Male Menopause or Andropause is a name given to a menopause-like condition in men as they age. Andropause is primarily due to a decline in the male hormone testosterone which can lead to depression, mood swings, and a loss of energy and concentration. While andropause does not cause a man’s reproductive system to stop working altogether, some men will experience bouts of decreased libido, impotence or erectile dysfunction.
What Causes Andropause?
Andropause is usually caused by a very gradual testosterone deficiency and an increase in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) that occurs from age 35 on. By contrast, women have a sudden onset of menopause around age 51. Testosterone declines 10% every decade after age 30 (1% per year). About 30% of men in their 50’s experience andropause.
Premature andropause can occur in males who experience excessive female hormone stimulation through exposure to estrogen; diabetes, hypertension, and genetic disorders that produce hypogonadism. Men who work in the pharmaceutical industry, plastics factories, near incinerators, and on farms that use pesticides are also at high-risk.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
- Decrease in spontaneous early morning erections
- Decreased libido
- Decrease in fullness of erections
- Decrease in volume of ejaculate or strength of climax
- Difficulty starting or maintaining an erection
- Lack of focus and mental sharpness
- Mood swings
- Unexplained depression
- Increased body aches and stiffness
(©Gregory W. Petersburg, D.O. All rights reserved. Living Younger, pp. 153-154.)
How can TRT Help Andropause?
Over the past several years, numerous reports have appeared in the press regarding the benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in healthy aging men. With the arrival of Viagra and other sexual function products, many men are now trying testosterone to help their flagging libidos keep up with their newfound ability to maintain youth-quality erections. Stories continue to appear in medical literature exalting the muscle-boosting, fat-busting effects of TRT, not only in athletes, but also in sedentary healthy older men.
The decision to start TRT is a personal and complex decision. There are many well-documented beneficial effects of maintaining a youthful level of testosterone, and we believe that the preponderance of evidence supports its use in most aging men.
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