When it comes to aging, it is widely thought that men, compared to women, have an ‘easy ride’. All women go through the menopause and the problems associated with it, but for a lot of men, getting old just means dealing with hair loss and a few extra pounds around the midriff. Yet, this is not always the case, as many men also have to contend with hormonal changes as they enter their later years as part of ‘male menopause’. Also known as andropause, it can bring about both physical and emotional changes that can have a big impact on their quality of life.
As it’s a topic that is often not openly spoken about, it is important that all men have a better understanding of male menopause and its affects. An integral part of this is knowing when to be on the lookout for symptoms. So, when does andropause occur for men? Let’s find out.
When Does Andropause Occur?
For men, testosterone starts to steadily decline from the age of 30 onwards at a rate of around 1% percent per year. Although this is a natural part of aging, if testosterone levels get too low then it can trigger andropause. Most men who go through andropause will start to notice symptoms between their late forties to early 50s. But symptoms will begin as soon as testosterone falls below a critical level regardless of age.
Common symptoms of andropause are:
- Decreased libido or sexual desire
- Difficulties with erections
- Low energy or fatigue
- Decreased muscle mass and strength.
- Increase in body fat
- Reduced bone density
- Changes in mood, including irritability, depression, or lack of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor sleep
Not all men will experience a significant drop in testosterone levels as they age, with some men maintaining normal levels well into their twilight years. It is estimated that around 30% of men in their 50’s will experience symptoms of andropause and whether a person does or not is dependent on a range of different factors both internal and external.
Find out more about the signs of andropause and how to spot them.
Why Does Andropause Occur?
There is a lot of debate around what causes andropause in men, and there’s no right or wrong answer, as it can be triggered by a number of reasons.
Stress, anxiety and unhealthy lifestyle choices such as a poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption can all exacerbate symptoms for men going through andropause. Underlying health conditions such as late-onset hypogonadism, in which the testes produce little to no hormones, can also be a contributing factor.
Raising Awareness of Andropause
When it comes to men’s hormone health greater awareness is needed. While the male ‘midlife crisis’ is well documented, and often joked about, ‘male menopause’ remains a taboo subject with many men unaware of the common symptoms and when it’s likely to occur. A loss in libido and emotional changes like depression can be very distressing, inducing feelings of shame or embarrassment, leading many to suffer in silence.
Although it is important to recognise that some symptoms of andropause are an inevitable part of aging, if symptoms are becoming unmanageable or affecting a man’s daily life then it’s important they seek treatment.
Treatment for Andropause
There are several lifestyles changes that men can make to alleviate and manage andropause symptoms or help prevent it occurring altogether which include:
- Following a healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- Reducing stress
However, in some cases lifestyle factors won’t make a significant difference, and replenishing the loss of testosterone through Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) may be required.
TRT works by replacing the testosterone that has stopped being produced by your body helping to increase your hormones to optimum levels. There are several ways to take TRT be it through lozenges or topical creams.
“Andropause is an often underdiagnosed and undertreated condition that can cause great anxiety and distress for men as they begin to age. By increasing testosterone through bioidentical hormones men can feel confident that their hormonal health can be rebalanced and their symptoms relieved through treatment that really works.”
– Dr Fiona MacRae
Here at Marion Gluck we use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to treat men experiencing andropause. Bioidentical hormones are biologically identical to the hormones produced in the body, allowing for better absorption and none of the side effects associated with synthetic hormones used in traditional hormone replacement therapy.
Unlike synthetic or body identical hormones that are produced by large pharmacists in set doses for a ‘one size fits all approach’. Bioidentical hormones are different, they are custom made for each individual allowing for a more personalsied treatment plan.
If you are looking for more information on when the andropause occurs in men, or would like to talk to someone about the symptoms you are experiencing, then book a consultation today.
Our friendly team of specialist doctors are experts in male hormonal health and can set you up with a bespoke treatment plan for a happier, healthier life.