Menopause is a well-documented medical condition that occurs in women when the reproductive hormones drop dramatically with age. Unlike women, the sex hormone change in men happens more gradually, but doctors have noted men are reporting some of the same symptoms that women experience during menopause. This hormonal change in men is often referred to as “male menopause” or andropause.
What Is Andropause?
Andropause affects older men and can cause symptoms linked to declining testosterone levels and aging. Among many other things, testosterone is the hormone responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. According to the Mayo Clinic, most men’s testosterone levels peak in early adulthood and start to decline between the ages of 30 and 40. By age 70, the testosterone level might only be half of a man’s peak level. Testosterone levels can also be affected by other health conditions, such as obesity or diabetes, as well as certain kinds of medication or environmental factors.
Andropause is different from its female counterpart in several ways. Not all men experience it, and, unlike in women, the reproductive organs continue functioning.
The Symptoms of Andropause
While a gradual testosterone decline is part of the normal aging process, unusually low levels could be due to andropause. Symptoms often include:
- Decreased sex drive
- Depression, fatigue, insomnia
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hot flashes or sweats
Other possible symptoms include depression, lack of sleep, decreased energy, muscle tone reduction, and increased body fat.
Causes of Male Menopause
Andropause tends to show up most often in older men who also suffer from heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes.
Not only do older men naturally have less testosterone, but their levels of a hormone called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) also rise. SHBG pulls usable testosterone from the blood; anything that’s left can be used by the body. Men with symptoms of andropause have a lower amount of available testosterone in their blood, leading to physical and even mental changes.
Men who are concerned they may be suffering from andropause should consult their doctor about their symptoms. The doctor will perform a physical exam and will order blood tests to rule out any other medical issues that could be a factor, in addition to measuring testosterone and other hormone levels.
Men who receive an official diagnosis sometimes start testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which can help relieve some of the symptoms and improve quality of life. TRT can be administered via pellets, injections, gels, or creams. Sometimes it is more prudent to start by rebooting the body’s natural hormone production. The doctor will discuss any of the risks involved with the treatment options.
Lifestyle changes, including exercise, reduced alcohol consumption, not smoking, and improved nutrition may also be recommended.
Hormone Replacement Therapy in LA
Declining testosterone levels are a normal part of the aging process, but men do not have to let it affect their quality of life. Men who are suffering from andropause in the Los Angeles area can find answers by speaking to our hormone specialists at VitalityRx®. We can provide a safe and effective treatment option to bring your testosterone levels back to your optimal range—at your convenience and at the comfort of your home or office.