What is male menopause? What are the signs of male menopause? At what age is men’s menopause likely to occur? Can you reverse male menopause? How does a man deal with menopause? What triggers male menopause? What is the difference between male menopause and female menopause? You will find all the answers you need in this article.
Hallo. My name is Sean Galla, and I am a facilitator for online support groups for men, including men’s wellness and health support groups. My work involves creating safe spaces where men can come together to share, learn and talk about different issues that affect men, including male menopause.
I have been working with men for more than 11 years and know firsthand how important it is for men to have safe spaces to share and learn from one another about man stuff openly. In this article, you will find all the information you need about men’s menopause.
Table of Contents:
What Is Male Menopause?
Male menopause, scientifically referred to as andropause or low testosterone syndrome, is a term used to describe age-related sex hormone level changes in men’s health.
Unlike popular belief, women are not the only ones who go through hormonal changes in their life. Scientists have recently started to take a keen interest in andropause after realizing premenopausal and menopausal symptoms in men. These hormonal changes are characterized by symptoms such as androgen deficiency, testosterone deficiency, and late-onset hypogonadism.
Male menopause is mainly common amongst older men above 50, who are more likely to experience a drop in their testosterone levels, closely affiliated with hypogonadism. In some cases, the male hormone levels begin to deteriorate by 1% annually for aging males above the age of 40. The decline rate can be sped up by chronic conditions such as obesity, medication, and diabetes.
For men, the male hormone is produced in their testes, which fuels their sex drive. This hormone is also responsible for driving mental and physical energy in men, puberty, muscle mass maintenance, regulating fight-or-flight responses, and other evolutionary features in me.
While it may sound like the male version of the female menopause, it differs from it in several ways. Unlike menopause, which is consistent in all women, not all men experience male menopause. Also, andropause does not cause a complete shutdown of the female reproductive system. Another notable difference is that for women, menopause takes place over a short period, while andropause in men can occur over many years. Sexual complications may occur in some men due to the reduced hormonal levels.
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Symptoms of Male Menopause
Since reduced hormone production in men can occur over many years in a man’s life, the symptoms are not always easy to notice compared to the symptoms of menopause in women. This is primarily because the decline of the male hormone has taken place slowly over the years.
Some of the most common signs associated with male menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Moodiness and irritability
- Body fat build-up around the abdomen and the chest
- Loss of muscle mass
- Dry, thin skin
- Excessive sweating
Other common symptoms of male menopause include sexual dysfunction, infertility, sleep apnea, erectile dysfunction, and a decreased frequency of morning erections.
Other symptoms include reduced physical energy, inability to walk for long distances, and difficulty completing strenuous activities such as lifting heavy objects or running. Some men may also experience issues with kneeling, bending, or stooping, as andropause can also cause a deterioration in bone density. Depression and fatigue can also be expected results of reduced male hormones.
Most of these symptoms are also common in older males with other health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Doctors can order tests to rule out other medical conditions contributing to the symptoms.
Diagnosing Male Menopause and Treatment Options
A blood test is usually done to determine whether a man is indeed experiencing andropause by checking for reduced testosterone levels. A blood test also shows the severity of the drop in the male hormone to determine the best course of health care.
Hormonal replacement therapy
Unless the low testosterone levels cause intolerable hardship that disrupts your life, male menopause can be managed without treatment.
In severe cases, doctors may recommend hormone replacement therapy where the synthetic male hormone is injected into the men’s body at testosterone treatment. This helps to relieve the symptoms like fatigue, and reduced libido. Doctors may also prescribe antidepressants to get the depressive symptoms under control.
When considering testosterone replacement therapy, discussing the potential risks and side effects with your medical doctor is important. For instance, replacing the male hormone can increase the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.
The most commonly recommended treatment for improved levels of testosterone is a lifestyle change. Doctors recommend making healthy lifestyle choices to make hormone regulation easier for the body and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Some of the changes recommended include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Using supplements to support good health and sexual function
- Getting regular exercise
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing your stress level
These lifestyle habits are not exclusive to men going through
andropause as they can benefit all men. Once you adopt these habits, the symptoms of andropause will subside, and you will experience overall health improvement.
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The Main Differences Between Menopause and Andropause
Now that you know what andropause is, it is common to wonder how it differs from the female menopause that women experience.
Andropause does not cause infertility
When women go through menopause, it usually marks the end of their biological clock. Once she hits full menopause, her ability to get pregnant drops and becomes irreversible. While andropause can cause impotence and erectile dysfunction, it seldom causes infertility in men. Despite the drop in testosterone levels, men can still produce viable sperm.
Andropause hormones decrease slowly over a long period
When women reach menopause, they experience a rapid drop in hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone, and testosterone. These drops can take place over a few months allowing for ovulation to stop permanently.
In the case of andropause in men, the rate of hormonal drop is slow and can occur over the years, even going undetected. Once the levels are too low, they will start to experience the symptoms associated with the condition. Some men experiencing hormonal drops may never experience the symptoms.
Andropause does not affect all men
Unlike menopause, which is expected for all women at a certain time in their life, andropause is not guaranteed for all men. Most men will go through life without experiencing male menopause, while others experience it as a side effect of other medical conditions.
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Joining Support Groups for Male Menopause
A male menopause support group is a meeting where men meet to address issues related to male menopause. These groups strictly comprise men affected by male menopause and are looking for a supportive community and advice to help them overcome the condition.
The best support group offers emotional support while giving practical help to people dealing with menopause in men and mental health issues caused by their struggle with the condition.
A men’s menopause support groups comprise peers who share the same emotional or physical issues related to the condition. Since most support groups are informal, they are excellent additions to seeking professional help. The goal of these groups is to assist each other and offer coping skills.
For a male menopause support group to succeed, there must be a level of trust and openness amongst the members. Sharing is part of the process when you are part of such a group. Each member is free to share with the group and explain their challenge or progress in their journey. Through self-disclosure, members are free to share their stories, issues, feelings, and stresses.
The members also determine the best activities and advice likely to work for their needs. The group facilitates honest and open communications in a non-judgmental environment for the benefit of each member. These are the features that make male menopause support groups beneficial to the participants.
MensGroup Support Forum
Lack of a support system is one of the major causes of mental health issues amongst men experiencing andropause. Men’s Group offers an online men’s forum that provides group support, help, and guidance to men interested in beating the symptoms associated with a drop in the male hormone and becoming better versions of themselves.
It is a supportive network of men ready and willing to help others like them through shared life experiences. Men’s Group uses different group activities for service delivery. The mensgroup.com self-help session is rich in relevant information to help you lead a better life. It is more than just a self-help group. It will equip you with the resources you need to live a happier life even as you battle to overcome the symptoms of andropause.
As an online support group for men, the group meets virtually over video or chat, making it perfect for busy men who prefer not to attend physical meetings.
Learning and understanding male menopause is essential for anyone interested in living positively even after a diagnosis. With this article, you now better understand andropause and how it affects men. Joining a support group can also make it easier for men to cope with the diagnosis. MensGroup is one of the best support forums for men you can join. As an online-based group, you can be sure that there is an active meeting or forum at all times.
*Sources: 1. The Male Menopause: For Some, There's ‘a Sense of Panic’ 2. Is there a male menopause? 3. 3 Primary Differences Between Menopause and Andropause (Male Menopause) 4. Male Menopause: Is It For Real? Low Testosterone 101 5. What Is Andropause Or Male Menopause? 4 Health Tips Men Should Follow To Manage This