The word “menopause” is often associated with females. Contrary to popular beliefs, even males undergo a state of menopause called andropause or male menopause. It is a condition that affects older men in their late 40s and early 50s. The main cause of the symptoms to appear is due to declining testosterone levels and aging. However, not every male goes through male menopause.
Male Menopause:Busting the myth
Age related hormonal changes are different in males and females. In females, ovulation ends and hormone production dips over a very short duration of time. On the other hand, males experience a decline in testosterone levels over a period of many years and the changes are not necessarily evident. This plummet in male hormone levels is called late-onset hypogonadism or age-related low testosterone.
Generally, the male hormone, testosterone shows an average decline of 1% every year after the age of 40. The symptoms are often not clear and overlap with other medical conditions such as testicular cancer and surgical removal of the testes, caused due to a person’s age, use of medications, and due to a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Signs of Male Menopause
The onset of male menopause (andropause) causes certain physical, sexual, and emotional changes in men. These significant changes that happen are mentioned below-
Common physical symptoms are:
- Loss of muscle mass
- Development of “man boobs” due to fat redistribution (gynecomastia)
- Lack of enthusiasm or energy
- Low bone mineral density
- Hot flushes or sweats
- Heart palpitations
- Mild, unexplained anemia
- Early fatigability
Common sexual symptoms are:
- Low testosterone levels
- Loss of libido or sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
Common emotional symptoms are:
- Depression, mood swings, and irritability
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- Short-term memory and poor concentration
Causes of Male Menopause
Apart from having low testosterone production, certain personal and lifestyle factors are responsible for causing male menopause. Low sex drive, mood swings, and erectile dysfunction may often be the result of stress, depression, and anxiety. Smoking and heart problems may also contribute to erectile dysfunction. Late-onset hypogonadism results in the testes producing few nor no hormones at all. Hypogonadism that develops later on in life is more commonly seen in men who are obese or have type 2 diabetes. Late-onset hypogonadism is usually diagnosed on the basis of symptoms experienced and the result of blood tests that measure testosterone levels.
Diagnosis of Male Menopause
A blood test is usually done to confirm low levels of testosterone in man. Once confirmed, the treatment starts which may include a testosterone replacement therapy. This may help relieve symptoms such as loss of sex drive, fatigue, and depression.
Male menopause can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In this treatment, testosterone replacement may be given as an injection, pellet, or gel to correct the hormone deficiency. This can result in improvement in signs and symptoms of low testosterone in the affected males. HRT is usually life-long treatment. If it is stopped in between, the testosterone levels will again drop.
Andropause Natural Treatment
Natural remedies for male menopause often provide marked relief in symptoms for many men. Adopting to certain lifestyle options can help alleviate or treat symptoms of andropause. Some of these natural ways of treatment are mentioned below:
- Consume lots of fruits and vegetables: A diet deficient in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and fiber can contribute to andropause. Thus, it is important to consume a well-balanced and nutritious diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Choose plant protein over animal protein: Sources that are rich in plant proteins include beans, legumes, and selected grains. These vital components of a healthy diet help in preventing symptoms of male menopause, including lean body mass and loss of strength.
- Increase intake of omega-3 rich foods: Omega-3 fatty acids are known to fight inflammation. Inflammation is a process that destroys the body’s natural antioxidants and weakens immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help fight against depression.
With more and more men coming out into the open to talk about their sexual health, particularly male menopause, it has now become way easier to deal with the problem. Apart from hormone replacement therapy, adopting to natural remedies that can lessen the symptoms of male menopause, will help men lead a more fulfilling life.
Equipped with the latest technology and state-of-the-art medical equipment, AndroNeo @ NU hospitals in Bangalore offers the best in Men’s sexual health and Male Infertility. It has a team of highly qualified and professional doctors who leave no stones unturned to offer you the best medical care and treatment. Book a consultation with our andrologist to see yourself on the road to recovery!