Male menopause (andropause) occurs, but is not as sudden as menopause in women. However, it brings long-term consequences that can be just as severe if not treated.
Male menopause is "a clinical syndrome caused by inadequate testosterone production that is accompanied by a decline in sperm production by the testes".
Half of healthy men between the ages of 50 and 70 years will have a testosterone level below the lowest level seen in healthy men who are 20-40 years of age.
Statin drugs, which are commonly prescribed for cardiac conditions, may contribute to low testosterone in males by making less cholesterol available for hormone production.
A screening questionnaire often used is the Adam Questionnaire to determine androgen deficiency in ageing males. Its questions include:
Symptoms of testosterone deficiency can further be listed:
Low serum testosterone levels are often associsted with erectile dysfunction. However, erectile dysfunction is a complicated condition, and it is unlikely that testosterone treatment alone will help.
The classic testosterone deficiency triad in men is:
Testosterone has a number of health benefits for men. Testosterone:
Studies have shown that andropause (low testosterone) is associated with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and also affects brain, heart and bone health. It is a risk factor for heart disease, high CRP and metabolic syndrome.
Conversely, high testosterone is associated with low mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Men with the highest levels of testosterone were found to be at reduced risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
The blood test is helpful but not entirely reliable. Sometimes saliva or urine tests can be used.
Until recently, fear of prostate cancer has kept men from testosterone therapy. However, research has found that it does not cause it.
An experienced doctor in New Zealand can be found by contacting:
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