It seems women over age 50 are not the only ones going through the bodily/emotional changes labeled as menopause; men are experiencing some hormonal drama as well. Male menopause or manopause is an umbrella term to describe age-related physical/emotional alterations that affect men over age 50.
What is manopause?
Since men do not experience a well-defined period referred to as menopause, some physicians refer to this stage as androgen (testosterone) decline or low testosterone in men who are getting older. In addition to a drop in testosterone, some men might also experience the following symptoms:
- low energy
- sexual issues like erectile dysfunction
- sleep problems
- loss of muscle mass and strength
- increased fat accumulation around the middle
- reduced body hair
- difficulty remembering things
Some medical professionals are still on the fence about labeling older men and the symptoms they’re experiencing with the term “manopause.”
When testosterone levels drop in men, it occurs at a slower pace. The hormonal changes might take place as early as ages 45 to 50 and become more apparent after age 70 in some men.
How is manopause discovered?
A physician will physically examine a patient thoroughly. Next, the doctor will discuss your symptoms and order the appropriate testing to rule out such illnesses as diabetes for example which can also be the cause of low testosterone. Blood work will also be required especially to measure testosterone levels.
Can Manopause be treated?
If a man’s testosterone levels are less than what they should be, testosterone replacement therapy might be the ticket to help such issues as:
- A loss of sexual appetite
Quite similar to hormone replacement therapy in women, testosterone replacement therapy in men also comes with some serious risks like possibly upping your risk for prostate cancer.
Before even considering testosterone replacement therapy, do your research! Read about the therapy’s pluses and minuses, and then have a thorough conversation with your doctor about them.
A medical professional might also make some lifestyle changes recommendations to help with the symptoms you’re experiencing; alterations like:
- beginning an exercise program
- maintaining a healthy weight
- eating a healthy diet