Did you know that men go through some kind of menopause? Men who feel that they are experiencing the typical midlife crisis are actually experiencing what researchers and doctors call male menopause or andropause.
While menopause may be shocking to some men, it is widely recognized by health care practitioners for the middle age changes men are experiencing from reduced libido, sexual dysfunction, depression, energy loss, weight gain, and decreased bone density. Men who are experiencing these changes often search out (HRT) hormone-replacement therapy.
Andropause affects 25 million males in the U.S. between 40 and 55 years old. While menopause precipitates estrogen loss in women and hormone production plummets in a short period of time, it will take years for male testosterone or hormone production levels to drop gradually. Depression, fatigue, diminished libido, and irritability are sure signs of menopause in men.
Although andropause study was first published in mid-1940s in the Journal of American Medical Association, the U.S. medical community has not noticed this condition until recently, according to Dr Adrian Dobs, an endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine at the John Hopkins School of Medicine.
Male menopause is generally used to describe the decreasing testosterone levels or testosterone bioavailability reduction related to aging, androgen deficiency, and late-onset hypogonadism. Although testosterone levels greatly vary among men, older men have a lower testosterone level decline through adulthood and gradually decline about 1 percent a year after age 30. At age 70, men’s testosterone level would have decreased by about 50 percent.
Testosterone replacement therapy or (TRT) aging-related treatment is very controversial. For some men, this therapy relieves some bothersome signs like changes in sleep patterns, changes in sexual patterns, as well as physical, and emotional changes. However, for others, treatment benefits are not clear. There are risk concerns about TRT because it could increase prostate cancer risk.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is recommended to men who are being treated for sexual dysfunction where other remedies do not work as well as in instances to maintain composition and muscle for those who are fighting cancer.
Since testosterone replacement therapy could increase your risk of prostate cancer, you should get your PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) levels checked if you are considering cream injection, patches, oral or gel form of testosterone replacement therapy. Other risks include liver toxicity increase, risk of stroke, and breast development and shutting down of sperm production.
It is important to know the early-warning signs of emotional and physical complications of menopause in men which typically lasts from 5 to 10 years. Male menopause could begin early or later in life just as in women. The first warning sign in men with menopause is the onset unexplained depression and fatigue. There is also a change in physical appearance, skin texture, dryness, and thinning of hair.
Although there is much to be learned about menopause in men, understanding the early signs will go a long way in understanding why they feel differently. Seek out the appropriate medical treatment to address the emotional and physical changes.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas