Have any questions? +91 44 43854159 or hi@drkamarajhospital.com

Andropause

Andropause (Male Menopause)

Women may not be the only ones who suffer the effects of changing hormones. Some doctors are noticing that men are reporting some of the same symptoms that women experience in perimenopause and menopause.

The medical community is debating whether or not men really do go through a well-defined menopause. Doctors say that men receiving hormone therapy with testosterone have reported relief of some of the symptoms associated with so-called male menopause.

Andropause

Testosterone is the hormone responsible for deep voices, muscle mass, and facial and body hair patterns found in males. As men get older, the level of testosterone in the body and production of sperm gradually becomes lower, and they experience physical and psychological symptoms as a result of these low levels. This is part of the natural aging process and it is estimated that testosterone decreases about 10% every decade after men reach the age of 30.

Andropause is a condition that is associated with the decrease in the male hormone testosterone. It is unlike menopause in that the decrease in testosterone and the development of symptoms is more gradual than what occurs in women. Approximately 30% of men in their 50s will experience symptoms of andropause caused by low testosterone levels. A person experiencing andropause may have a number of symptoms related to the condition and could be at risk of other serious health conditions such as osteoporosis without proper treatment.

What Is Male Menopause?

Because men do not go through a well-defined period referred to as menopause, some doctors refer to this problem as androgen (testosterone) decline in the aging male — or what some people call low testosterone. Men do experience a decline in the production of the male hormone testosterone with aging, but this also occurs with conditions such as diabetes.

Unlike menopause in women, when hormone production stops completely, testosterone decline in men is a slower process. The testes, unlike the ovaries, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone. A healthy man may be able to make sperm well into his 80s or later. However, as a result of disease, subtle changes in the function of the testes may occur as early as age 45 to 50 and more dramatically after the age of 70 in some men.

Causes

The decrease in testosterone is an important factor in men suspected of having andropause. However, as men age, not only does the body start making less testosterone, but also the levels of another hormone called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which pulls usable testosterone from the blood, begins to increase. SHBG binds some of the available testosterone circulating in the blood. The testosterone that is not bound to the SHBG hormone is called bioavailable testosterone, meaning it is available for use by the body.

Men who experience symptoms associated with andropause have lowered amounts of bioavailable testosterone in their blood. Therefore, tissues in the body that are stimulated by testosterone receive a lower amount of it, which may cause various physical and possibly mental changes in a person such as mood swings or fatigue.

Andropause
Symptoms and Complications

Although symptoms may vary from person to person, common symptoms of men going through andropause include:

• Low sex drive
• Difficulties getting erections or erections that are not as strong as usual
• Lack of energy
• Depression
• Irritability and mood swings
• Loss of strength or muscle mass
• Increased body fat
• Hot flashes

Complications associated with andropause include an increased risk of cardiovascular problems and osteoporosis (brittle bones).

How Is Male Menopause Diagnosed?

To make the diagnosis of male menopause, the doctor will:
• Perform a physical exam
• Ask about symptoms
• Order tests to rule out medical problems that may be contributing to the condition
• Order blood tests, which may include measuring testosterone level

Can Male Menopause Be Treated?

Replacing testosterone in the blood is the most common treatment for men going through andropause. This treatment may provide relief from the symptoms and help improve the quality of life in many cases. Lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, stress reduction, and good nutrition also help. Your doctor will help you decide if testosterone treatment is right in your situation, as treatment does have risks.

Andropause

If you are considering androgen replacement therapy, talk to a doctor to learn more. Your doctor may also recommend certain lifestyle or other changes to help with some symptoms of male menopause. These include:

• Diet
• Exercise program
• Medications, such as an antidepressant

Our Achievements

Best Doctor Award 2012

Oldest Women in India to Deliver Twins