Symptoms Of Menopause – Males Vs. Females
Symptoms Of Menopause – Males Vs. Females
Physiological aging is characterized by changes in your organ systems due to biochemical alterations. Most of these changes are a result of hormonal imbalance. For example, age related hormonal alterations are responsible for producing symptoms of menopause in women. Likewise, men also experiences decline in the secretion of their sexual hormones after a certain age. However, they experience different symptoms than women. Andropause or male menopause is characterized by a decrease in the serum levels of male sex hormone, testosterone. In most cases the decline in serum levels is slow and gradual.
Testosterone is the key man sexual hormone which controls the manly traits such as muscle mass, facial hair growth, production of sperms, enhanced libido, distribution of fats, production of red blood cells and strengthening of bones. Another name for male menopause is hypogonadism.
Male Menopause Vs Female Menopause
All female babies are born with a certain number of egg follicles within their ovaries. Each month, few of these follicles mature under the influence of ovarian hormones (such as estrogen and progesterone). The mature follicles are converted into a single ovum (which may give rise to zygote in case of a successful conception). When women reach 50 years of age, their estrogen levels drop drastically due to decline in the number of follicles. This sudden and drastic hormonal change leads to intense symptoms.
On the other hand, males are capable of producing sex hormone even at an advanced age. In men, testosterone decreases gradually with the passage of time. Based on estimates, investigators suggest that testosterone levels decline by 1% per year after 30 years of age. By the time, a male reach 70 years of age, the testosterone levels are only 50% of the adult levels.
Andropause – Classic Symptoms and Presentation
Due to gradual decline in testosterone levels, the symptoms are not abrupt. But nevertheless, most men complaint of changes in the physical and sexual stamina. For example, difficulty in maintaining erections and low sexual drive are often regarded as the hallmark symptoms of male menopause; but, it can also be due to other reasons such as diabetes, obesity, elevated cholesterol and depression. It is imperative to mention that the risk of developing these health issues increases after 50 years of age. So, it is very important to delineate the symptoms according to the primary cause in order to devise the best treatment plan. Low testosterone levels are also characterized by following symptoms:
- Increased in body weight and fat deposition without any dietary changes.
- Negative changes in the basal metabolic rate (that translates into weight gain and poor energy levels).
- Mood changes
- Difficulty in concentrating on work
- Loss of muscle mass
- Weak bones
Andropause: Management Of Symptoms
If you or your loved-ones experiencing above mentioned symptoms, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor and get your testosterone levels evaluated. It is noteworthy that just like women, men can also go for testosterone replacement therapy to overcome the negative symptomology such as low libido, tiredness and depression. Testosterone replacement therapy is available in the form of patches, gels, injections and pellets.
Like other medical treatments, testosterone replacement therapy is also associated with a few possible side effects such as fluid retention, acne, sleeping difficulty and enlarged breasts. Starting testosterone therapy on your own is way too dangerous for heart and prostate gland and that’s why this therapy is not recommended for everyone! Therefore, people should first discuss the available options and possible consequences with their doctor. Besides hormonal therapy men can also manage their symptoms by acquiring healthy lifestyle. Various research studies suggest that clean eating and regular exercise have proven to be beneficial in boosting the testosterone levels. Treating depression can also be helpful in managing andropause symptoms.
Male menopause can be due to erectile dysfunction and low libido but, sometimes it can be due to other conditions as well. Usually men are able to produce testosterone even at old age. Therefore, acquiring healthy lifestyle is much better option than opting for hormone replacement therapy.
- Ruddy, K. J., & Partridge, A. H. (2012). Fertility (male and female) and menopause. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 30(30), 3705-3711.
- Grunfeld, E. A., Halliday, A., Martin, P., & Drudge-Coates, L. (2012). Andropause syndrome in men treated for metastatic prostate cancer: a qualitative study of the impact of symptoms. Cancer nursing, 35(1),
- Spitzer, M., Huang, G., Basaria, S., Travison, T. G., & Bhasin, S. (2013). Risks and benefits of testosterone therapy in older men. Nature reviews Endocrinology, 9(7), 414-424.
- Handelsman, D. J. (2013). Global trends in testosterone prescribing, 2000–2011: expanding the spectrum of prescription drug misuse. Med J Aust, 199(8), 548-51.