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Understanding Andropause: Do Man Go Through Menopause?

Ever wondered if men experience menopause?

 

You’re in the right place!

 

It turns out that both men AND women experience hormonal changes in midlife and beyond, just with different hormones and in different ways. Let’s explore these similarities and differences and what to expect.

 

Let’s dive in.

 


 

Find What You Need Quickly!

 

 

 

andropause and aging

 


Hormones: Androgens, Estrogens, and Progestogens

Whatever our gender, we all have androgens, estrogens, and progestogens as our reproductive hormones.


These are produced in our sex organs (testes or ovaries), pituitary glands, and fat cells.




Androgens

Androgens are a group of hormones that perform over 200 actions in our bodies, including reproductive health, cardiac health, red blood cell production, bone mass retention, muscle tone, and brain function.


These are commonly named the male hormones,” but don’t let that nickname fool you. While males have higher levels than women, women have higher amounts of androgens than they do estrogens.

 


Estrogens

Estrogens are a group of hormones with hundreds of receptors in the brain, playing various roles in mood regulation, body temperature, and mental functioning. It’s also essential for our cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, immune, and central nervous systems.


These are commonly named the “female hormones,” but don’t let that nickname fool you. While females have higher levels than men, estrogen is also essential to male health.


 

Progestogens

Progestogens are a group of hormones that perform several bodily tasks related to reproduction, mood, immunity, bone health, cardiovascular health, and thyroid function.


While vital, these hormones are present in trace amounts.





Male "Menopause": Andropause

For males, testosterone is your driving hormone.


Testosterone is an androgen.


Androgens are responsible for traditional "male characteristics," such as the development of facial hair, the deepening of your voice, and muscle growth.


Testosterone levels slowly and gradually decline, generally between age 40 and 55.


The decline will likely be so minimal and gradual that you probably won’t even notice.


Some men, however, experience a decline in sexual desire, fewer spontaneous erections, or erectile dysfunction.


As testosterone is an androgen, this decline is termed Andropause.




Andropause Symptoms

Only 0.5% of the male population will experience an abnormal drop in testosterone, enough to experience andropause symptoms.


That means only 1 in 200 men experience andropause ("male menopause").

Symptoms of andropause can include:

  • Loss of height

  • Loss of bone density

  • Loss of muscle mass and strength

  • Enlarged or tender breasts

  • Loss of energy and motivation

  • Depression and mood swings

  • Increased body fat and reduced hair growth

  • Low sex drive and erectile difficulties

  • Decreased mental sharpness and concentration

If you experience these symptoms, talk to your trusted healthcare provider.




Low Testosterone Symptoms

While the drastic drop in testosterone leading to andropause is relatively rare, low testosterone levels are more probable with increasing age. It is important to have your hormone levels checked.


It is estimated that:

10% of men in their 40s have low testosterone.
25% of men in their 50s have low testosterone.
45% of men in their 60s have low testosterone.
70% of men in their 70s have low testosterone.

Symptoms of low estrogen include:

  • Low sex drive

  • Difficulty with erection

  • Decreased energy

  • Hair loss

 

If you experience these symptoms, talk to your trusted healthcare provider.




Treatment Options

Experiencing low testosterone or even andropause? There are treatment options available. Your healthcare provider will help you find your best fit.


  • Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can improve the symptoms of low testosterone. It comes in injectable, pellet, gel, and patch form. This is generally recommended for men with hypogonadism. This condition hampers the ability to produce normal amounts of testosterone.

  • Losing weight, engaging in physical activities, and strength training can enhance the body's natural testosterone production and help avert numerous diseases linked to lifestyle.

  • Consuming a well-rounded diet rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates while steering clear of estrogen-mimicking chemicals and alcohol aids in maintaining optimal testosterone levels.

  • Prioritizing quality sleep, reducing stress and cortisol levels, boosting vitamin D, and considering supplements when necessary are also effective strategies for naturally increasing testosterone levels.

 


Do Man Go Through Menopause



How Andropause and Menopause Differ

 

While both andropause and menopause are age-related declines in hormone levels, women have a completely different experience.

 


Women: Menopause

For women, estradiol is the key hormone.


Estradiol belongs to the estrogen family.


These estrogens play crucial roles in developing breasts, broadening hips, and initiating menstruation.


Men may not noticeably feel their testosterone levels decreasing over time, but women's experience is markedly different.


Women undergo a tumultuous journey of hormonal fluctuations before estradiol levels drastically drop.


The absence of estradiol leads to more than just hot flashes and a decreased libido. Women face heightened risks of osteoporosis, memory loss and cognitive decline, increased chances of heart disease, and various types of cancer.


While andropause affects only 0.5% of men, every single woman (100%) will experience menopause.


This is precisely why menopause is a more significant event!





What’s Next? Here’s Your Action Plan!


