When you hear the term “menopause”, you might automatically associate it with women. While menopause is a condition that almost exclusively affects women, there is a condition that is called andropause that is more informally known as “male menopause”. While not technically menopause, it does carry many of the same symptoms, which causes many to refer to it as the male version of menopause. These symptoms are what are commonly seen in men who have trouble producing enough testosterone or have a condition causing testosterone deficiency. It is also closely related with a condition known as hypogonadism and androgen deficiency.
Male menopause is a condition that includes a decrease in the production of testosterone, primarily in men who are 50 or older, but not exclusively. The primary condition that is the cause of this seems to be hypogonadism, which is a common condition that causes low testosterone and the many symptoms that can accompany testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone is the most important hormone produced in the body of men, and they contribute to many of the healthy bodily functions that men experience every day. Testosterone is exclusively produced in the testes. While many people associate testosterone with simply being in charge of fueling sex drive, that is far from the only thing that it is responsible for. It helps to regulate things like puberty, mental and physical energy levels, maintaining and increasing muscle, emergency response instincts, and also has a hand in countless other features of our bodies.
While male menopause and female menopause share the title of menopause, the cycles that men and women go through during this time are quite different. The main difference is that all men don’t experience male menopause, while all women are subject to menopause. Another difference is that the men that do go through male menopause do not experience a complete shutdown of the reproductive organs. Though it does not result in a complete shut down, it can affect sex drive and sexual function heavily.
What are the symptoms of male menopause?
Just like with female menopause, there are several symptoms of male menopause that you should be aware of. Unfortunately, the symptoms of male menopause are very broad and can affect many parts of the body and mind. Additionally, they very commonly worsen as the person ages, meaning it could become an ongoing issue that continues to develop. Here are the symptoms, both physical and mental, that one might expect when going through male menopause or another low-testosterone related condition.
Since testosterone plays a large role in making sure that the bodies of men function properly and as intended, a deficiency in testosterone can have physical consequences that are less than pleasant. There are a number of symptoms that you might experience when you have a low testosterone condition or you are going through natural male menopause.
One of the main symptoms that you might experience is low energy. Since testosterone is partially responsible for giving you energy and drive, low testosterone can mean that you have lower energy and higher overall fatigue than usual. This can also contribute to decreased motivation in your personal and professional life and lead you to be less productive and less driven than what you were previously.
Another effect that you can feel from low testosterone during a time of male menopause is insomnia or general difficulty sleeping. Without the right balance of hormones, you can find that sleeping and other basic activities start becoming harder and more of a struggle, especially when it comes to regulating those activities. Without the right sleep schedule or amount, it can also take a toll on your energy and productivity.
With a less regulated body and more irregular body functions, low testosterone can also contribute to raising the amount of body fat that you have and put you in worse physical shape overall. These effects also transmit to muscle mass and strength, since testosterone also plays a large part in developing muscles and providing muscular strength to the body.
Since testosterone is the main hormone for men and provides what is necessary for puberty and development of proper sex organs, a low testosterone could lead to an imbalance in the development of the body. Without proper testosterone, it is possible that men could develop breasts. This also will come with a decreased sex drive and also possibly problems achieving or maintaining an erection.
Though it is clear that the physical symptoms of male menopause and low testosterone are often times severe and hard to deal with, there are also many mental symptoms that men must deal with when they go through male menopause. The reason that many men feel these emotional and mental effects from low testosterone is that testosterone is a very important hormone to not only the body, but also the mind. Testosterone has a large hand in making sure that there is a good balance in your body and that your mood and emotions are regulated. Without the right amount of testosterone, this balance will be disturbed and could affect your emotions and moods in a variety of ways.
One of the most prominent mental side effects of low testosterone and male menopause is depression or sadness. The chemical imbalance in the brain can cause men to feel sad and depressed more so than usual and more often. Typically, feeling depression and sadness is a good sign that male menopause or low testosterone might be occurring.
Along with sadness, another symptom that might be felt from an emotional standpoint is a simple lack of motivation and drive. With a regular level of hormones in the body, many people establish a certain standard level of motivation and drive to accomplish things. Without testosterone at the right levels, this desire will likely diminish.
Whether it is by distraction due to male menopause or simple restlessness, many men who go through male menopause also suffer from a lack of concentration and cous. Men who are going through male menopause or low testosterone might find it difficult to sit through work or other activities that require a high amount of focus and concentration. This can cause issues of productivity as well as happiness, further disturbing the flow of your personal and professional life.
How to diagnose male menopause or low testosterone
If you want to combat your male menopause and reverse the symptoms that you might be experiencing, then the first step is diagnosing the condition in the first place. Diagnosing male menopause as a concept is difficult, since it’s not a technical medical term. However, the underlying conditions that cause it to happen are much easier to diagnose. To start, your doctor simply needs to take a blood sample to test the amount of testosterone in your bloodstream. This will give the doctor insight into what levels your testosterone is at and whether they are appropriate for your age and other factors in your life.
Treating male menopause
Though identifying male menopause is pretty simple and easy, the treatment is the hard part of the process. The reason that treatment can be difficult for low testosterone conditions is that there are a variety of reasons that can be causing the low testosterone. For most of the men who are experiencing male menopause, they are experiencing it as a result of age. It is a known fact that decline in testosterone levels in men over time is a natural and normal thing to occur. That is why you shouldn’t be too concerned if you are experiencing low testosterone as an aging man.
It is normal to experience a decline in testosterone as you age, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do about it. There are several natural steps that you can take to lessen the effects of low testosterone on your body. They include:
- Eating healthier
- Getting more exercise
- Keeping a healthy sleep schedule
- Reducing stress as much as possible
However, if you are experiencing low testosterone at a younger age and going through the symptoms of male menopause earlier than you should be, there are some actionable steps that you can take to combat those effects. You can get testosterone replacement therapy, which is a therapy that is designed to supplement the testosterone in your body through testosterone injections or another method. This regulates the amount of testosterone in your body and mitigates the side effects of low testosterone. In addition, you can take natural treatment steps to combat low testosterone and ensure that you are putting your body in the best position possible to produce the right amount of testosterone.
If you are experiencing male menopause or are concerned about the issue of low testosterone, then being informed is your greatest weapon. With the information that you now have, you should be able to identify low testosterone, know which questions to ask your medical professional, and gain more insight into the treatment options that you have for low testosterone.