Andropause, the Male Menopause

In females, this occurrence is known as menopause. The male counterpart to this is known as Andropause. Male levels of sexual hormones start to gradually decline when they enter their 4th or 5th decades of life. There are some men who start to undergo this change much earlier, such as in their 3rd decade of life.

What is the Cause of Andropause?

Andropause occurs when a man’s testosterone level is low. Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testes. It Is the male hormone responsible for a male’s physical characteristics such as sexual drive (libido), facial and body hair, deep voice, muscle mass, and competitive personality.

The onset of Andropause can occur earlier. This can be attributed to multiple factors, including genetic cases, lifestyle and certain medical conditions. Common chronic medical conditions such as metabolic conditions (i.e. obesity, hypertension, diabetes, raised cholesterol) are associated with earlier Andropause. Andropause can also occur in patients with testicular cancer, or patients who are taking medication to lower their testosterone as part of treatment of prostate cancer.

What are the Symptoms of Andropause?

What do I expect when I see my doctor?

Your doctor will take relevant medical histories, understanding your concerns and expectations, and perform general physical examination. Your doctor will offer you blood tests such as blood sugar counts, cholesterol levels, kidney, liver and cell count blood tests. This is to screen for chronic medical conditions. Hormonal blood tests will be offered as well.  Diagnosis will be based on physical examination and hormonal blood tests to determine if the patient has low testosterone levels.

What are the treatment options of Andropause?

While testosterone replacement is the backbone treatment for Andropause, this condition should be managed in a holistic manner, targeting different psychosocial and medical aspect of the associated condition.

Few important aspects to focus on:

As mentioned, treatment of Andropause largely revolves on testosterone replacement in the form of

Is Testosterone Replacement Safe?

Common side effects of testosterone replacement

As testosterone replacement can promote and increase the growth of prostate tissue, the treatment may not be suitable in men with prostate cancer or if they have an enlarged prostate.

When you are on testosterone replacement, it is important to follow up regularly with your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your condition closely and conduct frequent blood tests to watch for side effects.