A Mid-Life Transition: Andropause
Man-opause, really?! The men do get it! Male menopause, also known as andropause, is used to describe ageing-related hormones (testosterone) changes in men, and has its own set of concerns and management. Unlike women, men do not have a clear transitional sign. Dr Lim Kok Bin, Urologist, Raffles Urology Centre talks about andropause.
Andropause and Sexual Health
Sexual health is greatly affected when testosterone levels start to dip, causing men to lose interest in sexual activity. Dr Lim explains, “Even if the interest is there, he may find difficulty having or sustaining an erection. Most men assume it is part of getting older but there are ways we can improve testosterone levels.”
A healthy lifestyle will improve and promote your health, not just for now, but for long-term benefits. A lower carbohydrate diet, weight resistance exercises, adequate quality sleep and being positive helps to improve testosterone levels. Go for regular health checkups and check your hormone levels as you get older. In general, the number of important hormones in men starts to decline between 40 to 55 years old. Testosterone treatment, where testosterone in blood is replaced via skin patches, application through skin, capsule consumption or injections, may provide relief from the andropausal symptoms too.
Andropause in Brief:
- Andropause occurs in all men generally between the ages of 40 and 55, though it can occur as early as 35 or as late as 65.
- Testosterone declines naturally as men age. Testosterone levels would have lessened by 50 percent by the time most men reach 70. A blood test is the only method to confirm low testosterone.
- Symptoms for andropause vary greatly between men. The difference in sexual function (e.g. lowered sex drive, erectile dysfunction, intertility) is usually the most noticeable symptoms for decline in testosterone levels. Another common sign is insomnia and fatigue. Some men will also experience depression and weight gain due to the lowered testosterone levels.
“However, do note that many of the symptoms are also a normal part of ageing, and may not be reversible with treatment. Your doctor is the best person to provide medical advice,” says Dr Lim.