 1 year of no menstrual periods due to menopause, vaginal bleeding isn’t normal, so tell your doctor if you have any ASAP.
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The lack of awareness in men could be attributed to how unspecific testosterone deficiencys signs are.
Take a look at the symptoms: Drops in energy level and muscle mass, sexual dysfunction, mood changes and weight gain they could just be easily caused by other issues, including stress.
Testosterone deficiency is also associated with metabolic syndrome , which generally have no specific symptoms, said Dr Tan.
Of course, there are also men who do not experience any changes at all even as they undergo andropause.
There are always individual differences in the expression or manifestations of any symptoms of any disease, and it is similar for low testosterone, said Dr Chiam. This is why not all will experience andropausal symptoms.
Furthermore, those with a slower decline of testosterone levels are less likely to experience symptoms, he said.
HOW LOW IS LOW TESTOSTERONE?
Your testosterone level varies throughout the day and are affected by your weight, diet, certain medications and even the alcohol you drink.
But doctors agree that testosterone typically peaks in the morning, near 8am. So if you’re going in for a test, this is why doctors prefer to schedule it early in the day.
Testosterone levels generally start to drop by 1 per cent every year after age 40.
The free testosterone and albumin-bound version are the ones that your body can use readily, or what is known as bioavailable testosterone.
What To Expect After Menopause Is Over
Once menopause is over, certain symptoms such as hot flashes should slowly begin to disappear. However, other issues such as vaginal dryness and low libido may continue even after the final menstrual period has ended.
Furthermore, after menopause, women have an increased risk of several chronic health issues, including:
- Weight gain
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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 To Ease The Symptoms Of Perimenopause
As with menopause, making perimenopause easiermeans addressing the cause, the symptoms, or both depending on your personalpreferences.
For many, the first step toward feeling betteris developing a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. In this time of transition,your body can feel uncomfortable and ill-fitting, like it isnt really youanymore. The disruptions caused by physical symptoms like hot flashes and sleepdisturbances can take a toll on your mind and your body, while mood swings candeeply impact both your emotional health and your connections with otherpeople. Consistently taking meaningful steps toward self-care may help youachieve greater tranquility. These include:
- Eating healthy
- Cutting down on alcohol consumption
- Eliminating nicotine
- Developing consistent sleep habits
- Regular exercise
All of these can help with mood and overallhealth, allowing you to minimize or more easily cope with the uncomfortablesymptoms of perimenopause. It can also help you regain a sense ofself-determination during a process that is largely out of your hands.
However, a healthier lifestyle can only do so much. For many, easing the symptoms of perimenopause is best done by addressing their cause: hormones. And for a growing number of women, that means turning to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy .
Of course, these strategies dont end perimenopauseor prevent menopause from happening. But they can make the transitioneasier.
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How Long Does The Transition To Menopause Last
Perimenopause, the transition to menopause, can last between two and eight years before your periods stop permanently. For most women, this transition to menopause lasts about four years. You will know you have reached menopause only after it has been a full year since your last period. This means you have not had any bleeding, including spotting, for 12 months in a row.
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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On Average Menopause Begins Around Age 52
Kathi Valeii is a freelance writer covering the intersections of health, parenting, and social justice.
Menopause occurs after a person stops having their period for 12 consecutive months. It naturally happens for many people when they are between the ages of 40 and 58. In the United States, the average age for menopause to start is 52 years.
Certain factors, like never having children and smoking, can make it more likely that menopause will occur earlier.
Before menopause, declining estrogen levels can cause people who menstruate to experience premenopausal symptoms. Menstrual changes, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and other symptoms are the result of hormonal shifts that are taking place during this time, which is called perimenopause.
Perimenopause can last from two to eight years. On average, people experience perimenopause for four years before menopause begins.
While many people go through menopause in their early fifties, there are a number of unique factors that determine at what age a person will start menopause, as well as what their experience will be like.
How Can I Treat The Symptoms
There are a bunch of ways.
Lifestyle changes. A healthy diet and regular exercise program will help manage your symptoms and boost your health. This is a great time to finally kick any old, unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking too much alcohol. To help with hot flashes, dress lightly and in layers. Avoid triggers like caffeine and spicy foods. And if you stay sexually active, that may help preserve your vaginal lining.
Prescription medication for hot flashes. If you still have your uterus, your doctor might prescribe treatment with estrogen and progesterone. This is called combination hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy . It helps with hot flashes and night sweats, and it may help prevent osteoporosis. If you donât have a uterus, you might get estrogen alone.
Hormone therapy isnât for everyone. Donât take it if you’ve ever had breast cancer, uterine or “endometrial” cancer, blood clots, liver disease, or a stroke. Also don’t take it if you might be pregnant or you have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
If you can’t or don’t want to take hormones, other medications can ease symptoms. They include antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, or blood pressure medications to help with hot flashes and mood swings.
Prescription and OTC medication for vaginal dryness and sleep problems. You can try topical estrogen, lubricants, and non-estrogen prescriptions for dryness and painful sex. OTC or prescription sleep aids can help if you have trouble falling asleep.
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Truths About Male Menopause Every Man Should Know
When it comes to aging, women speak freely about menopausal mood swings, thinning hair, hot flashes, exhaustion, weight gain, etc. But women aren’t the only ones who have to deal with hormonal changes as they age. Many men suffer from andropause — frequently referred to as male menopause — which occurs when their hormone production drops. Huff/Post50 spoke to Dr. David Borenstein, an integrative medicine doctor, about the reasons why there is less transparency about andropause.
1. The symptoms are easy to dismiss as something else.
Men suffering from andropause frequently experience erectile dysfunction, have a low sex drive, are fatigued a lot and may suffer depression. When they ejaculate, there may be a low volume of semen. Andropausal men may have outbursts of anger and sometimes appear to have poor spatial orientation or diminished intellectual capacity. Every one of those things could be a symptom of something else, says Borenstein. A simple blood test can determine testosterone levels, although it’s not a slam dunk either. “Unlike blood level tests of glucose or cholesterol — where there is a definite cut-off point between normal and abnormal — the level of testosterone is wider and partially based on the patient’s symptoms,” Borenstein says. Still, the doctor’s office is a place to start.
2. Men don’t like to go to doctors.
3. Testosterone replacement is seen as risky.
4. Losing weight, exercising and dieting are hard.
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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?
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How Will I Know If I Am Starting The Transition To Menopause
Sometimes it can be hard for you and your doctor to tell whether you are in perimenopause, the transition to menopause:
- Symptoms: Tell your doctor or nurse about any menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes or trouble sleeping.
- Irregular periods: Track your periods. Irregular periods may be your first sign of menopause.
- Hormone levels: Your doctor may test the amount of hormones in your blood if your periods stopped at an early age . Doctors dont usually recommend this test unless there is a medical reason to do so. This is because, for most women, hormone levels go up and down in an unpredictable way during the transition to menopause. So it is difficult to tell for sure whether you have gone through menopause or are getting close to it based on this blood test.