If you never heard of male menopause, you are not alone. Many men are not familiar with andropause, the term for a menopause-like condition in aging man, but the facts of this natural condition are very interesting.
Andropause is a slow but steady reduction of the production of the hormone testosterone in middle-aged men. Unlike women, men’s reproductive systems do not cease to work completely in mid-life as some men continue to father children late into their lives. Menopause is a complete cessation of reproductive ability caused by the shutting down of the female reproductive system.
Andropause is usually caused by a very gradual testosterone deficiency and an increase in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) that occurs from age 35 onwards. By contrast, women have a sudden onset of menopause around age 50. Testosterone declines about 1% per year after age 30 and about 30% of men in their 50’s experience andropause symptoms.
What are the symptoms of andropause?
The drop in testosterone levels generally leads to loss of energy, depression, and mood swings. In addition, some men may experience loss of libido and potency, nervousness, impaired memory, the inability to concentrate, fatigue, insomnia, hot flushes, and sweating. All these conditions may be linked to low levels of testosterone.
Some researchers prefer the term ADAM, androgen deficiency of the aging male, to more accurately reflect the fact that the loss of testosterone production is gradual and asymptotic, and in contrast to the more abrupt change associated with menopause.
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