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Andropause, the male version of menopause

From the age of 45, men, like women, suffer from a sex hormone deficiency. Unlike menopause, this disorder, here called “andropause”, is not systematic.

It affects only 2% of men between the ages of 40 and 80, according to a 2010 study by the European Male Aging Study. Clic Bien-être proposes to you to make a point on the andropause: its origin, its symptoms and the possible treatments.

The andropause or the syndrome of a hormonal dysfunction in men

The onset of andropause, around the age of 45, is explained by a lower than average testosterone level. Men with this syndrome are subject to psychological and physical changes: insomnia, decreased energy, nervousness or erection problems. The most common symptoms of andropause are :

  • Mood disorders
  • Excessive sweating
  • A weight gain
  • Hot flashes
  • A decrease in libido
  • Frequent muscle and joint pain
  • Sleep disorders

If so far this seems to be common with menopause, you should know that there is one major difference: andropause does not lead to a lack of fertility.

One of the symptoms of andropause is a state of general fatigue.

Known causes of andropause

From the age of 30 onwards, testosterone concentration is reduced by about 1% per year. In addition to aging, which partly justifies the appearance of andropause, the drop in testosterone is accompanied by an increase in the level of sex hormone-related globulin (SHBG). This increase in SHBG causes a withdrawal of usable testosterone from the blood, resulting in a lower than normal level of available testosterone. This causes the symptoms we talked about earlier.

Hormone Therapy to Treat Andropause

The diagnosis of andropause is based on a complete examination (blood test and clinical interrogation of the patient). In some cases, the doctor may advise patients to consult a psychologist. The only treatment available is testosterone in various forms:

  • tablets to be taken several times a day
  • intramuscular injections
  • gel or transdermal patch to be applied once a day

This treatment is contraindicated in cases of prostate disorders, hypertension or cardiovascular disease. From the age of 45 onwards, men should therefore be vigilant if they present the first symptoms of andropause and not hesitate to consult their treating physician to establish a diagnosis.

 

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