Is Male Menopause A Myth Or A Reality
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Is Male Menopause A Myth Or A Reality

June 18, 2019 | Health | By Amanda Johnson

Women experience menopause when her ovulation ends and the hormone production goes down dramatically. In recent times, it has come to light, that even men go through the menopausal state. Read on to know more about is male menopause a myth or a reality.

A Recent Research on Male Menopause

In a research that was done for the first time, a team of British researchers tried to establish if male menopause really exists or not. Towards this they studied over 3000 males in the age group of 40 to 79. With the help of questionnaires they tried to assess the sexual, physical and psychological health of the men. Together with this they also  measured each participant’s level of testosterone. This research report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It pointed out that with age, as the testosterone levels fall, there morning erections becomes lesser, men have lower desire for sex, and often also suffer erectile dysfunction.

What Is Testosterone

Testosterone is the hormone that is produced in males mainly in their testicles. This hormone helps to maintain:

  • Density of the bone
  • Distribution of fat in the body
  • The mass and the strength of the muscles
  • Amount of hair on the body and on the face
  • Production of RBCs
  • Desire for sex
  • Levels of sperm production

What Is Male Menopause

Male menopause is the phase wherein levels of sex hormone, testosterone, gradually fall. It is generally at the rate of approximately a percentage annually after age of 30. Sometimes doctors use other terms like andropause, testosterone deficiency syndrome, androgen deficiency, or the late onset of male hypogonadism.

How To Diagnose Low Levels of Testosterone

Low levels of testosterone can be diagnosed with the help of a blood test. Some of the symptoms include:

  • A fall in sexual desire together with erectile dysfunction, sleep erections, and even infertility.
  • In some the size of the testes might become smaller
  • Sleep disturbances occur like insomnia or constantly feeling lethargic and sleepy
  • Lower levels of muscle mass
  • Loss of both body and facial hair
  • Inability to concentrate for a long period of time
  • A reduction in the bone density
  • A rise in the levels of the body fat
  • Gynecomastia wherein the breasts get tender and feel swollen
  • Lower levels self-confidence and depression

Sometimes these symptoms could be an outcome of other factors like depression, alcoholism, anxiety, and even certain on-going medication. Hence it’s important to get the right tests done so that the real underlying cause behind the symptoms can be identified.

It is important to remember that some men, however, normally have lower levels of testosterone without any of the symptoms of male menopause. In such cases no treatment is required.

It is only when the doctor finds that you are experiencing these symptoms and your blood tests also reveal low levels of the hormone that he will suggest treatments.

How To Cope With This Phase

One cannot increase the levels of testosterone. However, these steps will help you feel better.

  • Be honest with your doctor and tell him about the signs and symptoms so that he can guide you and help you cope with it. At times, certain medication might be prescribed or changed to help alleviate your issues.
  • Always pay attention to what you are eating – the right diet will keep you healthy and help maintain strength of your body as well
  • Leading an active lifestyle during phase will give you more energy and help you cope with the lethargy that you might be experiencing. It will also help you to sleep better
  • Men experience loneliness and depression. But many find it difficult to open up, which leads to anxiety and irritability. Sometimes it also leads to having suicidal thoughts. Hence if you are experiencing any of this, then you must find someone – a friend, a family member, a shrink, or even your doctor – with whom you can honestly share your thoughts
  • Do not start taking any herbal supplements since there is no proof about their efficiency to improve the levels of testosterone but, rather, can have harmful effects on the body like increased levels of prostate cancer

Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Beneficial?

Testosterone injections, pellets, patches, and gels are available in the market today. Usually a pill containing the hormone is not prescribed as many doctors feel that it can adversely affect the liver.

  • Transdermal skin patches like Androderm. This is a patch that is worn on the arm and is it applied usually once in a day
  • Gels like AndroGel and Testim are absorbed directly into the skin while those like Natesto is applied on the inside of the nose
  • Striant is a mouth patch that is stuck to the upper gums above the incisor and it releases the hormone throughout the day.
  • Injections and pellets that can be implanted in the body are also available

The benefit of testosterone replacement therapy is still under consideration. While some benefit from it because it reduces the issues that they face due to falling levels of the hormone while some don’t benefit from it. In fact, it can even be risky to some. Some of the risks are:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Benign growth in the prostate and even the possibility of prostate cancer
  • Increased chances of heart attack due to blood clots that form in the veins

Due to these risks, you must consult your doctor before agreeing to this form of therapy.

If you feel that you are going through this phase, then do visit your doctor to find out for sure and then seek his advice so as to cope and improve the quality of your life.

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