Everyone commonly hears about menopause, but the male version, andropause is often left out of the conversation. Andropause presents itself when a male’s testosterone levels drop over time due to age or other circumstances. The repercussions and symptoms can negatively impact men physically, mentally, and even emotionally. Understanding the condition as a whole can help patients to decide when it is time to seek treatment options.
Learning More About Andropause
At Chapel Hill Gynecology and Hormone Therapy, we aim to educate men on the importance of their hormones in order to keep them as healthy as possible. If problems reach a point where action should be taken, our hormone therapy services are a great option to combat the effects of conditions such as andropause.
What is it?
Andropause is the condition caused by the gradual decline of testosterone levels in men. While it is compared to menopause, the process for men happens at a more consistent level than for women, for whom it can come on fairly quickly. It creates changes in men that often are a decline from the normal way of feeling. According to the Mayo Clinic, the decline of testosterone for men is on average 1% per year after the age of 40. In this way, it varies greatly from a woman going through menopause because it does not happen in as dramatic and quick of way.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of andropause are associated with low testosterone levels. This often looks like low sex drive, fatigue, loss in muscle mass, changes in mood and emotions, and erectile dysfunction. Some men may even begin to experience insomnia and memory loss. Each of these alone may not be cause for alarm, but the collection of them can be the indication that andropause is taking place.
How is it treated?
When you are treating andropause, it comes down to finding ways to prevent the lower levels of testosterone. One of the best ways to treat it comes through hormone therapy. At Chapel Hill Gynecology and Hormone Therapy, we offer testosterone replacement that can help combat these symptoms.
The most natural and most physiologic method of this replacement is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy which uses a subcutaneous pellet. This provides 5 to 6 months of sustained optimal testosterone levels. The levels required are determined on a patient-by-patient basis after a blood test is complete. From there, the pellets are inserted into the tissue during an office procedure. Once this is complete, you can start to feel the positive effects of the new amounts of testosterone in the body.
What are the risks?
Besides the uncomfortable symptoms that come with low testosterone, there are also other risks of andropause. As your symptoms continue, the loss of muscle mass and weight gain can put other stresses on areas of the body. This can result in broken bones, strains, and other issues that then require further medical attention to fix. If left untreated, this will only continue to decline as testosterone levels do over time. This is why talking to your doctor about testosterone changes can help prevent other problems from occurring.
Andropause, or male menopause, is a condition that can lead to further issues over time. By understanding it now, men can start to take preventative measures before they ever experience symptoms. If you have begun to notice changes in lifestyle actions due to low testosterone, hormone replacement therapy may be the solution for you. Are you interested in scheduling a consultation to get started? Chapel Hill Gynecology is happy to give you more information on this journey. Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 960-2720 for more information.