Women naturally go through a hormone change when they reach a certain age. This is referred to as menopause, and it is the cease of estrogen production. Women dive into this hormone change dramatically. Men also go through some changes, but they go at a much slower pace over many years that cause certain male menopause symptoms.
Male menopause is a term that is referring to the levels of testosterone decreasing due to aging, in a male. Male and female menopause is different from one another because women stop producing estrogen and ovulation ceases. Men slowly lower the amount of testosterone their body is producing. Male menopause symptoms can remain overlooked for many years. These symptoms can include:
- Sexual function- this can be a decrease in sex drive or erectile dysfunction
- Energy levels vary
- Mood swings
These can be very slight, causing no one to notice the changes. The levels of testosterone in men gradually decrease throughout their adult lives. Some male symptoms can be more noticeable and life altering than others. Some of the effects of low testosterone include:
- Sexual Function Changes – This covers a few different items. This can be a decline in sexual desires; erections become less spontaneous and even infertility can occur. The size of the testes may also decrease.
- You change physically – This can include: an increase in body fat, muscles begin to deteriorate leaving you less bulky, and bone density decreases (leaving your bones more brittle and more easily broken).
- Sleeping Patterns Fluctuate – Insomnia can be a result of low testosterone levels. It can also cause disturbances while you sleep.
- Changes Emotionally – You may begin to feel a lack of motivation and self confidence when your testosterone levels lower. Depressive thoughts and sadness may also become more abundant. You memory and concentration can also be affected.
Many of these changes are a natural part of aging, while others may indicate an underlying health problem. Some problems that cause male menopause symptoms are:
- Side effects of medications – Often, as we age, our body needs medications to function. We may have never taken any medications in our younger years, but now require medications that may have negative side effects. You and your health care professional should discuss the benefits compared to the negative impacts of the medication and discuss what options (if any) you may have. You should not abruptly stop routine medications without consulting.
- Hypothyroidism – a condition where the thyroid does not produce enough hormones. Decreased amounts of hypothyroidism may cause depression, fatigue, slow metabolism and mental fog.
Male menopause symptoms while perhaps not as profound as menopause in women; is of real concern for men. A physician can perform a blood test to check testosterone levels to determine if decreased testosterone is the cause of your male menopause symptoms. You can help your body increase its production of testosterone by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise.
If male menopause symptoms are severe, some weigh the risks and benefits of testosterone replacement therapy. Replacement therapy comes with its own risks of possible increased prostate cancer in patients receiving treatment. Only you and your doctor can determine this.