What Is The Andropause?

The andropause is the male equivalent of the menopause; it is also known as the male menopause and it affects some men over the age of 40. Men do not have a menopause, as such, because the levels of testosterone decline steadily as men age, rather than decreasing suddenly like the female menopause; male testosterone levels tend to fall by between 1 and 2 per cent per year from the age of 40. The male menopause is a term coined by the media and health experts sometimes criticise the use of this term, as it suggests that men go through the same hormonal changes as women, which is not true. In most cases, the symptoms associated with the andropause are not linked to hormones, but rather to emotional and mental issues.

In some cases, hormones are involved and this usually occurs when there is an issue, which affects the production of testosterone by the testes, such as hypogonadism; in this case, hormone replacement therapy may help to ease symptoms. Symptoms of hypogonadism include loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, weight gain, hot flushes and loss of muscle mass.


Symptoms of the andropause

Some men experience symptoms, which may be linked to the ‘male menopause’. These symptoms are often connected to life events, lifestyle factors and emotional issues and may include:

  • stress, which may be linked to family and relationship issues, financial worries and deadlines at work
  • loss of muscle mass
  • lack of motivation
  • disturbed sleep patterns
  • tiredness
  • irritability and changes in mood
  • sweating
  • dry skin
  • changes in weight

These symptoms can also contribute to other problems; for example, stress and anxiety are often linked to erectile dysfunction and a lack of libido. More symptoms can be found by visiting the High Life Clinic site.


The midlife crisis

Some men experience a midlife crisis when they reach the age of around 40-50 years old; this may stem from anxiety about the future and worries about what they have achieved in their lives. Some men suffer from depression and anxiety for a period of time and worry that they have failed in their lives; this is particularly common in men who have been divorced, single men and those who have lost their job.


What can be done?

If you experience the symptoms listed above, you should seek medical help. When you see your doctor, they will ask you questions about your lifestyle, whether you have suffered any traumatic or stressful life events and gain an understanding of your personal and professional lives.

In cases, where patients are suffering from anxiety or stress, talking therapies, such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, can be very beneficial; exercise can also be really good for tackling stress and you may also fine relaxation techniques very helpful. Initially, making simples changes, such as doing more exercise and getting more sleep, may be recommended; if these do not work, then treatments, such as counselling and CBT, may be recommended.

In cases where hypogonadism is diagnosed, testosterone therapy will probably be recommended; this increases the level of testosterone in the body and should ease symptoms. Specialists in hormone disorders are known as endocrinologists.

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