What Is Andropause? Male Menopause Symptoms & Care

What Is Andropause? Male Menopause Symptoms & Care

Contrary to popular belief, men are not immune to hormone changes as they age. Although the symptoms and timing may be different from female menopause, it’s important to recognize the signs of andropause, often referred to as “male menopause.”

What is Andropause?

Unlike female perimenopause and menopause symptoms that can arrive in a dramatic surge of frequent hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain, andropause can be a bit stealthy. Andropause is caused by a decline in testosterone production that may occur over an extended period of time as a man ages. A decrease in testosterone can be a by-product of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, but can be caused by a hormonal imbalance between testosterone and estrogen.

Symptoms of male menopause can vary. In many cases, low testosterone levels may go undetected, but some men have reported physical and mental changes. These symptoms may be attributed to male menopause, and can include:

  • Change in sleep patterns (including fatigue or insomnia)
  • Sexual dysfunction (including lack of sexual desire or erectile dysfuntion)
  • Weight gain
  • Bone density loss
  • Muscle mass loss and weakness
  • Depression, anxiety, or memory loss

Why should you talk about it? Although many men hesitate to share concerns regarding such personal matters with anyone, it’s important to discuss any recurring symptoms with your doctor. A physical exam, as well as screenings and lab work if necessary, can give your physician important information. The tests can rule out any other factors that could be contributing to your symptoms, and will work with you to address any specific concerns. For instance, your doctor may prescribe medication to address depression or anxiety.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Ultimately, a blood test can be administered to measure your testosterone levels and confirm the diagnosis of andropause. If your physician discovers an extreme loss in testosterone, there are treatments available to help.

Treatments can vary – and some are controversial. Hormone therapy can be risky for men with prostate cancer or heart disease, and over-the-counter supplements have not been proven to be effective in reducing symptoms of male menopause.

Testosterone replacement comes with possible side effects, so research your options thoroughly before making any decisions regarding hormone therapy. Living a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet can all help contribute to continued wellness.

Talk to your doctor if you notice symptoms of andropause, even if it’s uncomfortable to discuss. Don’t suffer with symptoms you may have assumed are simply signs of aging. There is help available to get you back to feeling good and living an active, healthy life.

For Common Symptoms & Solutions of Menopause, click here.