Is Male Menopause a Myth?
Women have long been connected with the idea of menopause, a normal stage of life marked by hormonal changes, hot flashes, mood swings, and several other symptoms. But in recent years, there has been an increase in discussion over the possibility that males also experience a similar phenomenon known as “male menopause” or “andropause.” But does male menopause really exist as a medical illness, or is it just a myth that has been misunderstood and mislabeled? We shall discuss the idea of male menopause, its symptoms, causes, and the continuing controversy around its presence in this post.
Male Menopause Defined
Understanding what the phrase “male menopause” refers to is crucial before starting the discussion. Male menopause is a less well-defined biological phenomenon than female menopause, characterized by the end of menstruation and a considerable decrease in estrogen levels. It’s often used to describe a range of aging-related physical, mental, and psychological changes that some older and middle-aged men may go through.
The signs of male menopause include:
Male menopause hypothesis proponents assert that it has numerous symptoms with female menopause, such as:
- Mood Changes:Men could become more agitated, anxious, or depressed.
- Fatigue:Despite getting enough sleep, some men claim to feel more exhausted than usual.
- Modifications To Sexual Function: There may be a drop in sexual pleasure, decreased desire, and difficulties getting or keeping an erection.
- Physical Alterations:Men could see a rise in body fat, a decline in muscular mass, and a decline in bone density.
- Sleep Disruptions:The prevalence of insomnia or irregular sleep patterns may increase.
Even though they are less frequent in males than women, some men claim to have had hot flashes or nocturnal sweats.
Male Menopause And Its Detractors
Within the medical profession, there is much dispute over the occurrence of male menopause. Because male menopause does not include an abrupt and dramatic hormonal change like female menopause, some claim the name “male menopause” is erroneous and misleading. Instead, they prefer to refer to the varied symptoms that some aging men experience as “andropause” or “aging-related hormonal changes”.
The hormonal changes that occur as men and women age are one of the critical causes for doubt. The drastic drop in estrogen levels that leads to menopause in women significantly affects their bodies. Instead of an abrupt or dramatic reduction, men’s testosterone levels gradually decrease with age. Not all men will have noticeable symptoms as a consequence of this progressive drop in testosterone since it is a natural part of aging.
Male Hormonal Changes:
The primary male sex hormone, testosterone, is essential for maintaining bone density, mood management, muscular mass, and sexual function, among other body processes. While testosterone levels diminish with age, this reduction is typically slow and happens after age 30 at a pace of roughly 1% each year. The sudden estrogen level decline that women experience after menopause sharply contrasts with this.
Not all men will noticeably see their testosterone levels drop as they age. While some men may slightly fall in testosterone levels as they age, others may decrease more dramatically. The variety of personal experiences further complicates the idea of a universal male menopause.
Other Elements At Work
The symptoms that are often linked to male menopause might be caused by a variety of causes. Diet, exercise, and stress management are all lifestyle factors that may significantly affect both general well-being and the intensity of symptoms. Furthermore, health issues, including obesity, diabetes, and thyroid problems, might seem like signs of male menopause.
There are also psychological elements at play. Substantial changes, such as career changes, marital problems, or empty nest syndrome, sometimes accompany midlife. These pressures may cause mood swings, anxiety, and uneasiness that may be misinterpreted as the onset of male menopause.
Management And Treatment:
Treatments are available for males exhibiting symptoms that mirror male menopause or andropause. Confident men with low testosterone levels may be administered hormone replacement treatment (HRT), which may help relieve specific symptoms.
A healthcare professional should carefully study and oversee HRT since it has particular hazards. A common first-line strategy is to promote lifestyle changes. Whether or not male menopause is a real thing, regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress reduction strategies, and enough sleep may all help you feel better physically and emotionally.
Testosterone Variations Throughout Time
Your testosterone levels are low before puberty. Then, as you develop sexually, they become worse. The hormone testosterone is responsible for the regular changes associated with male puberty, including:
- An increase in your muscular mass
- Development of body hair
- your voice to a whisper
- Modifications to your sexual performance.
Your testosterone levels will typically start to decline as you get older. After MAABs reach 30, testosterone levels tend to decrease by 1% a year on average. Your testosterone levels may fall more quickly or dramatically if you have specific medical issues.
Treatment And Diagnosis Of Male Menopause
To check your testosterone levels, your doctor might draw a blood sample.
You’ll probably be able to manage your symptoms without medication unless male menopause severely affects your life or gives you great suffering.
Talking to your doctor about your symptoms may be the most significant obstacle to treating male menopause. Many MAABs are too afraid or hesitant to talk to their physicians about sexual issues.
Making better lifestyle choices is the most popular method of therapy for symptoms of male menopause. For instance, your doctor could suggest that you:
- Eat a balanced diet
- workout often.
- Obtain enough rest.
- Lessen your tension
These lifestyle choices are advantageous for all males. MAABs suffering the effects of male menopause may significantly improve their general health after adopting these routines. Your doctor could recommend medicines, counseling, and lifestyle modifications if you’re depressed.
Another therapeutic option is hormone replacement therapy. It is, however, hotly contested. Synthetic testosterone may have adverse side effects, much as performance-enhancing drugs do. For instance, it can cause the cancer cells in your prostate to spread. If your doctor recommends hormone replacement treatment, consider the advantages and disadvantages before deciding.
Changes In Male Hormone Levels
After age 30, the average annual fall in testosterone levels throughout adulthood is 1%. By the time a man reaches the age of 70, his testosterone levels may have dropped by as much as 50%. Reduced testosterone may cause:
- Sexual problems include infertility, decreased testicles, less sexual drive, and erectile dysfunction.
