What is andropause?
Men as well as women go through hormonal changes when they reach a certain age. As with menopause, andropause is a process.
Menopause implies an absence of fertility (menstruation); andropause, on the other hand, is not necessarily related to the end of the fertile stage in men. While menopause affects all women, in andropause the percentages are variable. About 30% of men have symptoms of andropause and virtually all men have clinical symptoms by the age of 70. Andropause occurs mainly due to a deficit of testosterone that occurs after the age of 40, although this age can vary. Depending on the case, for the deficit to be of a certain importance, it has to occur after the age of 50 or 60. The decrease in testosterone is much less drastic in men than in women.
This decrease in testosterone can manifest various symptoms in men, the most common of which are the following:
- Decreased sexual desire, erectile dysfunction and alterations in ejaculation.
- Loss of energy, concentration, memory and deterioration of visual acuity.
- Increased body fat.
- Dry skin and hair.
- Muscle weakness.
- Alterations in bone mineral concentration.
- Behavioral disorders such as anxiety and irritability
In terms of diseases related to andropause are metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Some of them also occur in menopause, such as osteoporosis.
There are older men who do not require treatment because they accept that these are normal symptoms of aging and are comfortable with that state. But there are those who are not. For men who perceive symptoms as a problem that affects their daily lives, there are several treatments. Treatments seek to restore normal hormone levels through hormone replacement therapy with testosterone. There are different types of treatments: oral, intramuscular, skin patches and even deodorants with testosterone.
Unfortunately, the social culture of menopause is much greater than that of andropause. Men are more reluctant than women to admit that they have certain problems related to aging.
Although more and more information is being requested, the percentage of men who consult a specialist about andropause treatment is less than 10%.If you suspect that someone is experiencing andropause, one of the most commonly used methods is a simple blood test. But because testosterone levels vary widely throughout the day, a single test may not diagnose testosterone deficiency. Generally, the acceptable range of levels is between 300-1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) for total testosterone.
As we always do, we recommend that you go to a doctor you trust so that the most appropriate treatment can be provided and followed.