Andropause (male menopause)

Andropause is the term used to describe the stage in men's lives which is characterised by a reduction in hormone production.

Overview

Between the ages of 40 and 50, many men start losing some of their physical powers and libido and their physical appearance changes. This is a normal part of ageing and is caused by lower hormone levels, among other things. Compared to women, the symptoms appear more slowly and gradually. Opinions also differ about whether the andropause really exists. This is because the production of the male sex hormone, i.e. testosterone, never stops completely. In addition, the amount of testosterone or the lack thereof affects individuals differently.

Symptoms

  • Psychological changes
  • Physical changes
    • Skin: dries out and loses elasticity
    • Loss of body hair
    • Increase in percentage of body fat and decrease in muscle mass
    • Change in body proportions
    • Decline in physical powers
  • Impact on sexual function
    • Lower sexual drive (loss of libido)
    • Weaker erection (potency disorder)
    • Reduced fertility

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Part of the normal ageing process (main cause)
    • Doesn’t depend exclusively on hormone levels
  • Lower hormone levels owing to reduced production (testosterone and other androgens)

Examination

  • Conversation
  • Blood test (hormone levels, among others)
  • Completion of a standard questionnaire
  • Physical examination (incl. testicles, if necessary)

Treatment

  • Hormone therapy (controversial)
  • Medication to improve erectile function
    • Urgent warning: don't take illegal substances ordered via the internet
  • Psychotherapy, if necessary
  • Treatment of underlying diseases, if any

What can I do myself?

  • Regular exercise, fitness training
  • Balanced diet
  • Reduce everyday stress
  • Weight loss
  • Use alcohol in moderation
  • Stop smoking
  • Find harmonious social relationships
  • Avoid sexual stress (compulsion and pressure to perform)

When to see a doctor?

Synonyms

andropause, male menopause, male climacteric, PADAM, partial androgen deficiency of the ageing male, LOH, late-onset hypogonadism, male testosterone deficiency, androgen decline

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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