You had it once, and you have it again. All of a sudden, sex seems so foreign to you.
Yes, you can get it up – or not, depending on the situation – but the temptations of your wife are not really working, no matter how hot she is in that new Victoria’s Secret lace teddy. Then there are mood swings, difficulty concentrating, hot flushes and even a lack of energy.Then you start to wonder, “Is this a sign of aging?”
Because you are too concerned with what’s happening, you decide to resort to good ol’ Google and type in your troubling symptoms. Then the term “male menopause,” or “andropause” comes up. Is there such a thing, you wonder? Apparently, there really is.
Although there is an endless debate on whether men experience “menopause,” sometime in their lives, the trend is the same. Testosterone levels will decline by the time you reach the age of 30, and eventually, there will be a decrease in libido, plus other signs of aging.
So, what is this male menopause, anyway? Knowledge is power, so educate yourself today to help yourself feel better tomorrow.
Andropause: A Sign Of Aging?
First things first – andropause is not the same as female menopause. Yes, there is a decline in hormones by the time you reach this age, but andropause and female menopause are two different conditions.
Andropause or male menopause is a term that describes hormonal changes in a man’s body. This means there is a decrease in testosterone levels as soon as you reach the big 3-0 mark, or sometimes even as late as the big 4-0 for some men. Your T levels go down by just one percent every year.
This is different from the menopause women experience, wherein the production of female hormones just drops off, considering their reproductive system depends on the hormones in order to function properly. They can no longer produce a child once they complete menopause.
But, believe it or not, you can still get someone pregnant even if you are 80, since your sex hormones are not entirely lost. How cool is that?
Male vs. Female Menopause: Is There Really Such a Difference?
Yes. A lot of men will think, including yourself, perhaps, that what you are experiencing now is the same with female menopause. It makes sense. You lost your libido, you get depressed, and you have mood swings and hot flashes. You even have sleeping problems, just like she does. Aren’t those symptoms the same with women in their 50’s?
Okay, You Have A Point.
However, male menopause takes time before you can actually experience those symptoms. Again, your testosterone level drops gradually by the time you reach 30.
During your younger, Samson-like years, your T levels were more than 1,000 nanograms. By 80, you will only have 200 nanograms. In other words, it is a gradual process and won’t happen immediately.
On the other hand, female menopause happens instantly with little notice. As soon as women hit the 40-to 50-age mark, their hormonal levels just drop, causing them to experience those symptoms only when they get older.
And the big difference between the two? You may or may not have andropause. If you maintained the right amount of T levels by 50, then that’s good news. At least you don’t have to experience these depressing symptoms. Unfortunately for women, menopause is inevitable, a condition they can’t avoid. Be nice. It’s not easy to deal with at all.
Signs And Symptoms You Have Male Menopause
Since there is a difference between female menopause and what you are going through now, how can you describe andropause? Here are the following signs and symptoms which can tell you if you have male menopause, or not:
- Lower Sex Drive
- Night Sweats
- Reduced Muscle Bulk and Strength
- Loss of Body Hair
- Poor Concentration
- Sleep Problems
- Memory Loss
- Increased Body Fat
- Lesser Spontaneous Erections
- Shrunken Height
- Lower Self-Confidence
Causes Of Andropause
You might say that you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to keep your testosterone at the right level. Can you still get andropause? It really depends on many factors. Again, there is a possibility that your T levels will drop by your 30’s, but there’s a chance that it won’t. The thing is, male menopause is not confined with simply a drop in testosterone.
Other Possible Causes Of Male Menopause Are:
- Poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, smoking and too much alcohol can contribute to these symptoms. Watch out guys. You may be happy and carefree now, but your unhealthy lifestyle will find a way to get back at you in the most depressing way possible. It’s time to take a serious look at how you’re living your life and make some healthy changes now.
- Personal Or Psychological Issues. Have you ever heard of a “midlife crisis?” At one point in your life, you will start to question what you have accomplished so far, if you have fulfilled your purpose and assess what’s coming next. While this may not be an issue for some men, it might affect you, which can lead to depression or anxiety. This can lead to erectile dysfunction or loss of libido.
Instead, learn to live in the moment. Let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. This is self-defeating and unhealthy. Get professional help if you find yourself stuck in negative thoughts.
- Late Onset Hypogonadism. If lifestyle factors or personal issues are not responsible for your declining energy and sex drive, then there might be something abnormal going on inside your body. This is referred to as hypogonadism, wherein your testes produce few to zero hormones. This condition can be present from birth on, or later on life, especially if you are on the heavy side, or you have type 2 diabetes.
What You Can Do About It
You can take action if you think you are experiencing andropause. If you experience two or more of the said symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your doctor and have yourself checked. The doctor will perform a physical exam to assess your condition.
He may also require you to have a blood test to check your T levels. You will also need to disclose everything to him – medical history, medications you are taking, work and personal life, lifestyle factors – anything that may affect your normal functioning to rule out any causes.
If the results of the blood test show your testosterone levels are at its lowest, then testosterone replacement treatment, or TRT may help. It comes in many forms – tablets, gels, patches, injections or implants – to help correct the deficiency.
However, TRT has risks, especially when you have prostate cancer and heart disease. To be safe, go for TRT only as your last resort until further studies prove that this method is safe.
In case stress or anxiety is affecting your sex life or even your life in general, cognitive behavioral therapy can help. Stress management and seeking professional help for depression and low moods can also help address your issues. But, if you are not in a place to spend money for counseling, exercise and relaxation techniques can do the trick. Changing your diet will also help.
A piece of advice: Don’t immediately resort to herbal supplements. Yes, herbs were used by men during the ancient times, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. Keep in mind that there were limited tools and technology thousands of years ago. There was no way they could check herbal efficacy. If you still believe in herbs, go ahead and consume them. But don’t say you were not warned first.
Top Tips For Dealing With Andropause
- See A Doctor. Tell your doctor about all of the symptoms you’ve experienced and any medications you are taking. The doctor will do tests and give you a diagnosis. They will also talk about the possible treatment options available to address male menopause and lifestyle changes you can try. Be honest about everything you say to your doctor, so you can get an accurate diagnosis.
- Exercise Regularly. Just because you got old and lost some muscle mass and strength, it doesn’t mean you can skip exercise.
It still has a lot of benefits, including helping you cope with male menopause. Go ahead and get moving.
It helps improve your mood and make you sleep better, too. You can build up your muscles and feel younger by exercising regularly again.
- Eat A Healthy Diet. This is the best time to feed yourself with good, healthy foods. Don’t deprive your body of that, since you need to maintain your energy, strength and muscle mass. If you aren’t sure what to eat – and what not to eat – ask your doctor or consult a dietitian for advice. Eat whole, fresh foods and avoid processed, fatty foods.
- Seek Help When You Are Feeling Down. It’s understandable to want to hide; however, changes in your sex life and overall health and mood can be very depressing. Instead of venting it all out to your partner, or resorting to alcohol to self-medicate to make yourself believe that you are feeling much better, seek professional help. Ignoring the problem will only make things worse.
Face the truth: just like all of us, you will age, too. No matter how much you want to maintain your youth by taking whatever anti-aging supplements you can find, time will come when aging symptoms will start to take over your body. If that’s the case, learn to accept it, since you will never be 30 forever. If you experienced any of the andropause symptoms, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor for appropriate treatment.
Don’t worry. You’ll get better in no time. With the right tools and treatment options, your bedroom will surely become a sex haven again. Getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life. Get wiser, not sicker and sadder by talking to your doctor and doing your best to take good care of your health.