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Is Male Menopause Real?

Is Male Menopause Real?

infertility in men

Because men do not go through a well-defined period referred to as menopause, some doctors refer to this problem as androgen (testosterone) decline in the aging male — or what some people call low testosterone. Men do experience a decline in the production of the male hormone testosterone with aging, but this also occurs with conditions such as diabetes.

Unlike menopause in women, where hormone production stops completely, testosterone decline in men is a slower process. The testes, unlike the ovaries, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone. A healthy man may be able to make sperm well into his 80s or later.

However, as a result of disease, subtle changes in the function of the testes may occur as early as age 45 to 50 and more dramatically after the age of 70 in some men.

Causes Of Male Menopause
Andropause is caused by the reduction of hormones testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone in middle-aged men. Testosterone assists the male body in building protein and is crucial for normal sexual drive and stamina. Testosterone also contributes to several metabolic functions including bone formation, and liver function. Adropause is also associated with a decrease in Leydig cells. A steady decline in testosterone levels with age (in both men and women) is well documented.

External Causes: External factors that can cause testosterone levels to fall include certain forms of medication, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, illness, lack of sleep, lack of sex, stress or surgery food. It can also be a symptom of neuroendocrine dysfunction after a mild traumatic brain injury.

Internal Causes: Andropause is preceded by a condition called Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. A downturn in the circulation of testosterone should cause the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to trigger a release of brain hormones that stimulate the testicles to ramp up production of testosterone.

How Is Male Menopause Diagnosed?
To make the diagnosis of male menopause, the doctor will:

  • Perform a physical exam
  • Ask about symptoms
  • Order tests to rule out medical problems that may be contributing to the condition
  • Order  blood tests, which may include measuring testosterone level