Men and Menopause
We are all familiar with menopause—the time in a woman’s life when the ovaries naturally begin decreasing their production of estrogen and progesterone, ultimately leading to an end of menstruation. But what about the male version of menopause—MANopause— also referred to by the more scientific name “andropause.” Yes, Manopause this is real!
Andropause refers to the hormonal changes—specifically a drop in testosterone—that some (though not all) men experience as they age. A man’s testosterone levels usually peak in his twenties. Starting around the age of 30, most men experience an annual decline in their testosterone levels of about 1% each year, on average. By age 70, a man’s testosterone levels are only at about 50% of his “pre-manopause” levels. This hormonal shift can cause physical and emotional changes akin to women’s menopausal symptoms, including:
Testosterone plays a significant role in helping to maintain sex drive. Unsurprisingly, men experiencing andropause also experience decreased libido.
Because testosterone helps to regulate mood, drops in testosterone can lead to depression and other mood problems.
Testosterone helps the body sustain a healthy energy level, so men with low levels of testosterone tend to have low energy.
Testosterone plays a vital role in regulating sleep. Men with low testosterone often experience disturbed sleep and in some cases insomnia.
Testosterone works to maintain bone density in the body. Thus, men undergoing andropause often have fragile bones and are at risk for osteoporosis.
Testosterone aids in slowing abdominal fat accumulation, so when levels drop, more abdominal fat will accumulate. As this happens, an enzyme in the fat tissue converts testosterone to estrogen, which further decreases testosterone levels and leads to more abdominal fat accumulation.
The good news? Here at NY Health & Wellness we specialize in spotting and diagnosing andropause in men. Using bioidentical hormones to replace testosterone and by helping our members to make changes in their diets, stress-management, and fitness activities, we are able to help them alleviate the symptoms of andropause.