Male Menopause?

Yeah, you read that title right.  Did you know that there is actually a condition in men that is similar in nature to a woman’s menopause?  Well, it’s not exactly the same, and it does have it’s own name: Andropause.  I do realize that this blog is written by and for women, but we wives also need to be kept in the loop about medical issues that concern (or can concern) our husbands, right?

Andropause is basically the name given to hormone changes in men.  Mostly it involves having a testosterone deficiency.   I have read that around age 30, men’s testosterone levels start decreasing gradually.  By the time a man is in his fifty’s, he most certainly has experienced some of the symptoms that low T levels bring.  According to the Mayo Clinic“By about age 70, the decrease in a man’s testosterone level can be as much as 50 percent.”

So what are the symptoms of Andropause?  Well, although some men can experience a symptom or two when they are younger (20’s-30’s), most men may not notice symptoms until they are nearing 50.

Symptoms can include (but are not limited to):

  • Loss/decrease of libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Irritability/crankiness
  • Night sweats
  • Decrease in energy level
  • Weight gain (particularly in the gut area)
  • Decrease in morning erections
  • Hair loss
  • Sore breasts
  • Shrinking testes

A more in depth look at symptoms can be found here.  It seems that the more doctors investigate the more they are finding that low T levels are about much more than just sexual issues.  Men with low T levels seem to be at a higher risk for certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.  These men may also have lower bone density (think Osteoporosis).

Of course other things can cause some of these symptoms, so it’s important to have your husband talk to his doctor if he thinks he may be suffering with low T.  It’s very possible that his doctor may catch something else entirely.  The only sure method of identifying low T is with a blood test.  Yes, there are replacement therapies out there for testosterone, but they are somewhat controversial and risky.  Your husband would definitely need to discuss this with his doctor.

We all know how easy it is to get our husbands to go to the doctor 🙄  so ladies, we need to be observant, diligent, and gentle with this issue.  It isn’t just about a lack of sexual performance anymore.  The health issues should be enough to make us  discuss this together, and possibly with our health care professional.

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  • May 2011
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