Andropause_ does it exist

There’s a pause, and then there’s andropause, another term for male menopause. But some researchers and health specialists question if it’s real. 

Today, we’ll talk about andropause symptoms and whether you should be concerned if you’re experiencing anything.

Defining Andropause

In Greek, “Andras” is human male, and “pause” basically means the same thing in Greek and English.

Putting those two words together, the medical definition of “andropause” is a syndrome in men with decreased sexual satisfaction and a decline in general well-being. Another symptom of andropause in older men is low testosterone.

Other Andropause Symptoms

Andropause symptoms

If you Google it, male andropause appears to cause numerous psychological, physical, and sexual issues.

Men suffering from andropause also say their symptoms worsen with age.

The symptoms include:

  • Low physical energy, lack of motivation, or difficulty concentrating
  • Sad and depressed moods or lower self-confidence
  • Sleep problems and insomnia
  • Weakened muscle mass and bone density, more body fat
  • Gynecomastia (breast development, swollen or tender breasts)
  • Reduced libido, infertility, smaller testicles, or erectile dysfunction.

Some men lose body hair and experience hot flashes, and other men risk developing osteoporosis, but these cases are rarer. 

So What Is Male Menopause?

Male menopause is a catchphrase given to the syndrome medically known as andropause.

Other lesser-known names (and acronyms) for the syndrome include male climacteric, aging male syndrome, ADAM (androgen decline in the aging male) or LOH (late-onset hypogonadism). 

Does Andropause Syndrome Even Exist?

At OHN, we know that the term andropause is misleading, and what people may think it means isn’t necessarily true.

It’s also incorrect that andropause symptoms always include sudden T levels (testosterone) drops in older men (similar to women during menopause).

Here’s What True Andropause Means

When men of any age lose testicular function because of a medical condition like diabetes, or an accident involving the pelvis, it can be called true andropause. It can also affect men with advanced stages of prostate cancer who require surgical castration. 

How Testosterone Works

When your testes are healthy, they produce adequate levels of a hormone called testosterone. 

While testosterone plays a significant role in your sex drive, it also manages the following bodily functions:

  • Changing your body when you hit puberty
  • Gives you good concentration and physical stamina
  • Keeps your muscle mass intact.

Fun facts: testosterone is also responsible for activating your “fight-or-flight” response in threatening situations, and T levels have always been vital in the evolution of human men.

Why Do T Levels Drop?

Yes, most men experience declining T levels as they age. But the process generally happens slowly, and it’s not like the testes just run out and quit making testosterone.

Healthy men can make enough testosterone

Your Testosterone Stats for the Day

The world-renowned Mayo Clinic has stated that men can expect their T levels to decline by about 1% per year after reaching 40. 

Yet, most older men maintain normal T levels, and only 10% to 25% of aging males have what doctors consider low testosterone.

The following health factors usually contribute to low T levels in men:

  • Obesity or other chronic health conditions like diabetes
  • Anxiety, emotional stress, and other mental health conditions
  • Some prescription medications (your doctor should always tell you the potential side effects of any drugs).

How Do Men Get Diagnosed With Andropause?

A medical specialist cannot correctly diagnose your symptoms without:

  • Discussing what you’re experiencing and for how long
  • Conducting a complete physical examination
  • Ordering a urinalysis
  • Some specialists will order diagnostic imaging
  • Order blood and hormone tests, including a measurement of your T levels. 

If a healthcare professional diagnoses low testosterone, they should recommend further testing of your pituitary gland to determine the cause and double-check if you have additional hormone deficiencies.

Most Successful Ways to Treat Low Testosterone

At OHN, we understand the difference between low T levels and andropause. Far more men experience decreased testosterone, and we have successful treatments to help men like you.

You Can Make Healthier Choices

If you feel like you’re experiencing male andropause symptoms, it can be as uncomplicated as making better lifestyle choices to begin showing signs of improvement. 

We always advise our patients to: 

  • Discuss healthier diet plans with a medical professional or dietician
  • Begin moderate exercise regularly
  • Try to practice healthy sleep habits to get better quality sleep
  • Take steps to reduce the stresses in your life.
steps to reduce the stresses

We don’t advise taking testosterone-enhancing drugs because they can hurt your body’s ability to increase T levels.

However, if you’re feeling depressed, your doctor may suggest an antidepressant.

Check out OHN’s Top 9 Natural Ways to increase your testosterone levels, and start today!

HRT Can Be Helpful 

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is actively studied as a promising treatment for andropause-type symptoms in men, especially if there’s an increased risk of osteoporosis, mental or physical weakness, or sexual dysfunctions.

HRT is a form of testosterone therapy, and it’s often recommended for age-related low testosterone in men.

Risks of HRT

Hormone replacement therapy can help relieve some symptoms of low T levels, but you should know about the risks too:

  • Rates of metastatic prostate and breast cancer can increase
  • More prone to stroke and heart attacks
  • Formation of blood clots is possible.

You may also have contraindications that make HRT unsuitable. Your doctor will likely say HRT isn’t a good idea if:

  • You want to increase your fertility faster
  • You’ve had prostate or breast cancer
  • You suffer from severe sleep apnea 
  • You’ve experienced heart failure or thrombophilia
  • You’ve recently had a stroke or signs of a heart attack.

Our Bottom Line About Andropause

We believe andropause symptoms and male menopause often get misdiagnosed.

It’s natural for healthy men to experience declining T levels with age slowly.

If you’re experiencing low libido or erectile dysfunction, your doctor should advise you about the benefits of HRT or other treatments. 

Oakwood Health Network specializes in men’s hormone testing. We diagnose many men with low T levels and can recommend effective treatments for you. 

Get Your Mojo Back. Contact OHN Today!

Mayo Clinic. 2022. Understanding aging and testosterone. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056> [Accessed 5 August 2022].

Krans, B., 2018. Male Menopause: Overview, Symptoms, and Treatment. [online] Healthline. Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/male> [Accessed 5 August 2022].

Felson, S., 2021. Male Menopause. [online] WebMD. Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/men/guide/male-menopause> [Accessed 5 August 2022].

Huertas, D., 2020. Signs of Andropause in Men and How to Treat It. [online] Huertasmd.com. Available at: <https://huertasmd.com/blog/signs-of-andropause-in-men-and-how-to-treat-it> [Accessed 5 August 2022].

nhs.uk. 2019. The ‘male menopause’. [online] Available at: <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/male-menopause/> [Accessed 5 August 2022].

Singh P. Andropause: Current concepts. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Dec;17(Suppl 3):S621-9. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.123552. PMID: 24910824; PMCID: PMC4046605.

Oakwood Health Network. 2022. Top 9 Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone – Oakwood Health Network. [online] Available at: <https://oakwoodhealth.com/top-9-natural-ways-to-increase-testosterone/> [Accessed 5 August 2022].

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