What is male menopause?
The age related hormonal changes in men are known as male menopause. Although called “menopause” these are different in characteristics from the ones that female go through.
As we already know, hormonal changes occur in female. It is a natural part of aging. Similarly such hormonal changes occur in men too. The only difference between the female change and the male hormonal change is in its speed of occurrence. While females have a very drastic hormonal change, the male hormonal change occurs gradually.
Debunking menopause myths
Some people believe that menopause always relates to estrogen – it does not. The male menopause is related to the reducing testosterone in their systems. In men the testosterone and the bioavailability declines over a period of time. The results of this are not even clear. In women, the menopause occurs when there is a plummet in hormone production and the ovulation cycle ends. The two are different in their rate of occurrence.
So what’s the best way to call it?
Even though it is still known as male menopause by many, experts like to call it “andropause”. Many men report a lack in energy or symptoms like back pain which are often associated with hormonal changes in women, during this time.
The hormone related changes in men during the 40s are often termed as “androgen deficiency” and late onset male hypogonadism. It must be noted that male hormone (testosterone) varies greatly among men. Older men generally have lower testosterone levels than younger men. The testosterone levels decline by 1% every year after the age of 30.
What does it cause?
Low testosterone levels cause a lot of symptoms in men like depression, erectile dysfunction, increased body fat, reduced muscle mass, etc. sometimes to treat the diseases related to male menopause, the doctors prescribe anti depressants, hormone therapy or even counseling.
What are the symptoms of male menopause?
Male menopause causes physical and psychological problems. However the intensity may vary from person to person. Some of the symptoms of male menopause are:
- Low energy levels
- General sadness or in extreme cases depression
- Low self confidence suddenly
- Decreased bone density
- Development of breasts
- Reduced libido
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Loss of hair
- Decreased testicle size
One of the worst symptoms of male menopause is osteoporosis. During this time your bones may become so weak that they break off. This is treatable, but it is painful and rare.
How to treat male menopause?
Your doctor may ask for a sample of your blood to treat this symptom. Unless male menopause is causing severe problems in your life, you should not be able to feel it much because it happens gradually.
You can fight male menopause by:
- Getting exercise regularly
- Reducing your stress levels
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating a balanced diet
Hormone replacement therapy is another thing that might help the individuals to battle this out in extreme conditions.