Andropause: Male Menopause – Symptoms, Causes And Remedies

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Andropause Facts
Andropause Facts. Graphic ©

Andropause, also known as male menopause, is a condition associated with low levels of testosterone and clinical symptoms that are mostly sexual in nature. Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for muscle mass, deep voice, and body / facial hair patterns. As men get older, their testosterone levels and sperm production gradually decrease, causing them to experience psychological and physical symptoms. After reaching the age of thirty, men’s testosterone levels start to decrease by 10% every decade. About 30% of men in their 50’s experience symptoms associated with andropause. Clinical symptoms include erectile dysfunction, fewer spontaneous erections, and decreased desire for sex. Without proper treatment, men experiencing andropause may also be at risk of serious health conditions like osteoporosis. [1]

A Closer Look At The Symptoms

European Male Aging Study (EMAS), the world’s largest multi-centre study on male aging, conducted in 2010, required the presence of three sexual symptoms for a diagnosis of andropause, namely erectile dysfunction, lack of morning erection, and decreased libido. [2] The nonsexual symptoms of andropause include anger, depression, fatigue, mood changes, reduced well-being, loss of cognitive skills, increased body fat, decreased bone mass and osteoporosis, and reduced muscle volume and strength. [3] Diagnosing andropause can be complicated, as the decline of testosterone levels happens gradually and lacks easily defined marking points for the beginning of symptoms. It is much unlike the obvious cessation of menstruation and ovulation that happens among menopausal women. [3]

Causes Of Andropause

While such a decrease in testosterone is normal among the elderly male population, aging is not the only reason men experience a drop in testosterone levels. Low testosterone has been linked to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, and conditions that require lifestyle changes and medical treatment. [4] Rapid decline of testicular function may also be caused by autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy, heavy smoking, pituitary tumors, certain surgeries, and genetic conditions. [1]

As men age, not only do they experience reduced levels of testosterone, but they also start producing more amounts of the hormone called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). This hormone binds with testosterone, decreasing the amounts of usable testosterone available in the blood. The end result is that not only do aging men produce less testosterone, but they also have lower bioavailable levels of the hormone in their blood. [1]

Treatment Of Andropause

Several studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy could benefit aging men with low testosterone levels. The treatment can be beneficial for muscle, bone, and psychosexual functions. However, short-term follow-ups after the treatment have revealed significant adverse effects. Larger clinical studies for long-term follow-up are still needed to assess a risk-benefit profile for this type of treatment.

Though testosterone replacement remains to be the most popular option, non-supplemental treatments are also available to attain hormonal balance. The list includes stress management, proper diet, weight management, and exercise.

Exercise is considered an important testosterone booster and has been shown to produce a temporary increase in serum testosterone levels among elderly men. [4]


[1] MedBroadcast. Andropause.

[2] National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI). Andropause: Current concepts.

[3] Oxford Academic Andropause: Knowledge and Perceptions Among the General Public and Health Care Professionals.

[4] ResearchGate. Andropause (Male Menopause): Valid Concepts, Fables and Controversies.…/

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