Men’s Health Month has shed light on several serious male health issues throughout June. One in particular continues to be difficult for men to face and talk about, yet it is extremely common and affects millions. Andropause, or male menopause, is associated with low levels of testosterone and strikes 1 in 3 men over the age of 45. This condition is also frequently referred to as having “Low T.”
Just as women’s hormone levels change with age, so do men’s. Testosterone production, which produces sperm cells and drives a man’s libido, can begin to taper off as young as 32 years old. Some men will feel no effects of low testosterone while others will experience a variety of symptoms.
Common symptoms include:
- low sex drive
- fewer or weaker erections
- lack of energy or fatigue
- depression or inability to focus or concentrate
- increased body fat or loss of muscle
Andropause is diagnosed by a complete physical exam and bloodwork. Family history of hormone issues, or prostate or testicular cancer, should also be discussed with your doctor and taken into consideration.
Although age is the most common cause of andropause, other medical conditions such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, AIDS/HIV, hypertension (high blood pressure), and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) can trigger it. Certain types of drugs may also adversely affect testosterone levels.
Men shouldn’t be embarrassed if they have this condition, and there are many treatments available today to help restore libido and combat the other symptoms. Hormone injections, pellets, topical gels, and medicated patches are all very successful options. Eating better, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight can also go a long way.
If you feel you are suffering from andropause, don’t be afraid to have a candid conversation with your doctor or visit with one of our specialists at Urology Austin.
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