The term menopause has solely been used for women who experience a change in their reproductive system. However, men also experience such changes in a somewhat similar way. It is commonly called male menopause but experts in the medical field are now referring to the condition as andropause.

What is andropause?

Menopause for women, is the compete cessation of the ovaries to produce egg cells, thereby disabling a woman's child-bear capability. Along with this condition comes a gamut of hormonal and physical changes that can be quite discomforting to bear. In men, andropause brings about a decrease in testosterone production, but doesn't interfere with their ability to produce children. Testosterone is the hormone that makes men manly - aggressive, dominant, physical. This usually manifests at the age of 40 to 55 years.

Although andropause is not recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an actual condition, a recent spike in reported changes by middle-aged men has made it more acceptable in the medical world.

What are the symptoms of andropause?

Like menopause, andropause can bring about a lot of changes in a man's body. Such changes include:

  • decreased libido
  • emotional, mental, and behavioral changes
  • decreased muscle mass and strength
  • increased deposition of fat in the upper and central body region
  • lowered bone density
  • increased risk of cardiovascular diseases

Is andropause treatable?

Like menopause, andropause is a natural phenomenon and is not a disease to be treated. Treatment is aimed more at managing the symptoms that come along with it. For women, hormone replacement therapy is used to cope with the changes brought by the on-going menopause. For men, the hormone replacement therapy can also be applied, but this time using testosterone instead of estrogen.

Although testosterone replacement therapy is the most commonly used treatment, other methods like human growth hormone (hGh) or dehydroisoandrosterone (DHEA) injections are also being used to help men cope with andropause.

Male menopause is no simple matter to shrug off. Leaving it undiagnosed may lead to a world of complications. It is best to talk to your trusted physician to find out more about andropause and the different ways to manage it.