Male Menopause Symptoms (Andropause)

The symptoms of male menopause (or the Andropause) are not as sudden as the changes women experience, tending to creep up very gradually.

What is the Andropause?

Andropause is the male menopause. It is a number of symptoms that results from decline in the amount of the male hormone, testosterone, in the body. In other words Andropause is low testosterone.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is the hormone produced by the testicles. It is responsible for the proper development of male sexual characteristics. It helps promote the circulation of blood, and is responsible for the maintenance of muscle bulk. Without an adequate testosterone level there can be important psychological affects such as loss of libido, reduced brain and intellectual activity and mood changes.
Symptoms that are indicative of male menopause are:
  • Mental Attitude
  • Loss of drive at work and at play.
  • Can't be bothered, no motivation.
  • Lack of enthusiasm.
  • Depression
  • Loss of 'get up and go.'
  • Negative about things in general.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Less effective at work.
  • Failing memory.
  • Inability to plan a series of moves.

Physical

  • Loss of strength: Muscle weakness can be very insidious. Without being aware of men find they have to use their hands more to get out of chairs or up stairs. If left untreated there is gradual atrophy (wasting) of the muscles.
  • Loss of energy: Many men find they are very tired by early evening, or are falling asleep in front of the TV.
  • Joint or muscle stiffness or aching.
  • Reduced fitness.
  • Signs of accelerated aging of the heart and circulation. If you have had significant heart trouble: get your hormone levels checked, as there is often a correlation.
  • Increased sweating: Some men notice increased sweating with exertion or at night. It is not uncommon to stain the bed linen from excessive sweating.
  • Flushes: Some men even get hot flushes similar to those experienced by women going through the menopause, although their hands and feet often remain cold.
  • Skin changes: Dryness of the skin, a tendency to get rashes easier, lack of lustre in the hair.
  • Bone Density: In severe cases, the bones are affected and become osteoporotic.

Emotional

  • Mood swings
  • Feeling down
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Easily frustrated
  • Loss of assertiveness
  • Loss of confidence

Sexual

  • Loss of libido: (loss of interest in sex). This can be gradual.
  • Physical changes in sexual performance: Morning erections occur less often and are short lived. Erections with sexual stimulation are not as stiff as they used to be, progressing to inability to maintain an erection, then inability to even achieve an erection.



These unanticipated physical and psychological changes can be cause for significant concern or even crisis amongst sufferers.
The spouse is often at a loss to understand how the husband she knew could have changed so much. This can result in a powerful combination of anxiety and doubt, which can lead to total impotence with sexual frustration and marital breakdown.
In Boston, a report on a recent study of 1700 middle-aged men found that 51% of normal, healthy males age 40 to 70 suffered from the above male menopause symptoms. The aging process alone can not be responsible for this problem as well over 40% of males remain sexually active at 70 years of age and beyond.

Causes and Treatment

There seem to be many influencing factors in male menopause and not all have been fully researched. Some known contributors to this condition are, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, hypertension, previous vasectomy, hernia operations, mumps, prostate problems, prescription and non-prescription medications, poor diet, lack of exercise, poor circulation, and severe physical or emotional stress.
European studies are finding men can improve in sexual function, muscle strength and general well being if treated with supplements bringing their testosterone levels into the high normal range.

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