Most people know that women experience menopause, but did you know that some men go through a kind of male menopause? For men who believe they are going through the proverbial midlife crisis, some doctors and researchers say you may actually be experiencing a form of male menopause called “andropause.”
Shocking as it may be to some men, male menopause, or andropause, is becoming more widely recognized and accepted by physicians for the changes many middle-aged men experience — from energy loss to depression to loss of libido to sexual dysfunction. And some clinicians are recommending that certain men experiencing these symptoms, along with a host of others such as decreased bone density and weight gain, seek hormone replacement therapy and other treatments.
Similar to a woman’s drop in estrogen levels during menopause, men experience a shift in hormone levels, most notably their testosterone. However, these changes occur very gradually in men and often come with changes in physical performance and appearance, moods, fatigue, loss of energy, sex drive and even general health concerns such as poor prostate health and cardiovascular disease. Despite knowing that a decline in testosterone levels will occur in nearly all men, there are no significant indicators for predicting who will experience Andropause symptoms of particular severity to require medical assistance or at what age these symptoms will occur.
Testosterone levels as we age
A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report analyzed male hormones and found that the testosterone levels in most 70 year old men were 10 percent of the level in males that are 25 years old. By the time men are between the ages of 40 and 55 they can begin experiencing symptoms of andropause. Andropause is a fairly common condition and the incidence of andropause (or hypogonadism) increases with age. The incidence from ages 40-49 is estimated between 2%-5%. From ages 50-59, the incidence is estimated between 6% and 40%. From ages 60-69, the incidence is estimated between 20%-45%. The incidence from ages 70-79 is estimated between 34% and 70%. The incidence of hypogonadism in men older than 80 is estimated at 91%.
Testosterone is the hormone that stimulates sexual development in the male infant, bone and muscle growth in adult males, and is responsible for sexual drive. It has been found that even in healthy men, by the age of 55, the amount of testosterone secreted into the bloodstream is significantly lower than it is just ten years earlier. In fact, by age 80, most male hormone levels decrease to pre-puberty levels.
When does Andropause start
At What Age Do Most Men Start To Go Through Andropause (Male Menopause)?
- age 30 + — 10 Percent – Some men andropause can start occurring at the young age of 30
- age 35 + — 25 Percent – Guys in their mid-twenties
- age 40 + — 50 Percent – As men get into their 40s
- age 45 + — 75 Percent – By the time men reach the age of 45
- age 50 & Older — 100 Percent – By the time men reach their mid-50′s, andropause is already in full swing.