Does male menopause exist?
All of us are more or less familiar with the term “menopause,” and what it means for the women in our lives. This is generally a time of drastic physiological changes that all center around the cessation of hormone production. The results are both physical and mental, and require the loving support of their partners.
More recently, the discussion of male menopause has caught the interest of the scientific community. Whether or not menopause for men exists is still a matter of debate, because it manifests in a much different way. For one thing, there doesn’t appear to be a well-defined period in a man’s life in which he experiences it. Additionally, male menopause does not involve the total shutting down of sexual hormones. Finally, all men experience the symptoms to varying degrees—for some, they’re mild; for others however, these changes drastically affect their quality of life.
Symptoms Menopause For Men
Because of these differences, “male menopause” is a bit of a misnomer, and many medical professionals instead refer to these natural changes as “andropause,” “hypogonadism,” or simply, “Low T.” This is because it is a decline in the production of testosterone that appears to be causing male menopause symptoms. Typically, any or all of the following are reported:
- Lack of energy and increased fatigue
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased body fat
- Loss of hair
- Low libido
- Lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating
One of the factors contributing to the idea of male menopause is that our bodies’ production of T begins to decline by one or two percentage points each year after about age 30. While this natural decline isn’t enough to be solely blamed for the potential onset of male menopause, onset of the above symptoms can be accelerated by contributing factors, such as:
- Substance abuse
- Tobacco use
- Diets high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats
- Lack of exercise
Despite the many different potential causes and symptoms of andropause, there is a lot of good news for those researching male menopause treatment. These range from non-invasive lifestyle changes to supplemental hormone treatments.
Diagnosing Male Menopause
Because male menopause is still relatively loosely defined, diagnosing it can be a bit of a challenge. The largest obstacle for some men is simply being honest with their physicians. It is important not to feel embarrassed or shameful when discussing your symptoms and concerns, as this is the crucial first step in diagnosing andropause.
In order to conduct a diagnosis, your doctor will likely conduct a full physical, ask you to describe your symptoms and their history in depth, and perhaps order a blood test to monitor where your current testosterone levels lie.
Treatments for Male Menopause
Some of the ways to combat male menopause or testosterone deficiency can be found right in your daily routine. Small changes to your lifestyle to improve your overall health and wellbeing may help male menopause, however, medical treatment will likely be required in addition to any holistic changes that you may undertake.
In some cases, a doctor may suggest hormone therapy in the form of injections, patches, or topical gels. The most commonly prescribed hormone therapy is Testosterone Replacement Therapy, or TRT. TRT has been utilized to treat a wide range of symptoms resulting from testosterone deficiency, or what some might refer to as male menopause. Men who undergo TRT have found positive changes when it comes to ed, libido, depression, and fatigue.
However, it is essential that men not begin to experiment with raising their T levels prior to speaking with a doctor—particularly if they are already taking other medications, or have not had a recent blood test to determine their current T production. As with all medical concerns, risks vary on an individual basis, and exact results can be different among different men. A qualified doctor or male health clinic is the best place to begin your journey toward male menopause treatment.
Regardless of whether or not an exact definition for male menopause currently exists, the fact of the matter is low T levels do have measurable effects on our lives. Fortunately, there are many ways to approach diagnosing and treating andropause, with the best part being you can begin yours right away. Working with the medical professionals at Premier Men’s Medical Center in Orlando can help you live a healthier, happier life with fewer sexual problems. Give us a call today to chat through your unique problems.