The “Male Menopause”, also known as “Andropause”, is when the testosteroneLevels of , the main male hormone, begin to decline around the age of 40, and thereafter the loss can be as high as 1-2% of annual male hormone production.
It is important for men to be aware of the reduction in sex hormones as this reduction occurs much more subtly than in women. There is no such definitive drop in male hormones or a phenomenon as marked as the menopause in women.
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male menopause symptoms
Some men develop depression, loss of libidoerectile dysfunction and other physical and emotional symptoms when they reach their 40s and 50s.
Other common symptoms in men at this age are:
- depression or sadness
- decreased motivation
- low self-esteem
- difficult to focus
- insomnia or trouble sleeping
- increased body fat, such as increased abdominal fat, the famous belly
- reduced muscle mass and feeling of physical weakness
- gynecomastia or breast development
- decreased bone density
- erectile dysfunction
- reduced libido
- mood swings and irritability
- a general lack of enthusiasm or energy
- excess fatigue
- poor concentration and short-term memory
These symptoms can interfere with daily life and happiness, so it’s important to find the cause and find out what can be done to address it.
Changes in testosterone levels over the years
Before reaching puberty, testosterone levels are low. Therefore, they increase as the man sexually matures. Testosterone is the hormone that drives the typical changes of male puberty, such as:
- muscle mass growth
- body hair growth
- change of tone of voice
- Changes in sexual functioning.
As you age, testosterone levels normally begin to decline. In accordance with Mayo Clinic Testosterone levels tend to drop an average of 1% per year after men turn 30. Some health conditions can cause earlier or more drastic drops in testosterone levels.
THE erectile dysfunction and the reduced libido are the most characteristic symptoms of andropause and that most afflicts men with hormonal decline. Even so, sexuality can be influenced by many other organic and psychological causes that have nothing to do with the decline of the male hormone. Therefore, the diagnosis must always take into account testosterone doses in addition to symptoms.
How diabetes affects sex life
In addition to changes in the sexual sphere, the other symptoms that accompany low testosterone are even less specific to hormonal dysfunction and more similar to natural aging. The reduction of muscle and bone mass, chronic fatigue and discouragement are complaints of many men over 50 years of age and most of them do not have the low testosterone that allows us to make the diagnosis. Perhaps the stress of modern life, professional and family demands, and male expectations themselves may act more strongly than hormonal decline.
A testosterone deficiency that develops later in life, also known as late-onset hypogonadism, can sometimes be responsible for these symptoms, but in many cases the symptoms have nothing to do with hormones.
late onset hypogonadism
In some cases, when lifestyle or psychological problems do not seem to be to blame, the symptoms of “male menopause” may be the result of hypogonadism, in which the testicles produce little or no hormones.
Hypogonadism is sometimes present from birth, which can cause symptoms such as delayed puberty and small testicles.
Hypogonadism can also occasionally develop later in life, particularly in men who are obese or type 2 diabetes .
This is known as late-onset hypogonadism and can cause the symptoms of “male menopause.”
But this is a rare and specific medical condition that is not a normal part of aging.
The diagnosis of late-onset hypogonadism can usually be made based on your symptoms and the results of blood tests used to measure your testosterone levels.
How is menopause treated?
Once the diagnosis is established, male hormone replacement can be performed as long as there are no contraindications. The most important are prostate diseases or even nonspecific changes in PSA. Replacement can be done through various male hormone preparations, which can be administered by injectable hormones or by solutions applied to the skin as a gel or patch. Its benefits are proven in improve libido, erection, muscle and bone mass.
Recommendations on testosterone therapy for men with age-related low testosterone levels vary. In 2020, the American College of Physicians recommended that clinicians consider starting testosterone treatment in men with sexual dysfunction who want to improve their sexual function, after explaining the risks and benefits.
In 2018, the Endocrine Society Testosterone therapy recommended for men with age-related low testosterone who had signs and symptoms associated with low testosterone.
What do the experts recommend?
Some experts also recommend offering testosterone treatment to men with age-related low testosterone levels without signs or symptoms.
If you decide to start testosterone therapy, your doctor will explain the different ways testosterone can be given, target levels, and follow-up tests.
For some men, testosterone therapy relieves bothersome signs and symptoms of low testosterone. For others, the benefits are unclear and there are potential risks.
Although more research is needed, testosterone therapy may stimulate the growth of metastatic breast and prostate cancer. Testosterone therapy can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as contributing to blood clots in the veins.
Your doctor may not recommend starting testosterone therapy if:
- your fertility is important in the near future,
- if you have diseases such as breast or prostate cancer,
- untreated severe obstructive sleep apnea,
- uncontrolled heart failure or thrombophilia (a disease characterized by the formation of thrombi or blood clots)
- if you have recently had a heart attack or stroke.
If you think you may have low testosterone, talk to your doctor about your signs and symptoms, tests, and possible treatment options. Your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons of treatment.
Understand how diabetes affects your sex life
Find out how diabetes may be interfering with Quality of your sex life and find solutions to their problems.
Answer the following questions:
- How important is sexual activity in your life?
- Do you have diabetes and have difficulties in your sexual life?
- Do you feel pain during intercourse?
- Do you want to get pregnant but have diabetes?
- Or do you want to take a break but don’t know which contraceptive method to use?
- Are you already in menopause and have diabetes?
- Do you want to know if diabetes can cause infertility?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you should read the e-book: “SEX and DIABETES: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
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