“So what’s the best way to refer to so-called male menopause? Many doctors use the term “andropause” to describe aging-related hormone changes in men”.1

Umbrella
What may the Male Menopause Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Androgen Deficiency of the Aging Male
  • Andropause
  • Hypogonadism
  • Late-Onset Hypogonadism
  • Male Climacteric
  • Male Menopause
  • Male Reproductive Changes
  • Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome
  • Viropause

Terminology

Can male menopause mean different things to different people?

I think the term “male menopause” can be like the terms diet, exercise and love and mean different things, to different people, at different times, in different places.

When I use the term male menopause what I mean may be different to what someone else means or what is meant in medicaltalk.

It can therefore be important when the term male menopause is used to be clear about what is meant, so we may work out whether we are on the same page meaning the same thing, or not.

In Male Menopause: Myth or Reality? Debunking the Male Menopause Myth the (United States) Mayo Clinic clarify:

“So what’s the best way to refer to so-called male menopause? Many doctors use the term “andropause” to describe aging-related hormone changes in men. Other terms include testosterone deficiency syndrome, androgen deficiency of the aging male and late-onset male hypogonadism”.2

Andropause

What is andropause?

DotS the definition of andropause may vary. The (United States) Endocrine Society’s definition is:

“Andropause–Andropause is a biological change characterized by a gradual decline in androgens experienced by men during and after their mid-life. Andropause is sometimes inaccurately described as male menopause”.3

Female Menopause

Is the female menopause the same as the male menopause?Male Menopause

In Aging Changes In the Male Reproductive System: Introduction the (United States) MedlinePlus explain:

“Unlike women, men do not experience a major, rapid (over several months) change in fertility as they age (like menopause). Instead, changes occur gradually during a process that some people call andropause”.4

Male MenopauseMale Menopause

Is there such a thing as a ‘male menopause’?

In The ‘Male Menopause’: Is There Such A Thing As A ‘Male Menopause’? the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) elaborate on:

“This label is misleading because it suggests the symptoms are the result of a sudden drop in testosterone in middle age, similar to what occurs in the female menopause. This is not true. Although testosterone levels fall as men age, the decline is steady at less than 2% a year from around the age of 30 to 40, and this is unlikely to cause any problems in itself”.5

The (United States) Mayo Clinic also note:

“The term “male menopause” is sometimes used to describe decreasing testosterone levels related to aging. Female menopause and so-called male menopause are two different situations, however. In women, ovulation ends and hormone production plummets during a relatively short period of time. In men, production of testosterone and other hormones declines over a period of many years and the consequences aren’t necessarily clear”.6

In Male Menopause: MYTH: Male Menopause Is Real the (United States) Hormone Health Network (HHN) also note:

“FACT: No, it’s not real. The term “menopause” only pertains to the female condition when the ability to reproduce is halted. Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is needed for growth of body hair, building strong bones and muscles, and producing sperm. As men age, testosterone levels (T-levels) can decline because of medication, illness, injury or lifestyle factors. This drop in testosterone is inaccurately classified as “male menopause,” when in fact, should simply be considered a symptom of male aging, more clinically referred to as testosterone deficiency syndrome, androgen deficiency of the aging male, and late-onset hypogonadism”.7

Male Reproductive System

What and where do aging changes in the male reproductive system occur?

In Aging Changes In the Male Reproductive System MedlinePlus explain:

“Aging changes in the male reproductive system may include changes in testicular tissue, sperm production, and erectile function. These changes usually occur gradually”.8

In Aging Changes In the Male Reproductive System: Introduction MedlinePlus also note:

“Aging changes in the male reproductive system occur primarily in the testes. Testicular tissue mass decreases. The level of the male sex hormone, testosterone decreases gradually. There may be problems getting an erection. This is a general slowing, instead of a complete lack of function”.9

Testosterone

Is there an association between testosterone and aging?

In Male Menopause: Myth vs. Fact: Male Aging Facts the HHN elaborate on:

“Testosterone production/ levels decrease gradually beginning around age 30”.10

In Male Menopause Myth or Reality? Understanding Male Hormones Over Time the Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Testosterone levels gradually decline throughout adulthood — about 1 percent a year after age 30 on average”.11

Low Testosterone

Do all men experience low testosterone?

