Pretty much everyone knows what menopause is and how much of a struggle it can be for many women.
However, it turns out that men go through a similar stage in their lives and medical experts want to draw more attention to it.
Apparently, “male menopause,” medically known as andropause, is a “silent epidemic” that affects those who have really low testosterone levels.
Just like in the case of women, it refers to the time in an adult man’s life when his testosterone levels crash, leading to all kinds of symptoms, some of which ruin their confidence, while others are downright debilitating such as depression, erectile dysfunctions, rapid fat gain and anxiety.
Unlike menopause, which happens really abruptly, andropause is more of a gradual change.
Urologist Dr. Bob Berookhim, shared via DailyMail.com that “In men, declining testosterone levels tend to occur slower and can present at any age, and most of them are less likely to present with sudden onset of low testosterone symptoms. I believe that the name hurts the chances for men to come in for care. The term might be considered emasculating by some, and these symptoms are often uncomfortable for them to talk about. That being said, when they do come in and I have diagnosed them I call it “Manopause” just to get a smile out of them!”
A male’s testosterone levels tend to peak at around the age of 20, after which a slow descent starts.
As soon as men hit their mid-thirties, testosterone levels start declining by 1 percent at the very least every single year that passes.
Urologists usually classify testosterone levels as too low when they reach under 300 nanograms per deciliter which typically happens to many men in their 40s and 50s.
The University of Wisconsin estimates that this happens to about 12 percent of those in their 50s, 19 percent of those in their 60s, 28 percent of those in their 70s and 49 percent of those in their 80s.
In addition to regulating sex drive, fat distribution, bone mass, strength, muscle mass and the production of sperm and red blood cells, it also regulates important neurological functions which is why low testosterone levels are often linked to anxiety and depression.
As mentioned before, while a woman’s menopause happens within a couple of years, in the case of men, this is a much more gradual process, this being one of the reasons why andropause is less of a focus.
“Over time our bodies will start to become less optimized and we start making less testosterone or we use it less effectively. And so that can lead to a constellation of symptoms that has colloquially been deemed male menopause.”