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Men's Health
Preventive Care

Understanding Male Menopause

13 May 2024 · 3 mins read

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Learn more about male menopause and when to seek treatment.

Male Menopause vs Late-Onset Hypogonadism

We often heard that “male menopause,” or andropause is arises from a sudden decrease in testosterone during middle age, similar to women’s menopause. However, this notion is inaccurate.

While testosterone levels do naturally decline in men as they age, typically diminishing by about 1% per year starting around ages 30 to 40, this gradual decrease alone is not typically problematic. Symptoms often associated with male menopause may actually originate from various factors unrelated to hormonal changes.

Late-onset hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency syndrome occurs when the testes produce insufficient levels of testosterone, resulting in symptoms commonly linked with male menopause. While some cases of hypogonadism may be congenital and present with symptoms like delayed puberty and small testes, late-onset hypogonadism typically arises later in life, often in men who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of late-onset hypogonadism include fatigue, reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, mood changes, and decreased muscle mass. Late-onset hypogonadism is less common than an age-related decline in testosterone levels; it is a distinct medical condition and not simply a natural aspect of ageing.

Causes of Male Menopause

Certain medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and sleep apnoea, can contribute to symptoms that are commonly associated with male menopause. Some medications, including certain antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and opioids, can affect hormone levels and contribute to symptoms like fatigue, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and chronic stress can all contribute to symptoms of male menopause or exacerbate existing symptoms. Anxiety, depression, and other psychological factors can play a role in the development or exacerbation of symptoms associated with male menopause.

Signs and Symptoms of Male Menopause

Signs and symptoms of male menopause may include decreased libido or sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, increased body fat and muscle mass loss, loss of bone density, mood changes (depression, irritability, anxiety, restlessness), impaired memory, inability to concentrate, fatigue, lack of stamina and physical strength, insomnia and sleepiness, and loss of appetite.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Male Menopause

Diagnosing male menopause typically involves a comprehensive approach, including medical history review, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. Blood tests may be performed to assess hormone levels, particularly testosterone, to identify any hormonal imbalances. However, there is no specific testosterone threshold defining male menopause, as levels can vary widely among individuals and naturally decline with age.

Considering that symptoms commonly associated with male menopause may stem from various factors beyond hormonal changes, your doctor will also explore other potential causes. These may include medical conditions, medications, lifestyle factors, or psychological factors.

Treatment options can vary based on the underlying causes of symptoms and may involve hormone replacement therapy, lifestyle adjustments, or other interventions targeting specific symptoms or contributing factors.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a treatment option for men with low testosterone levels, aiming to alleviate symptoms and preserve bone and muscle strength. TRT comes in various forms, including pills, gels, patches, injections, or implants.

While TRT may prove beneficial for certain individuals, there are potential risks that need to be considered, including infertility, prostate enlargement leading to urinary issues, blood clots, worsening cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbances, and cholesterol imbalances. There is also potential impact of TRT on prostate cancer risk, symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, and cardiovascular risks.

If you opt for TRT, regular checkups with your doctor are essential for monitoring your response to treatment and addressing any potential adverse effects. If there is no noticeable improvement in symptoms after three months of treatment, the efficacy of TRT may be limited for you.

Make an Appointment at Gleneagles Hospitals

For men experiencing symptoms associated with male menopause, taking action to address these concerns is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being.

Get in touch with us to book an appointment with our team of urologists today, or find out more about our Urology Services at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital.


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