The HHN note:

“Not all men experience low testosterone and sperm production”.12

Testosterone Deficiency

What Is a testosterone deficiency?

In The ‘Male Menopause’: Is There Such A Thing As A ‘Male Menopause’? the NHS explain:

“A testosterone deficiency that develops later in life, also known as late-onset hypogonadism, can sometimes be responsible for these symptoms, but in many cases the symptoms are nothing to do with hormones”.13

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Is aging-related low testosterone treated with testosterone replacement therapy?

The Mayo Clinic explain:

“Treating aging-related low testosterone with testosterone replacement therapy is controversial. For some men, testosterone therapy relieves bothersome signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency. For others, the benefits aren’t clear and there are possible risks. Among the risks, testosterone therapy contributes to sleep apnea, stimulates noncancerous growth of the prostate and stimulates growth of existing prostate cancer. Testosterone therapy may also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and contributes to the formation of blood clots in the veins. If you wonder whether testosterone replacement might be right for you, work with your doctor to determine why your testosterone level is low and whether it is causing your symptoms. Weigh the pros and cons of treatment together with your doctor”.14

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have male menopause?

If you think you have male menopause, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Male Menopause: Myth or Reality? Feeling Your Best the Mayo Clinic elaborate on some steps that might help and also note:

“If you are experiencing signs and symptoms that might be the result of a low testosterone level, consult your doctor. He or she can evaluate possible causes for the way you feel and explain treatment options”.15

Health Topics A-Z

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In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Male Menopause: Myth or Reality? Debunking the Male Menopause Myth. 18 May 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056 Accessed: 12 May 2020
  2. Male Menopause: Myth or Reality? Debunking the Male Menopause Myth. 18 May 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056 Accessed: 12 May 2020
  3. Endocrinology Glossary: Andropause. Endocrine Society https://www.endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/news-room/glossary Accessed: 12 May 2020
  4. Aging Changes In the Male Reproductive System: Information. Update Date: 12 July 2018. Page Last Updated: 09 April 2020. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004017.htm Accessed: 12 May 2020
  5. The ‘Male Menopause’: Is There Such A Thing As A ‘Male Menopause’? Page Last Reviewed: 19 February 2019. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/male-menopause/#is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-male-menopause Accessed: 12 May 2020
  6. Male Menopause: Myth or Reality? Debunking the Male Menopause Myth. 18 May 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056 Accessed: 12 May 2020
  7. Male Menopause: Myth vs. Fact: Myth: Male Menopause Is Real. Last Updated: March 2015. Hormone Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/male-menopause Accessed: 12 May 2020
  8. Aging Changes In the Male Reproductive System. Update Date: 12 July 2018. Page Last Updated: 09 April 2020. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004017.htm Accessed: 12 May 2020
  9. Aging Changes In the Male Reproductive System: Information. Update Date: 12 July 2018. Page Last Updated: 09 April 2020. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004017.htm Accessed: 12 May 2020
  10. Male Menopause: Myth vs. Fact: Male Aging Facts. Last Updated: March 2015. Hormone Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/male-menopause Accessed: 12 May 2020
  11. Male Menopause: Myth or Reality? Understanding Male Hormones Over Time. 18 May 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056 Accessed: 12 May 2020
  12. Male Menopause Myth vs Fact: Male Aging Facts. Last Updated: March 2015. Hormone Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/male-menopause Accessed: 12 May 2020
  13. The ‘Male Menopause’: Is There Such A Thing As A ‘Male Menopause’? Page Last Reviewed: 19 February 2019. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/male-menopause/#is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-male-menopause Accessed: 12 May 2020
  14. Male Menopause: Myth or Reality? Feeling Your Best. 18 May 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056 Accessed: 12 May 2020
  15. Male Menopause: Myth or Reality? Feeling Your Best. 18 May 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056 Accessed: 12 May 2020
Topic Last Updated: 12 May 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 12 May 2020
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