- Issues with sleep, such as sleeplessness or excessive drowsiness.
- Physical modifications include increased body fat, reduced strength, power, and endurance, and a loss of bone density.
- Emotional problems include a lack of drive or confidence, feelings of melancholy or despair, a lack of focus, or memory problems.
Men should not reflexively ascribe these symptoms to male menopause since they may also be present in various other illnesses, including hypothyroidism, depression, and anemia, to mention a few.
Do Male Menopausal Symptoms Have A Treatment?
A blood test to assess the hormone is the only technique to ascertain testosterone levels. Similar to estrogen replacement treatment for women, testosterone replacement therapy has possible side effects but may also aid with symptom relief. For instance, it could make prostate cancer worse.
Men experiencing low testosterone symptoms should discuss lifestyle modifications and alternative treatments outside hormone replacement therapy, such as antidepressants, with their doctor. Any treatment should have its benefits and drawbacks weighed.
Detecting Low Levels Of Testosterone
After age 40, a man’s testosterone levels typically decrease by 1% a year. However, the majority of older men still have testosterone levels that fall within the normal range, with about 10% to 25% having groups that are regarded as being too low.
Older males with low testosterone levels sometimes go unreported. Blood tests may be used to determine testosterone levels, although they are not often performed. And many guys with low testosterone levels don’t show any symptoms. Additionally, low testosterone is not the only cause of the signs and indications connected with it.
A person’s age, pharmaceutical usage, or other health issues, including having a body mass index of 30 or above, might also contribute to them. However, there are still warning signs and symptoms of low testosterone, such as:
- Decreased sexual arousal and activity
- Erectile dysfunction or fewer spontaneous erections
- Pain or swelling in the breast
- Loss of height, weak bones from trauma, or poor bone mineral density
- Sweats or hot flushes
Other potential symptoms are decreased energy, motivation, confidence, a sad mood, and difficulty concentrating. Additionally, minor unexplained anemia, reduced muscle mass and strength, increased body fat, increased drowsiness, and sleep difficulties are all conceivable.
According to experts, older men should be tested for low testosterone if they exhibit symptoms or indications. The test should be repeated to confirm the findings if the first test reveals low testosterone levels. The pituitary gland should undergo further testing if low testosterone is verified in order to discover the reason and rule out other hormone abnormalities. There lies a kidney-bean-sized gland called the pituitary at the base of your brain. It is a component of the endocrine system, which in your body is made up of all the glands that make and control hormones.
Suggestions For Treating Low Testosterone In Elderly Men
For males with age-related low testosterone, many recommendations on testosterone treatment exist. After weighing the risks and advantages, the American College of Physicians suggested that physicians consider beginning testosterone therapy in men with sexual dysfunction who desire to enhance their sexual performance in 2020. For males with age-related low testosterone who exhibit common testosterone-related symptoms and signs, the Endocrine Society advised testosterone treatment in 2018.
Men with age-related low testosterone who don’t exhibit any symptoms or indications of it should also be treated with testosterone, according to some specialists. If you decide to begin testosterone treatment, your doctor will go through the various testosterone administration methods, goal testosterone levels, and follow-up testing.
Some men find that uncomfortable indications and symptoms of low testosterone are relieved by testosterone treatment. Others may have hazards in addition to unclear advantages.
The use of testosterone treatment may promote the spread of metastatic prostate and breast cancer, while further study is required. Additionally, testosterone treatment may raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots in the veins. If you have conditions like breast or prostate cancer, untreated severe obstructive sleep apnea, uncontrolled heart failure or thrombophilia, or if you’ve recently suffered a heart attack or stroke, your doctor may advise against beginning testosterone therapy.
Consult your doctor about your signs and symptoms, testing, and potential treatment choices if you suspect you may have low testosterone. You may consider the benefits and drawbacks of therapy with the aid of your doctor.
Does “Male Menopause” Have A Cure?
TRT, or testosterone replacement therapy, is a treatment that replaces testosterone in a manner similar to hormone replacement therapy for women. Restoring your testosterone levels may change your life and improve it in a variety of ways. Although it may treat low testosterone levels, this procedure cannot be called a “male menopause” therapy.
Our most recent blog article includes all the information if you’re interested in learning more about how TRT has been transforming men’s lives.
So, What’s The Final Word? Myth Or Fact?
A medical expert will not identify “male menopause” as a medical ailment since insufficient data supports this. However, many men battle testosterone insufficiency, a curable problem. Making little lifestyle adjustments, such as switching to a better diet, exercising, and taking care of your mental health, are other strategies to help testosterone levels rise.
In conclusion, medical professionals have ongoing discussions over the idea of male menopause. While some men suffer a variety of symptoms similar to those of menopause in women, it is difficult to compare the two due to the variations in hormonal changes and the steady reduction in testosterone in males. It’s essential to approach this subject cautiously and avoid generalizing how men perceive aging.
Understanding and treating the unique health challenges of aging men should be prioritized above debating whether male menopause is a hoax or a reality. This involves being aware that a man’s physical and mental well-being may be affected by a variety of factors, not the least of which are hormonal fluctuations. The best action for men seeking relief from age-related concerns is to consult a healthcare specialist to evaluate specific symptoms and create a tailored treatment plan. Men’s health and well-being should continue to be valued and prioritized, even if the idea of male menopause may be subject to further discussion.