Men dread it. Women think it’s the divine counterpart for the stressful and sometimes traumatic experience of menopause. Most scientists still argue about the existence and reality of male menopause. How does a guy go through menopause? Why does it happen?
First of all, the term used for it is “andropause.” It is a condition where males – mostly middle-aged to older men – experience a decrease the production of testosterone in the body, not by lack of trying or by choice. The body just comes to that point, and it is most of the time related to aging.
Like the ladies, a man’s body functions also have some sort of expiration date. You get to this age, you start losing your hair, your metabolism starts to slow down, giving you a beer gut, you feel some muscle and joint pains here and there, and your sex drive gradually decreases. As scary as it sounds, it happens to everyone. You have your age to thank for that. Here are 14 signs that you might actually be going through male menopause, or andropause.
1. Sleep Disorders Arise
Older people have been known to sleep less. They sleep late at night and wake up early in the morning.
This is a common scenario that we have accepted as a norm over time. But did you know that sleeping less or having a sleep disorder may create physical problems?
You can’t deny that as you grow old, you also start feeling physical problems here and there. But a sleeping disorder may also be one symptom that you are starting to deteriorate in the testosterone department.
2. Anxiety And Fear Can Happen
Some middle-aged to older men, especially the alpha-male types – refuse to acknowledge that they have fears or any types of anxiety. It makes them weak. However, whether you admit to yourself or not, there may be instances when you start to feel anxious or afraid about nothing in particular.
This means you don’t have full control of your emotions anymore, and that might be because you are starting to slow down on the testosterone production, meaning you are going through andropause.
3. The Overwhelming Feeling Time Is Running Out
As you grow older, it is quite understandable when you feel like you are getting left out by technology and anything current.
However, if you feel a deep emotion that your time is running out, it’s a sign that you are going through male menopause.
The testosterone in your brain also helps with procuring happy and enthusiastic thoughts. The low production of it may trigger feelings of sadness or loneliness, giving you this feeling.
4. You Have A Loss Of Self-Confidence
Let’s set down the facts: you’re growing older, your performance is not as active as it was, and there may also be some issues in the erectile department. Overall, you may think that this would ruin your image as a sex god.
The result can be the loss of self-confidence and a lower self-esteem. You lose your confidence because of the knowledge that you are not as good as you used to be. This is also one sign that you are going through male menopause.
5. Mood Swings Abound
Male menopause happens when the testosterone levels of a man are lower than they normally were during your younger years.
Testosterone, aside from being the sex hormone, also acts as a happiness booster and allows you to feel enthusiastic about life. When you go through andropause, the production of testosterone either fluctuates irregularly or decreases gradually.
This means that your moods are also affected because the happy hormone is not at its regular capacity anymore. This results in mood swings and changes in your personality and attitude.
6. Irritability Reigns Supreme
Men will have to agree, not having sex or not being able to ejaculate for a while will make you cranky, just like how not being able to eat for a day does. If you are going through male menopause, that means you may experience either a lack of sex drive, or is have problems with erectile dysfunction. Either way, you do not have the same amount of sexual pleasure that you once had, resulting in occasional crankiness and irritability. This explains why some of older men out there seem so cranky and angry all the time.
7. Depression Sets In
Mood swings and irritability are less of your concern when you go through andropause.
The thought of you not being the sex athlete that you once were, and the feelings of running out of time can leave some men depressed.
Depression is a serious mental issue that needs to be addressed by professionals.
Although not all men go through depression during andropause, if you feel an overwhelming feeling of sadness that comes out of nowhere, you should contact your doctor to seek some help for it.
8. Physical Weakness Happens, Too
It may be true that older men are much weaker than young men who still have their muscles and a perfect build. That could also be due to the fact that you are going through male menopause, which is why you are not as physically strong as you were before. Physical weakness does not mean you are weak, so do not let it affect you. Older men can benefit greatly by lifting weights regularly, so pick up a pair and soon you’ll notice your muscles getting strong again.
9. Osteoporosis Sets In
Testosterone is not only the sex hormone. Apparently, it also helps in making the bone density stronger and keeping the bones healthy.
Testosterone and osteoporosis are well acquainted and doctors sometimes have their patients undergo a bone density scan to determine if he has osteoporosis due to low testosterone.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, it does not really mean you have low testosterone, but it is still a symptom of male menopause.
10. Longer Recovery Times Can Happen
We all get sick sometimes. It’s the recovery that makes it different. Middle-aged to older men sometimes take longer to recover and this is mostly due to the fact that the body is aging and the functions are not like when you were younger. However, if you take longer to recover from illnesses or injuries, it may be a sign that you are going through andropause and you are running low on testosterone levels.
This means the lengthy recovery is not only blamed on your age. It is also because your T levels are winding down, as well.
11. Weight Gain And Abdominal Fat Can Be A Problem
Low testosterone usually means an increase in abdominal fat. It’s a normal effect of a decrease in testosterone levels.
Testosterone aids in slowing the accumulation of fat from the food that you eat. Thus, if you have low testosterone, there is no barrier for gaining the fat.
Abdominal fat is the common result. There are also cases of beer gut and men growing boobs. When this happens, one factor looked at is the possibility that a man is undergoing andropause.
12. Say Goodbye To Your Sex Drive
Men are sexual in nature. Sex is a huge factor for most men and it is an accepted norm that men think about sex all the time. So, if you find yourself thinking about sex less and less, and you don’t feel the urge or the stirrings to make love anymore, you might be hanging low on the testosterone supply and are going through the proverbial male menopause.
13. Sexual Problems occur, Too
The numbness or the lack of enjoyment in any sexual activity that you do is one strong indication that you are going through andropause.
Testosterone drives the emotions and the pleasure that you feel during sex. Another thing is having problems getting to orgasm. These are signs that you are suffering from male menopause.
14. Erection Problems Are A Strong Indicator
Erection problems are one of the first signs that you are running low on testosterone. If you are on your late years, this may mean that you are going through male menopause. While it may be scary and depressing to think about, most men go through it. The only question is when, and this is determined by your choices and your lifestyle throughout the years. It is best to stay fit and healthy while you are young to lessen the effects of andropause later.
Gentlemen, it is bound to happen. When it happens, and to what extent is something you can control – like if you live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t age fast, or if you exercise, then your body stays active.
But it is something that you should expect, especially when you are reaching your golden years. You can seek the help of your doctor or support groups to help you understand and accept male menopause, if it’s all too hard to swallow.
One thing is for sure. Aging will change your body and your bodily functions. With body changes also come changes in your performances in all aspects.
Medical science is coming up with ways to help men live better lives, even in their golden years. If you find you’re slowing down or feeling unusually lethargic, visit your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan. You don’t have to suffer with all the help there is available nowadays.