Male menopause occurs after age 50. It involves a drop in the production of male hormones, mostly testosterone. Also called andropause, it can go by other names as well, usually testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency or late onset hypogonadism. Male menopause is not the same as female menopause because not all males experience it and it doesn’t involve a complete shutdown of the reproductive organs. However, it can affect you sexually because of lower hormone levels.
The symptoms of male menopause worsen with age and can include:
- Reduced libido and sometimes infertility.
- Low energy and insomnia.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Increased body fat.
- Decreased motivation and difficulty concentrating.
- Less muscle mass and a decrease in bone density.
- Lack of self confidence.
- Development of breasts.
If you have any of the above symptoms see your healthcare provider. They can speak with you about your symptoms and do a physical examination. Blood tests can be ordered to measure your testosterone levels and also to rule out other diseases.
To manage male menopause symptoms your doctor may suggest any of the following:
- Testosterone replacement. Testosterone replacement therapy has risks and side effects just as hormone replacement therapy does for women. It can raise your risk of blood clots and stroke.
- Changes in your diet. Your doctor may suggest you increase your amount of zinc and vitamin D, both of which can help increase testosterone levels. They may also advise that you cut back on your alcohol intake.
- Physical activity. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to boost your testosterone levels naturally.
Lifestyle habits such as getting enough sleep and cutting down on stress have the biggest impact on male menopause. Besides being good for your health at any age they can make a dramatic change in the lives of men who are experiencing the symptoms of male menopause. Speak with your doctor on ways to address your symptoms and how to live a healthier lifestyle.