Is male menopause real?
Most people think that menopause is something that is a women-only condition that includes hot flashes and mood swings. But in fact, many men go through something very similar themselves.
Male menopause is a condition that generally affects older men. It carries a set of symptoms that are linked to declining testosterone levels and aging. It is also referred to as andropause. And the reason it is called male menopause is because it can produce many of the same symptoms as female menopause such as depression, irritability, weight gain and even hot flashes. Male menopause differs from female menopause in several ways. For one thing, not all men experience it. For another, a decline in testosterone and symptoms that may arise are gradual in men, whereas women experience a complete shutdown of ovarian hormone production at menopause.
Why do men experience low testosterone?
If you’re a man, testosterone is a hormone produced in your testes. It does more than fuel your sex drive. It also fuels changes during puberty, fuels your mental and physical energy, maintains your muscle mass, and regulates your fight-or-flight response.
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. After 40, levels begin to decline by about 1 percent every year. The rate can also be affected by chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and medication.
Male menopause symptoms
A gradual decline of testosterone is a normal part of aging. But an unusually low level of testosterone could mean it is male menopause or andropause.
If you believe that you are experiencing andropause keep an eye out for these common symptoms:
- Lower libido
- Hot flashes and sweating
- Erectile dysfunction, or inability to achieve or sustain an erection
- Weaker amount of ejaculate
- Increased body fat, reduced muscle mass and decreased bone density
Other symptoms include:
- Less body hair
- Breast tissue development (Gynaecomastia)
These symptoms may also occur in older males with heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Physicians can order tests to rule out any medical problem that may be contributing to these symptoms.
Treatment for Male Menopause
The most common type of treatment for symptoms of male menopause is making healthier lifestyle choices.
For example, your doctor might advise you to:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get regular exercise
- Get enough sleep
- Reduce your stress
Unless male menopause is disrupting your life, you’ll probably manage your symptoms without treatment. The biggest hurdle in treating male menopause may be talking to your doctor about your symptoms. Men may be too embarrassed or shy to discuss sexual topics with their doctors.
Keep in mind that your healthcare provider is here to help. If your symptoms are causing you hardship, reach out to a Pillway Healthcare member or speak to your doctor. They can provide recommendations to help you manage or treat your symptoms.