The female reproductive cycle comes to an end during menopause. But as they age, men also go through various symptoms and changes that some individuals link to menopausal symptoms.
Some literary works refer to the condition as “andropause” or “male menopause.” The definition of symptoms, causes, and treatments is still not defined, and this categorization is deceptive. In this post, we’ll look at how aging affects men’s hormones and how to lessen its adverse impacts on men’s health.
Is there “male menopause”?
Men’s levels of sex-specific hormones do change as they age, but it is inaccurate to compare this to women’s menopause. Instead, some experts link the symptoms to a disorder known as late-onset hypogonadism or androgen decline in the aging male (ADAM). This happens inevitably as the gonads, or the organs that create sex cells, get older and lose their functionality.
A typical phase of female sexual development is menopause, yet it barely affects 2.1 percent of men. Although it becomes more common with age, this is still not a common step of male development.
When a man exhibits three sexual symptoms and has androgen levels under 11 nanomoles per liter, a doctor will recommend a diagnosis of late-onset hypogonadism (nmol).
The primary female reproductive hormones, progesterone and estrogen, diminish significantly in women throughout menopause and do so over a brief period. Compared to menopause, the symptoms of disorders frequently classified as male menopause appear more gradually, quietly, and mildly.
The decline in testosterone levels is less pronounced than the decline in hormone levels experienced by women during menopause. Some individuals attribute a variety of indications and symptoms to male menopause, including:
- Hot flashes
- Reduction of muscle mass
- Heavy perspiration
- Thin, dry skin
Male menopause is characterized by decreased libido, a decline in the frequency of morning erections, and erectile dysfunction.
Other signs include a lack of energy, the inability to walk further than one kilometer (0.62 miles), and challenges completing physically demanding activities like running or moving heavy objects.
The difficulty of bending, stooping, and kneeling may also increase. The alteration in male hormone levels may also cause depression and exhaustion.
Testosterone levels in men gradually decline beyond 30, declining by an average of 1% annually. However, medical professionals do not think that the symptoms of male menopause are caused by the standard, age-related drop in testosterone levels. Every male would suffer the signs if this were connected to them, but that is not the case.
The symptoms of this illness might vary from person-to-person and are complicated. While older men with diminishing testosterone levels frequently have these symptoms, older men with heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes are more likely to experience them.
This shows that fluctuating amounts of male hormones do not solely cause the disorder.
Other risk elements include underlying medical conditions like:
- Inadequate exercise
- Consuming alcohol and smoking
- Stress and anxiety, lack of sleep
- A nerve issue or alterations in the blood vessels may cause erectile dysfunction.
Some men go through a psychological condition known as a “mid-life crisis,” where they start to worry about upcoming milestones in their personal and professional lives. This may lead to depression, which in turn may set off several events resulting in ADAM’s physical symptoms. Lack of sleep, a poor diet, inactivity, smoking, drinking, and low self-esteem may also be factors.
In the case of hypogonadism, the testes do not produce adequate hormones. Delayed puberty can result in younger boys. The symptoms of ADAM might appear later in life and are likely related to type 2 diabetes or obesity.
Changes in male hormone levels
After age 30, the average annual fall in testosterone levels during adulthood is 1 percent. A man’s testosterone levels may have decreased by as much as 50% by age 70. Reduced testosterone can cause:
Sexual problems include infertility, decreased testicles, less sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, and issues with sleep including sleeplessness or excessive drowsiness. Physical changes include a rise in body fat, a decrease in strength, power, and endurance, as well as a loss of bone density.
Emotional problems can include a lack of drive or confidence, feelings of melancholy or depression, a lack of focus, or memory problems. Men should not instantly assume that these are male menopause symptoms as they also also present in many other conditions, such as anemia, depression, and hypothyroidism, indicative of prostate cancer.
Do male menopausal symptoms have a treatment?
A blood test to assess the hormone is the only technique to ascertain testosterone levels. Like estrogen replacement therapy for women, testosterone replacement therapy has possible side effects but can also help with symptom relief. For example, it should not be used if you have prostate cancer.
Men experiencing low testosterone symptoms should discuss lifestyle modifications and other treatments besides hormone replacement therapy, such as antidepressants, with their doctor. Any medicine should have its benefits and drawbacks weighed.
If you’re interested in learning more about male menopause, get in touch with the Gulf Coast Institute of Rejuvenation and schedule a consultation to understand your body and determine whether or not you are experiencing any symptoms.