Some men in their late forties to early fifties experience a reduction in libido (sex drive), erectile dysfunction, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, fatigue, depression and other emotional symptoms, collectively known as andropause. It is linked to decrease in testosterone. Unlike women, this transition may be much more gradual and expand over many decades.
Hormone changes are a natural part of aging. The term “male menopause” is used to describe decreasing testosterone levels or a reduction in the bioavailability of testosterone related to aging. However, a health care professional may use the term “andropause,” testosterone deficiency, or late-onset hypogonadism instead of “male menopause.”
Andropause impacts several aspects of an individual’s life, from social and psychological to the physical aspect. But, unlike the more dramatic reproductive hormone changes that occurs in women during menopause, sex hormone changes in men occur gradually.
Female Menopause Vs Male Andropause
Just like the menopause experienced by women, mostly in their late forties or fifties, even men deal with andropause.
In a woman, menopause marks the time when her menstrual cycles stop and she is no longer able to become pregnant. Her levels of female hormones—estrogen and progesterone—decline considerably. Similarly, when men reach their late forties to early fifties, some may experience a reduction in libido (sex drive), erectile dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, depression, and other emotional symptoms.
However, unlike women, men’s “transition” may be much more gradual and stretch over many decades. The bodily changes, as a result of reduced hormones, occur very gradually in men and the decrease in testosterone levels is nowhere near as steep as the hormonal changes are for women.
Testosterone levels gradually decline throughout adulthood—about 1 percent a year after age 30 on average.1
Signs And Symptoms
According to the National Health Service, the following are the most common signs and symptoms of male menopause:
- Hot flashes
- Moodiness and irritability
- Fat redistribution
- Loss of muscle mass
- Dry skin and thin skin
- Excessive sweating
- Reduced concentration span
- Loss of enthusiasm
Other symptoms include the inability to walk more than 1 kilometer; to engage in vigorous activity, such as running or lifting heavy objects; inability to bend, kneel, or stoop; loss of energy; sadness; and fatigue.2
So, if you think you might be undergoing andropause or have low testosterone, I’d advise you to consult your doctor to figure out the condition. You could also incorporate simple lifestyle changes to deal with the condition.3 With proper care and support, you’ll feel better in no time.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Male menopause: Myth or reality?, Mayo Clinic|
|2.||↑||The ‘Male Menopause’, NHS Choices|
|3.||↑||Fonseca, Vivian, and Ali Jawa. “Endothelial and erectile dysfunction, diabetes mellitus, and the metabolic syndrome: common pathways and treatments?.” The American journal of cardiology 96, no. 12 (2005): 13-18.|