You’ve come across hundreds of articles and medical journals about female menopause.
A sudden drop in hormones and a bunch of annoying symptoms – menopause is a decisive time when women either embrace it or give in to it.
But, recently, you’ve been after numerous reports claiming that men have something similar to menopause. They call it “male menopause.” Does such a thing exist? Or is it another false term made up by the media to baffle us?
Male Menopause: Truth or Myth? Find Out if It Exists
Does Male Menopause Exist?
The short answer is: no. There is no such thing as “male menopause.” Or at least no formal evidence shows that this term is appropriate for any condition in men.
Menopause – when women stop their last menstrual cycle at around 45 to 55 – is characterized by a sudden hormone plummet and symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats.
This hormone drop in women happens so quickly that by the time a woman reaches menopause, her estrogen level has fallen to half its youth level. Not only that, during perimenopause, hormone levels fluctuate heavily, so bad that it causes nights of restlessness and a decline in the quality of life of many.
Hormone Decline in Men Is Different
Such distress is not the same in men.
As men age, testosterone levels fall. Yet, the decline is steady at around 1% per year from age 30, not as sudden as in women.
Men in good health may continue to produce hormones well into their 80s. Also, most older men have testosterone levels within the normal range (300 to 1,000 ng/dL), with only 1% of healthy men aged 20 to 40 having levels below this range.
What Really Is “Male Menopause”?
However, some men may experience psychological and physical problems due to low testosterone at a younger age. This condition is officially known as hypogonadism, not male menopause or “andropause,” as many may think.
Hypogonadism is a condition in which the testes produce little hormones. It can result in delayed puberty and small testes and is present from birth. However, it can also appear later in life, known as late-onset hypogonadism, typical in males with diabetes or obesity.
So, male menopause is essentially an inaccurate (and unhelpful) term for low testosterone due to hypogonadism in men.
What Causes Male Menopause?
Aging is the most common cause of male menopause or low testosterone. Up to 50% of men above 50 have their testosterone levels lower than younger healthy men.
Why does aging cause testosterone to decline?
A drop in Leydig cell mass in the testicles, a problem with hypothalamic-pituitary homeostatic control, or both are the leading causes. These issues result in low luteinizing hormone and testosterone production. Also, the hypothalamic-pituitary circadian rhythm declines with age, leading to sudden drops in testosterone by evening.
So by the time you reach 75, your testosterone levels will have fallen to about 50% of that when you were 25.
Below are the average testosterone levels by age according to the Journal of Urology:
Some men go through a psychological problem known as a “mid-life crisis,” where they start to worry about future milestones in their personal and professional lives. This problem may lead to depression, resulting in the physical signs of male menopause.
- Lack of sleep
- A poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Alcohol consumption
Cigarettes increase testosterone at first, depending on the frequency and duration. This finding may sound counterintuitive, but the relationship between smoking and testosterone has been well-studied.
However, smoking, later on, causes testosterone to plummet faster than its average decline rate compared to non-smokers. So this bad habit is a “no-go” for maintaining testosterone and avoiding male menopause.
When psychological and lifestyle factors do not appear to be the cause, low testosterone may result from some comorbidities, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Testicular cancer
- Testicular injuries/infections
- Metabolic disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
What Are Male Menopause Symptoms?
A blood test can measure testosterone levels, but not everyone visits a clinic to check their hormones. So men with low testosterone don’t notice any signs of their condition.
Moreover, low testosterone isn’t the only cause of the symptoms. Age, medication use, and other conditions can also be to blame.
Still, some well-recognized symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Mood swings & irritability
- Poor concentration & decline in memory
- Lack of enthusiasm, confidence & motivation
- Weight gain & loss of muscle mass
- Reduced exercise capacity
- Lack of energy & increased tiredness
- Erectile dysfunction, low libido & sexual activity
- Difficulty sleeping
- Low bone density
Although erectile dysfunction usually has non-hormonal causes, low testosterone is responsible for 6% to 45% of all cases.
How Long Does Male Menopause Last?
A decline in testosterone is an age-related condition.
So male menopause, essentially low testosterone, is a lifelong health problem. Unless you resolve the psychological and lifestyle causes or manage the underlying conditions, male menopause will continue to last faster than age-related causes alone.
What to Do With Male Menopause?
Medications, like estrogen blockers or aromatase inhibitors, may help increase testosterone levels or treat the effects of low testosterone.
Estrogen blockers increase testosterone production and prevent estrogen from naturally occurring in men. Meanwhile, aromatase inhibitors prevent testosterone from converting into estrogen by blocking an enzyme called aromatase.
|Drug name||Clomid (clomiphene citrate)||Arimidex (anastrozole)|
|Drug type||Estrogen blocker||Aromatase inhibitor|
|Administration route||Oral tablet||Oral tablet|
|Standard dosage||1.5 mg daily||1 mg daily|
|Common side effects||Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting||Joint pain, high blood pressure, nausea|
- Manage stress & anxiety
- Get enough sleep
- Implement a healthy diet
- Increase exercise
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Stop smoking
Increasing exercise is the most effective lifestyle modification approach to improving testosterone. Some best practices to increase testosterone include:
- Weightlifting & strength training
- Cardio & flexibility training
- High-intensity training
- Resistance training
Managing Underlying Conditions
Treating the underlying diseases that cause low testosterone should be on time. The earlier you manage the problems, the more likely you can maintain your testosterone levels.
Depending on the condition, you may need to undergo different diagnostic tests. Still, most diagnoses require a blood test to determine your testosterone levels.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a well-recognized treatment that corrects low hormones and relieves the associated symptoms. This method replaces the worn-out hormones in your body with bioidentical hormones that work without side effects.
Yunique Medical’s personalized hormone replacement therapy has long gained the trust of many of our clients. This method reverses your biological clock using tiny hormone pellets and helps you achieve optimal testosterone levels.
If you’re a man over 40, chances are your testosterone levels are declining. Whether it’s an age-related decline or associated with any psychological or lifestyle factors, hormone therapy helps you feel like your younger self again.
So consult a doctor and find out if you’re a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy. Yunique Medical helps you optimize your body and discover your best self.
Duncan C Gould & Richard Petty (2000). The Male Menopause: Does It Exist? Western Journal of Medicine.
Alex Zhu et al. (2022). What is a Normal Testosterone Level for Young Men? The Journal of Urology.
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