You may have heard the term “andropause” used in discussions of low testosterone and other signs of aging. But what is this term and what does it mean? Turns out it’s a little more complicated than you might think! Read on to learn more about how aging can affect your testosterone levels.
Male Menopause Facts and Myths
Andropause is a term that was created to describe what is often referred to as “male menopause.” This term is often used in media outlets to describe the effects of aging on hormones like testosterone, and how low testosterone can affect overall wellbeing.
Testosterone levels fall as men age: for most men, testosterone levels decline steadily at rates of less than 2% per year beginning around the age of 30, and may decline at slightly higher rates beginning at age 40. Doctors describe this as “late-onset hypogonadism” or “age-related low testosterone.’
Why the Term “Andropause” is Misleading
Many medical professionals dislike the term andropause, because age-related low testosterone in men is notably different from menopause. Menopause is marked by a relatively sudden and sharp decline in hormones, while men experience steady rates of testosterone decline. In addition, menopause markets the time when reproduction is no longer possible, and while some men may experience decreased fertility with age, normal aging does not cause infertility in men.
However, the testosterone losses associated with aging can cause significant health effects and can be treated!
Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone to Look Out For
While decreases in testosterone are a normal part of the aging process, most men maintain testosterone levels in medically accepted ranges. However, around 10–25% of older men are believed to have low testosterone. Testosterone levels are often not checked during normal medical visits, because many of the symptoms of low testosterone (like fatigue, reduced libido, depression, and sleep problems) are commonly attributed to other factors.
If you think you might have low testosterone, it is relatively easy to test for, so you should reach out to your doctor to learn more.
Treatments for Low Testosterone
At Viking Medical Group, we offer a variety of HRT options for low testosterone, including subcutaneous pellets for consistent hormone delivery. In addition, we recommend all patients to ensure that your overall health is well managed. Maintaining regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, and managing your stress levels can help your hormone therapy take effect.