Strictly speaking men can’t have a menopause as such, since the definition of the menopause is the time at which periods cease. However, it’s argued that they can go through a male equivalent, called the andropause, that’s accompanied by symptoms similar to those experienced by women. Not all men will go through andropause and it is unknown why those that will, do.
Testerone levels tend to peak around the ages of 15 to 18 in most males and sometime during his mid to late 20s, a man’s hormone levels will begin to drop. Usually, these hormone levels will remain at a healthy level, but some men will see their testosterone levels drop significantly by the time they are 40. By age 50, half of all men will experience a significant reduction in testosterone levels, causing a variety of uncomfortable ailments.
Causes of Male Menopause
Male menopause can occur naturally in some men. More often than not, though, it is triggered by illness, depression, dementia, and obesity. Certain diseases that attack the heart and lungs also seem to affect the production of testosterone.
Andropause vs. Menopause
Menopause in men is not the same as female menopause. Female menopause involves the complete decline of sex hormones. During menopause, your estrogen levels will decrease and then disappear, causing acute symptoms and the complete loss of fertility. Men will never lose their fertility completely during andropause. Testosterone will continue to be produced, as will sperm, permitting a man to have children well into his 80s. For this reason, there is much debate over whether this testosterone drop should be referred to as the male “menopause.”
What are the Symptoms of Male Menopause?
- poor sex drive
- tiredness and fatigue
- change in body shape
- reduced muscle mass
- generalised aches and pains
- low mood
Men often do not seek treatment for andropause. A lot of men feel uncomfortable speaking about their symptoms and, in the past, doctors haven’t taken men’s menopause seriously. Signs of menopause in men can also be difficult to diagnose. Thanks to new studies, though, doctors have become more aware of this problem and are beginning to realise the importance of treatment.