What is andropause (male menopause)?
As everyone gets older, the quantity and ratios of different hormones and chemicals in the body will naturally change. Women can expect to undergo a series of quite drastic hormonal changes, including a significant drop in the production of estrogen, between the ages of about 45-55. Men also undergo changes in their hormonal makeup, but these tend to be more gradual. This is called andropause.
Do men go through menopause, or is it a condition unique to the fairer sex?
Some segments of the media have taken to employing the term “male menopause” to describe the sex hormone alterations that men experience as they age. This is a bit of a misnomer. In women, her ability to produce eggs stops and hormone levels decline rapidly. In men, the lowering of testosterone and other associated hormones decreases over many years. The correct term to describe this process is late-onset hypogonadism.
Most men’s testosterone levels (t-levels) decrease by approximately 1% per annum after they reach 40. The majority of older men are still within the acceptable ranges, with only about 10% producing clinically low amounts of testosterone. Click to visit online pharmacy australianclinic1.com and view medications list.
Diminished t-levels in older men can be hard to pinpoint, as tests for this condition are not performed by way of routine, and it often presents asymptomatically. Testing for low t-levels is only generally recommended in older patients if they are already displaying symptoms.
What are the symptoms of andropause (male menopause)?
Many of the signs and symptoms attributable to low t-levels can also be caused by other factors, such as age, obesity, and secondary effects of drugs and medication. However, some indications of low t-levels to look out for are:
- Diminished sexual appetite
- A reduction in the frequency of “morning wood”, or waking erections
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hot flushes
- Loss of muscle mass
- Diagnosing the condition
If you believe you may be experiencing andropause, speak to a licensed physician. To make a diagnosis, they will analyse your symptoms to see if they correlate with those of low t-levels. Then a blood test can quickly determine the exact concentration of testosterone in your system to confirm or refute the proposition that low levels of free testosterone in the blood are to blame.
As well as being a condition unto itself, low testosterone can be a symptom of several other disorders. Your doctor will probably recommend some additional tests of the pituitary gland to preclude the possibility of an underlying condition.
Many of the symptoms of late-onset hypogonadism, such as erectile dysfunction, tiredness, irritability and fatigue can be explained by way of other physiological and mental conditions. Poor diet, depression, anxiety, medication side effects, a lack of exercise, smoking, drug and alcohol use, relationship troubles and insomnia are just a few elements that can cause or exacerbate the symptoms mentioned above. If a doctor confirms that low t-levels are not the source, but your symptoms remain idiopathic, conduct an honest examination of your lifestyle factors to see if your behaviours could be behind your physical woes.
How long does the male menopause last and what are the potential treatment options?
The gradual, age-related decline in testosterone levels will start for most men around age 30 and progress at roughly 1% per year after this. This incremental process will generally continue at the same rate for the remainder of a man’s life. How long does the male menopause last depends when it starts and how long you live.
We are complex biological machines, and our ability to produce hormones such as testosterone depends on keeping those machines operating at their optimal level. A lifestyle examination and changes such as increasing the amount of exercise you do (lifting heavy weights is a proven t-booster). Improving your diet (sugar massively affects t-levels) can have a profoundly positive effect. Altering the lifestyle choices listed here is bar far the most convenient and cost-effective (it’s free after all) way to try to elevate the amount of testosterone your body produces.
For men with more drastic drops in testosterone, or for men suffering unbearably, the most common treatment involves adding additional testosterone to the blood. This form of medicine is known as testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, and can drastically improve quality of life for some men.