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Andropause: What is it, Symptoms, Diagnostic Methods and Treatment

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Andropause: What is it, Symptoms, Diagnostic Methods and Treatment

The nature of hormonal changes that occur due to aging in men is different from that in women. Although hormone changes are a natural part of aging, they can cause difficulties in some people due to decreased quality of life.

The nature of hormonal changes that occur due to aging in men is different from that in women. Although hormone changes are a natural part of aging, they can cause difficulties in some people due to decreased quality of life.

Menopause in women involves the end of ovulation and the complete disappearance of reproductive functions. However, although there is no sudden cessation of hormones in men during menopause, it is possible for the amount of testosterone to decrease over time and some changes to occur. These changes are manageable for most men. With some lifestyle modification, andropause can become manageable. In addition, with the decrease in the amount of testosterone, reproductive functions in men do not end and continue. Although moderately decreasing hormones may cause factors such as lack of libido or decreased energy, coping with these can be learned. Decreasing testosterone levels without aging, which is among the rare cases, leads to more serious consequences. However, their treatment is now possible with testosterone therapy. In order to understand diagnosis and treatment methods, it is necessary to know what andropause is.

What is Andropause?

Andropause is more commonly known as “Male Menopause”. This widely used term describes age-related changes in male hormone levels. It is also known as testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency, and late-onset hypogonadism (deficiency in sex hormones). Male menopause includes symptoms that generally occur due to a decrease in testosterone production in men over the age of 50. It is often associated with hypogonadism. Both conditions involve low testosterone levels and similar symptoms. Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testicles. Although this hormone is mostly associated with sexuality, it has many effects on the male body. Testosterone triggers development during adolescence, regulates mental and physical energy, contributes to the preservation of muscle mass, triggers survival reflexes and contributes to the regulation of many evolutionary features. Male menopause has several characteristics that differ from female menopause. The first and biggest difference is that female menopause occurs in all women, while male menopause does not occur in all men. When women enter menopause, female reproductive organs lose their functions, while male reproductive organs do not completely lose their functions. In addition, sexual dysfunction may occur as a result of low hormone levels. When women enter menopause, the only reason for this situation is hormonal changes. However, andropause does not occur only due to hormonal reasons. Some diseases that concern male mental health, such as depression, advanced diabetes or hypertension, may also cause andropause symptoms. Andropause, which occurs due to these reasons, is not always seen above the age of 50. It can also be seen at younger ages.

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What are the symptoms of andropause?

Andropause can lead to physical, psychological and sexual problems. In general, these symptoms tend to progress with age. Among the most common symptoms:

  • low energy,
  • Depression and the sad mood that accompanies it,
  • decreased motivation,
  • decreased self-confidence,
  • Difficulty concentrating,
  • Insomnia or sleep disorder,
  • body fat,
  • Feeling of physical weakness and decrease in muscle mass,
  • Gynecomastia or breast development,
  • Decrease in bone mass,
  • erectile dysfunction,
  • Decreased sexual drive and libido,
  • Infertility is included.

In addition to all these symptoms, swelling and tenderness of the breasts are also common symptoms. A decrease in testicular size and loss of body hair may also be observed. The body may become more sensitive to air temperatures. As a result, unexpected hot flashes occur. Smoking and alcohol use may trigger the appearance of these symptoms. In other words, men may enter andropause earlier than the expected age. Side effects of some heavy medications can also trigger andropause. For this reason, it is beneficial to use medicines according to doctor’s advice. Men’s testosterone levels decline at a rate of approximately 1 percent per year starting at the age of 30. This level of decline is not expected to cause any symptoms. However, when combined with conditions such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, stress, nutritional disorders, lack of exercise, male menopause symptoms occur. Some studies have shown that andropause can trigger osteoporosis because it makes the body more fragile. However, this symptom is very rare.

Andropause Diagnosis Methods

As is the case in the diagnosis of most diseases, physical examination is the first step in diagnosing andropause. Along with the physical examination, the doctor may want to collect information about past experiences that may be associated with the disease. For this reason, some questions are asked to the patient. Following the physical examination, blood tests are performed to measure testosterone levels. In order for the correct diagnosis and treatment to be carried out in the most effective way, the patient must share all symptoms with the doctor sincerely and accurately. Because symptoms that the patient does not take seriously can give the doctor an idea about the diagnosis of the disease. Otherwise, incorrect diagnosis and subsequent incorrect treatment may occur. As a result of blood tests, information about testosterone levels is obtained. Extremely low testosterone levels may also indicate late-onset hypogonadism. This condition occurs when the testicles produce less testosterone than they should, when lifestyle and other conditions do not affect the patient. Although hypogonadism is rare, it can occur from birth. As a result, symptoms such as delayed puberty or small testicles may occur. It can also be seen later in life, especially in men who are obese or have type 2 diabetes. This is called late-onset hypogonadism in medicine and causes symptoms of andropause. However, this is a rare and specific medical condition that is not a normal condition of aging. To detect this medical condition, symptoms must be evaluated along with blood tests. Only in this way can an accurate diagnosis be made and treatment can be directed correctly.

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Andropause Treatment

Andropause is known as a manageable condition because it does not cause serious symptoms in most men. Men continue their lives this way by getting used to new symptoms. They survive the rest of their lives without any treatment. However, some treatment methods are available for the remaining group. The most common type of treatment for andropause is changing the level of testosterone in the blood. This treatment method reduces symptoms in many cases and helps men in andropause live a better quality of life. Along with this treatment, exercising more, avoiding stressful situations and eating better have a positive effect on the regression of symptoms. However, testosterone replacement therapy is not suitable for all men. After the examination, the doctor decides on the suitability of the treatment. Apart from this, testosterone gel, oral medications or testosterone injections can be used. These treatments are applied if the doctor deems it appropriate. It is not possible to apply it to every patient. Testosterone drugs are not recommended, especially in men with prostate and breast cancer. In diseases such as heart disease or prostate, treatment can be applied according to the doctor’s opinion. In cases where testosterone levels are normal for age, patients may need to receive psychological support in order to learn to cope psychologically with andropause symptoms. Thus, sick men learn how to cope with their new body condition. Exercising more, living away from stressful situations and adjusting your diet to a better quality will help the symptoms regress. Thus, men who are in andropause can live a better quality of life.

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If you are showing symptoms of andropause and having difficulty coping with these symptoms, you should get examined without delay. It is possible to live a better quality of life with appropriate treatment.

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