All you need to know about male menopause

All you need to know about ‘male menopause’ and signs to watch out for

Do men experience their version of menopause?

During menopause in women, ovulation ceases and hormone production declines in a relatively short time. The reduction in testosterone in men isn’t the same as menopause in women.

The term “male menopause” is not considered appropriate by medical professionals. Instead, they prefer to use “late-onset hypogonadism” or “age-related low testosterone” to describe the gradual decrease of testosterone levels in males.

Decreased testosterone means a lower sex drive and an inability to have spontaneous erections or erections at all.

After the age of 40, a man’s testosterone levels typically decrease by 1% every year. Despite the ageing process, most old men maintain testosterone levels within the normal range and only a minority of 10% to 25% have testosterone levels that are considered low.

Many older men with low testosterone levels don’t even know they have low testosterone. To find out, they need to carry out a blood test, but this is not very common.

  • Mood swings
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • A decreased capacity for fat redistribution that leads to the appearance of “man boobs” (gynecomastia) or a huge abdomen
  • An overall lack of excitement or energy
  • Sleeplessness or weariness
  • Short-term memory 
  • Lack of focus 
  • Hot flushes or sweats
  • Low libido
  • Breast discomfort or swelling

Additionally, low testosterone is not the only cause of the symptoms and signs associated with male menopause. A person’s age, medication, or other health issues, like having a high body mass, are contributory factors. Other causes include;

  • Physical causes like smoking, diabetes or heart issues.
  • Work-related problems, financial difficulties, concerns about relationships, worries about ageing parents, and feelings of inadequacy regarding achievements in personal or professional life can often lead to psychological distress, which may lead to a decrease in testosterone levels.
  • Another possible cause is a “midlife crisis,” which makes many men question their lives and become depressed.

While some people suggest hormone replacement therapy, it is an uncharted scientific territory that might have dire consequences.

If the cause of low testosterone is psychological, many people suggest cognitive behavioural therapy to get rid of stress, anxiety and depression.

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