Male menopause, also known as andropause or late-onset hypogonadism, refers to a gradual decline in testosterone levels in ageing men. While it shares some similarities with menopause in women, it is not considered a direct equivalent. Male menopause is a controversial term and there is ongoing debate within the medical community about its existence and the extent of its impact.
Symptoms of Male Menopause
- Reduced sexual function: This can include decreased libido (sex drive), difficulty achieving or maintaining erections and reduced sexual satisfaction.
- Fatigue and decreased energy levels: Some men may experience reduced energy, stamina and overall vitality.
- Mood changes: Irritability, depression, anxiety and decreased motivation may occur in some men.
- Decreased muscle mass and strength: Ageing and declining testosterone levels can contribute to a loss of muscle mass and strength.
- Increased body fat: Men may notice an increase in body fat, particularly around the waist area.
- Changes in sleep patterns: Insomnia or disrupted sleep may occur in some cases.
Causes and Diagnosis: The primary cause of male menopause symptoms is the natural decline in testosterone levels that occurs with age. Testosterone production typically starts declining slowly after the age of 30. Other factors that can contribute to symptoms of male menopause include obesity, chronic illness, certain medications and lifestyle factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise.
Diagnosing male menopause involves evaluating symptoms, ruling out other medical conditions and conducting blood tests to measure testosterone levels. It’s important to note that the diagnosis and treatment of male menopause can be complex and it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a urologist or endocrinologist, who specialises in hormonal health.
If symptoms of male menopause significantly impact a man’s quality of life, various treatment options may be considered. These can include:
- Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT): This involves supplementing testosterone through gels, patches and injections to restore levels to a more optimal range. TRT can help alleviate symptoms such as low libido, fatigue, and mood changes. However, it should be used cautiously and under medical supervision, as it may have potential risks and side effects.
- Lifestyle changes: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help improve overall well-being. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management and quality sleep can contribute to overall hormonal balance and well-being.
- Counselling or therapy: Addressing any psychological or emotional issues related to ageing and adjusting to changes can be beneficial. It can help individuals develop coping strategies and maintain a positive mindset.
It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations based on individual circumstances. They can assess hormone levels, evaluate symptoms and guide you toward the most appropriate management options for your specific needs.