Male menopause or andropause occurs due to age-related changes in male hormones. This is also known a testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency or late-onset hypogonadism.

How does andropause differ from menopause?

First of all, not all men experience it. It does not cause complete shut down of the reproductive organs in men. However sexual complications may arise as a result of low- ered testosterone levels.

What are the symptoms of male menopause?

The symptoms related to physical, sexual and psychological problems. They typically worsen as a man gets older. They include decreased motivation, lowered self-confidence, low energy, depression or sadness. Difficulty in concentrating, sleep disturbances including insomnia and increased body fat. Reduced muscle mass and feeling of physical weakness is common. The other important features include infertility, reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, development of breasts and decreased bone density.

What are androgens?

Androgens are the hormones the body makes naturally. Hormones are chemical messengers that turn different body processes on and off. Androgens are called male hormones. They are the main hormones that make men different than women. Men and women, both have testosterone and oestrogen hormones. The difference is that men have more testosterone and women have more oestrogen hormones.

How do you know that you will require androgen replacement?

The doctor will learn about your symptoms and order a blood testosterone level before 10 am to get the most accurate results. You need to talk to your doctor who will decide if your symptoms are due to low testosterone levels. For there are many other conditions that can cause tiredness and loss of interest in sex.

What are the benefits of testosterone or androgens replacement in men?

This may result in improved interest in sex, improved energy and being less depressed and irritable.

Are there side-effects to androgen replacement in men?

Some men may have side- effects due to these drugs. They may include acne, increased red blood cells and haemoglobin. Few incidences of increased risk of cardiovascular dis-ease and strokes have been documented. However, side effects are rare. Androgens are not to be given if you have prostate cancer.

Should men over 60 years have testosterone replacement treatment?

This is not always clear. Low testosterone is not always treated in men above 60 years. It is normal for men above 60 years to have a drop in testosterone levels. Normal ageing can cause some changes as men with low testosterone levels such as low energy levels or low sexual drive. Testosterone is available in form of tablets, injections or gel.

Men older than 60 and testosterone replacement?

Men older then 60 may have testosterone replacement if at least 2 or 3 blood tests show very low levels of testosterone levels. If they have symptoms of low testosterone levels that bother them as feeling very tired and having a low sex drive. The symptoms are not caused by any other conditions that the doctor can treat. The patient should not have had a heart attack or a stroke. Older men, who have testosterone replacement, need regular screening tests for prostate cancer.

What are the main reasons for low testosterone levels in men?

Low testosterone in men can be caused by normal ageing, injuries affecting the testicles as the most male hormone is produced here. Certain cancer including radiation, WHAT IS MALE MENOPAUSE? being less depressed and irritable. chemotherapy and hormone therapy for prostate cancer cause lowering of testosterone levels. Disorders of the pituitary gland which is present at the base of the brain that controls all hormone pro- ducing organs can cause low testosterone levels. Other medical problems such as liver, kidney, obesity, diabetes and AIDS and certain drugs can cause low testosterone levels. Male menopause or andropause is a very challenging disorder both for the patient and the health care provider. Many symptoms overlap with those of normal ageing. Two or three consecutive low levels of testosterone in blood examined in the early morning sample on empty stomach along with detailed clinical evaluation is helps required. in Testosterone replacement generally andropause, however, the contraindications and side effects of these hormones should also be kept in mind.


Categories : Health

Dr Jay Deshmukh is Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur Honorary Physician to Honorable Governor of Maharashtra and PondicherryCentral. Dr Jay Deshmukh is an M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD From Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi.

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