Andropause (Male Menopause), Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Andropause, also known as male menopause, and the condition is characterized by a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including hot flashes in men, erectile dysfunction, low libido, irritability, muscle loss, and fatigue that are the result of low levels of testosterone.

“Andropause is not as well studied as menopause, but no well-established hereditary, social or behavioral factors have been found that may put a person at higher risk of early andropause, but for men, testosterone production gradually decreases across the lifespan, and certain men may have lower male hormone levels in their 50s.

Information according to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, nearly 40 % of men over the age of 45 are affected by low testosterone. 

Possible causes

Andropause is usually triggered by low testosterone, and declines in testosterone begin in a man’s late 20s and continue to recede, reaching noticeably low levels around middle age, when men begin to experience symptoms of andropause or low testosterone.

Testosterone is responsible for male physical characteristics such as deep voice, muscle strength, strong sexual drive, etc., but the testes produce less testosterone as men grow in age.

However, certain medical conditions can also trigger early andropause, such as testicular cancer and then surgically removing the testes.

Prostate cancer patients that undertake anti-testosterone therapy to maintain very low testosterone levels can also experience andropause.

Symptoms of andropause

Andropause symptoms are typically mistaken for signs of aging and left untreated, however, adequate levels of testosterone are vital to a man’s wellbeing.

The onset of andropause may result in significant physical, psychological and emotional changes in men, including:

  • Loss of concentration
  • Low energy levels and fatigue
  • Change in attitude and mood swings
  • Depression
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • loss of muscle mass and strength, 
  • Problems with memory and insomnia.

On the other hand, Symptoms of Low Testosterone are:

  • Irritability
  • Gynecomastia (man boobs)
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Night sweats
  • Memory loss
  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Low energy

Diagnoses of Andropause 

To make the diagnosis of male menopause, the doctor will likely perform a physical exam, and ask if you are experiencing some symptoms.

He will then order tests to rule out medical problems that may be contributing to the condition, and also order blood tests, which may include measuring testosterone levels.

Treatment for Andropause

If testosterone levels are low, testosterone replacement therapy may assist to relieve symptoms such as loss of interest in sex (decreased libido), Depression, and Fatigue.

Testosterone therapy has reached new heights of safety and effectiveness over the years as advances in science have discovered more accurate forms of testing hormone levels and administering testosterone.

Testosterone therapy these days comes in a variety of delivery methods including creams, gels, injections, and pellets. 

Pellet therapy has become the most sought-after delivery method of bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy, as it mimics the natural secretion process of testosterone.

Testosterone pellet therapy is made to deliver a steady dose of hormone over the course of 3 to 4 months, eliminating daily dosing hassles and reducing the risk of side effects.

Your doctor will help determine which treatment is best for you and should consider your lifestyle when making this decision.

Follow-up visits with your doctor will be important after the initial treatment begins as it will help your doctor to monitor and check your response to the treatment and make adjustments, if necessary.

R​isks 

Testosterone supplementation may cause itching, rashes, or irritation at the application site, and supplemental testosterone is not recommended for men with prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. This may accelerate prostate tissue growth.

Conclusion 

If you are considering androgen replacement therapy, talk to a doctor to learn more.

Your doctor may also recommend certain lifestyle changes in the area of Diet, Exercise program, Medications, such as an antidepressant to help with some symptoms of male menopause. 

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