If you think you are suffering from low testosterone, it is important to seek guidance from a trusted healthcare provider. If you are that 1 in 200 experiencing andropause, there are treatment options! You face long-term health effects of not treating androgen-estrogen-progesterone off-balance.

 

Your action plan:

  1. Educate Yourself: Dive into the resources linked at the bottom of this article. Knowledge is power.                                                                                                                                                                                                

  2. Seek Treatment: If you experience the symptoms discussed here, seek the guidance of a healthcare provider specifically trained in hormone therapy. Most doctors are not trained in hormone therapy!

 

  1. Find Support: Look online for support groups and forums. For men, there are andropause communities on Facebook. For women experiencing menopause, there is the Bloomer Brigade Menopause Community.

 

 

 

FAQ: Navigating Andropause

1. What is Andropause?

Answer: Andropause is a term often synonymous with male menopause, describing age-related changes in male hormone levels, particularly a dramatic decline in testosterone. Only 1 in 200 (0.5%) men experience andropause. However, most men will experience moderate testosterone reduction by age 70. Symptoms include decreased mental sharpness and concentration, changes in sexual function, sleep patterns, and mood, among others.

 

2. Is There a Menopause for Men?

Answer: Yes, the term 'menopause for men' is commonly referred to as andropause, which involves a gradual decrease in testosterone levels in men. Only 1 in 200 men experience andropause.

 

3. What Does Andropause Male Menopause Entail?

Answer: Andropause male menopause signifies a phase where men may experience symptoms similar to those of menopause due to a decrease in testosterone. Only 0.5% of men experience andropause.

 

4. Can You List the Symptoms of Andropause?

Answer: Symptoms of andropause can include loss of height, bone density, and muscle mass, as well as enlarged or tender breasts, loss of energy and motivation, depression and mood swings, reduced hair growth, low sex drive, and erectile difficulties. Symptoms of low estrogen (but not low enough to be diagnosed with andropause) include decreased mental sharpness and concentration, changes in sexual function, sleep patterns, and mood, among others.

 

5. How Would You Define Andropause?

Answer: Andropause definition refers to the period in a man's life characterized by a natural decline in testosterone levels, often equated with the male version of menopause.

 

6. What Are the Common Symptoms for Male Menopause?

Answer: Common symptoms for male menopause may include energy loss, sleep disturbances, decreased muscle mass, and emotional changes.

 

7. At What Male Menopause Age Do Symptoms Typically Begin?

Answer: Male menopause age usually starts in the late 40s to early 50s, but it can vary from one individual to another.

 

8. Do Man Get Menopause or Experience Its Symptoms?

Answer: While the majority of men will experience a reduction in testosterone by age 70, only 0.5% of men experience drastic declines, leading to the male equivalent of menopause. The counterpart is called andropause, which has its own set of symptoms.

 

9. Does Men Go Through Menopause in the Same Way as Women?

Answer: No. While both men and women experience reduced levels of hormones as they age, 100% of women will experience drastic declines leading to menopause as they age. Only 0.5% of men will have drastic declines leading to andropause as they age.


10. What Are Menopause for Men Symptoms?

Answer: Menopause for men symptoms, or andropause symptoms, often include Loss of height, bone density, and muscle mass, as well as enlarged or tender breasts, loss of energy and motivation, depression and mood swings, reduced hair growth, low sex drive, and erectile difficulties. Symptoms of low estrogen (but not low enough to be diagnosed with andropause) include decreased mental sharpness and concentration, changes in sexual function, sleep patterns, and mood, among others.

 

11. Do Man Go Through Menopause?

Answer: Do man go through menopause? Only 1 in 200 men experience andropause, which is the male equivalent of menopause. However, most men will experience some level of testosterone reduction by age 70. Symptoms include decreased mental sharpness and concentration, changes in sexual function, sleep patterns, and mood, among others.



References and Further Reading


  1. Ali, M., Parekh, N. (2020). Male Age and Andropause. In: Parekattil, S., Esteves, S., Agarwal, A. (eds) Male Infertility. Springer, Cham.

  2. Maliheh Abootalebi, Fatemeh Vizeshfar, Naval Heydari & Farnoosh Azizi (2020) Effect of education about andropause health on level of the knowledge and attitude of men referring to the education and training retirement center of Shiraz, The Aging Male, 23:3, 216-221.

  3. Male Menopause: Myth or Reality. Mayo Clinic.

  4. A Vermeulen (2000) Andropause, Maturitas, 34:1, 5-15.

  5. Ashghali-Farahani M, Khachian A, Vakilian P, Mahmoudi M. Androgen Deficiency in Aging Males: Translation and Validation Study of the Iranian Version. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2021 Mar 5;26(2):144-149.

  6. Andropause: What is it and What Can You Do About Male Menopause.

  7. Low Testosterone, Male Menopause, Manopause.

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