Andropause is the decline in testosterone men experience as they age
Male menopause doesn’t exactly sound like a real thing. After all, menopause is the name given to the period of a woman’s life when menstruation ceases, and men don’t experience menstruation at all.
So how could they experience menopause? Well, they can’t, exactly. Male menopause is a more colloquial way of saying andropause, which is a very real condition most men experience as they age. Andropause is the gradual decline in testosterone men experience as they get older.
Ask any adult about menopause, and they’ll likely know a thing or two, but bring up andropause, and you’ll probably get a few confused looks.
Low testosterone, andropause, the “male menopause”—whatever you want to call it, is very real.
So real 30% of men in their 50s experience effects of hormonal changes with rates rising as age increases. Today we want to shine a light on Andropause, some common symptoms, and important things to know.
Andropause vs. Menopause
Andropause – or male menopause – is very different from female menopause. In women, menopause is a life change.
Over a short period, women’s bodies stop ovulating and produce significantly less estrogen. Andropause is a much more drawn out process – referring more to the gradual decline in testosterone levels than a specific life event.
Changing hormone levels, specifically drops in testosterone, in men are known as andropause. However, for the sake of clarity, it can also be referred to as:
- Testosterone deficiency
- Androgen deficiency
- Late-onset hypogonadism
However, whatever you prefer to call it, the truth is if left untreated you can suffer serious health consequences (physical and mental). In fact, menopause and andropause are very different.
While female menopause is a natural sign of aging some men may never develop low testosterone levels. Additionally, female menopause typically sets in quickly while male menopause can develop quietly over decades; making symptoms more difficult to notice.
Symptoms of Andropause
Andropause is very common in males as they age. After age 30, testosterone levels in men typically decrease by about 1% each year.
By age 70, testosterone levels can be down by as much as 50%. So how do you know if you’re suffering from male menopause?
Low testosterone and hormone imbalance are common for men as they age. Once a man turns 35, he may expect to experience a gradual decline in testosterone production at a rate of up to 10% loss in production per year.
As testosterone levels decline men may experience the following:
- Brain fog
- Low energy
- Stubborn belly fat
- Sexual dysfunction
- Mood disorders
- Increased joint pain or stiffness
- Difficulty maintaining or achieving an erection
- Irritability and quick tempers
All of these symptoms, and much more, can quickly deteriorate health if left untreated. Unbalanced hormones in men may also increase the risk for:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Prostate cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
Doctors associate andropause with many different symptoms, but every patient’s journey with hormone imbalance is different.
You may not experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, while a friend or family member could be experiencing severe effects.
It’s important to share your history with your practitioner to address the direct cause of your health concerns.
Well, the only 100% full-proof method is by getting a blood test done. Men can have low testosterone levels without experiencing any symptoms, but a blood test might reveal that their testosterone levels are imbalanced.
On the other hand, men experiencing symptoms of low testosterone might have normal levels, meaning their symptoms might be caused by something else.
Either way, it’s a good idea to get a blood test done. Some common signs and symptoms of andropause are as follows:
1. Changes in Libido and Sexual Function
This symptom could mean a lack of interest in:
- Engaging in sexual activities
- Erectile dysfunction
- A change in the size of testes
2. Weight Gain
Often, men with declining testosterone levels will experience weight gain. This symptom could be caused by a variety of physical changes, such as:
- Less muscle mass
- More body fat
- Less bone density
3. Changes in Energy Level
This symptom is a commonly reported symptom of andropause. Men report feeling lethargic and experiencing much higher than average levels of fatigue. This symptom can even come in the form of sleep disturbances such as insomnia.
4. Mood Swings
Many emotional changes go along with male menopause. Many men say that they start to feel symptoms of depression, sometimes in the form of a lack of motivation or decreasing self-confidence.
Like female menopause, such a significant change in your hormones can cause irregular or irrational changes to your mood. Difficulty concentrating can also be a symptom of testosterone imbalances.
So I Think I’m Experiencing Andropause… What Now?
For starters, getting a blood test done is the best way to verify whether or not you are experiencing andropause.
After you know the cause of your symptoms is low testosterone, you can begin to explore treatment options.
At EvexiPEL, we pride ourselves in taking an integrated approach to treating hormonal imbalances.
Our practitioners are extensively trained not only in our successful bio-identical hormone replacement pellet therapy but also in bedside manner – how to talk to patients and listen to what their needs are.
Often, we’ll recommend patients not only undergo pellet therapy but also think about making lifestyle adjustments that could help alleviate symptoms such as weight gain or feelings of lethargy.
This is something that makes the EvexiPEL approach unique. We understand to treat hormone imbalances successfully, we have to look at each patient individually, and figure out a treatment plan that works for them.
Maybe one patient only needs pellet therapy and he’s good to go. Maybe another would benefit from a combination of counseling, exercise, healthier eating, and pellet therapy.
We Can Help
Whatever you may need, we’ll be sure to give you the individual attention (including follow-up visits) you deserve.
We won’t be satisfied until we know that you’re feeling your best. And of course, we will help give you whatever tools you need to undergo your lifestyle changes.
When it comes down to it, andropause is completely treatable. It may take some patience and hard work on your part, but there are treatment options.
It may also take follow-up visits and adjustments to your treatment over time, but in our opinion, that’s a small price to pay for getting your quality of life back!