All men experience a gradual decline in their testosterone levels after the age of 30. This is quite normal. But for some men, this phenomenon causes symptoms that can disrupt their daily lives.
We at DTAP (Dr. Tan & Partners) pride ourselves in empowering the public with medical information so that proper help can be sought in time. I’ve written this article in the form of a patient asking for help from his doctor through e-mail and the doctor responding back.
I hope you are well.
I am writing this e-mail to you hoping you will be able to give me some answers.
Let me start from the beginning,
I am a 52-year-old male with no underlying chronic disease, non-smoker and social drinker.
I’m a business owner and have been married for 22 years with 2 children.
As a young man, I played badminton at state level and ran marathons.
Over the years, I continued to run the occasional marathon but completely stopped 2 year ago.
Why did I stop you may ask?
I felt my energy draining away.
I was constantly fatigued and exhausted.
Last year, matters took a turn for the worst at a more personal level
My erections were not as hard as before and i found it increasingly difficult
to sustain my erections.
Sex was not enjoyable anymore and this distressed me.
My wife told me I was constantly irritable and I frequently found it difficult to concentrate on the simplest of task.
I searched the internet for answers and Male Menopause kept popping up.
Do I have this male menopause?
Is it the same as female menopause?
Is there a cure for this?
I really hope you can help answer these questions because I feel as if my life is going downhill at this point.
Thank you for your email.
Let me explain a little about “Male Menopause”
The term “menopause,” refers to a feminine process, the hormonal and physical changes women go through when they’ve experienced their final menstrual cycle. It’s a natural occurrence, coming around age 50 for most, that is accompanied by a drop in estrogen levels.
So, how can a man go through menopause?
The simple answer is they don’t.
The “male menopause” is a misnomer.
Men do however go through their own hormonal change with age that mirrors the effects of the female version. Many doctors use the term “andropause” to describe aging-related hormone changes in men. Other terms include testosterone deficiency syndrome, androgen deficiency of the aging male and late-onset male hypogonadism.
Testosterone levels vary greatly among men. In general, older men tend to have lower testosterone levels than do younger men. Testosterone levels gradually decline throughout adulthood — about 1% a year after age 30 on average. Symptoms of Andropause include erectile dysfunction, reduced libido, infertility, increased body fat, reduced muscle mass and strength, decreased bone density, low energy, difficulty concentrating, depression or sadness and sleep disturbances.
Andropause is diagnosed based on a physical examination, the presence of symptoms and a blood test to check if the testosterone level is within normal range. If your testosterone levels are not in the normal range, hormone therapy such as testosterone injections, gel or patches may be recommended to help boost your testosterone levels back up.
Based on your symptoms, you might be experiencing andropause but I will need to ask you more questions, examine you and possibly do a blood test before I can be sure. Please make an appointment as soon as possible so that we can get to the bottom of your issue.
This e-mail though fictional depicts the frustration one can experience with andropause.
A study done In the United States in 2006 found that by age 45, 40 per cent of men have abnormally low testosterone levels. The fact is, whether we call it male menopause or andropause, the effects of hormone loss in men can cause just as much suffering and ill health to men as menopause does to women.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in the article, reach out to a doctor for help.
You don’t have to suffer in silence.
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