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Fatigue and Lack of Sexual Interest: Could it be Male Menopause?


Written by Professor Anna Gray, Updated on May 10th, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes
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Yes, male menopause is real, and some common symptoms that men experience as they age can signal the beginnings of this annoying and sometimes debilitating hormone imbalance.

Everyone has heard about menopause for women, but similar things can also happen to men.

Men’s hormones can get seriously out of whack as they age, similar to women, but they do not permanently lose their fertility. Have you heard about male menopause? If not, we are here to tell you all about it.

What is Male Menopause?

Essentially, male menopause is a transitioning period, just like women’s menopause, but instead of estrogen levels dropping like in women, testosterone levels in men decline and sometimes very dramatically. How is this different from female menopause besides the different hormones?

In male menopause, there is no abrupt cut-off of hormones, completely ending fertility and hormonal cycles. Instead, men experience a gradual, age-related decline in testosterone levels, also known as hypogonadism, once the levels reach the level of a true testosterone deficiency.

Most of the time, it’s about half a percent of total body testosterone over the period of several years. Other times, it’s more significant than this.

As the levels get lower and lower over the years, specific adverse symptoms start to crop up.

Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, from the Nurture IVF Centre, describes it as “Fatigue, tiredness, lack of sexual interest, loss of libido plus discomfort in the breast, failure of erection, sometimes a decline in the sperm counts or decline in fertility are all symptoms of men’s menopause. We recommend testing testosterone levels for men with very significant symptoms.”

At our hormone replacement therapy (HRT) clinic, we recommend that men get their testosterone levels checked annually to be proactive and catch a hormone imbalance issue before it really starts affecting their quality of life.

Subtle Symptoms – Test Testosterone Levels Annually

The symptoms can be subtle, and you may chalk them up to aging since it’s a gradual decline, starting at even the young age of 50. But it might not just be “aging.”

It could be a true hormone deficiency. In this case, the essential male hormone, testosterone, gives you all of that male vitality.

According to Bajaj, most men experience testosterone deficiency around 60-65 years of age, but it can crop up around 50-55 years of age. It can be dependent on a man’s overall health and lifestyle. The subtlety of symptoms also differs from female menopause, which is much more dramatic, with sometimes intense symptoms that come out of nowhere.

Unfortunately, male menopause can also negatively affect fertility since testosterone is a necessary sex hormone. Thankfully, HRT can mitigate this problem if older men want to conceive.

Bajaj also mentions that “However, fertility depends on several other factors, too. Low self-esteem, lack of sexual drive, and a sense of incompetence of being old may affect a man’s fertility. So, it is very important to make men aware of it.”

Male Menopause Should Be Discussed More Often

Male menopause is more common than we think, but most people either do not know about it or do not talk about it because the symptoms are just thought to be from basic aging. Bajaj says, “People don’t talk about it because the issue is not very well known. There is very little awareness about male menopause. Men usually take it as age-related fatigue and lack of sexual drive due to advancing age. Normally, people take it as a logical progression due to hormonal change in advancing age.”

This is something more men need to be aware of and should discuss with their doctor or a hormone specialist.

Different lifestyles or health factors can lead to male menopause, including bone density changes, smoking, or drinking alcohol regularly. It’s possible to improve male menopause by increasing a man’s vitamin D and calcium intake or quitting smoking and alcohol.

Sometimes it is not necessary to involve clinical intervention. Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise really do help as well, and there are certain exercises men should focus on that boost testosterone levels.

If you want to check your testosterone levels or believe that you need more than vitamins to boost your testosterone levels and have testosterone deficiency symptoms, consider contacting our clinic to quickly and easily get tested for male menopause.

Reference

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