Male Menopause Symptoms, Treatments And More: All Your Questions Answered
6 minutes read
Is male menopause real? Do men really suffer the male version of menopause just like women? This controversial topic causes a lot of confusion and perhaps is misleading.
Beauty Daily consulted with top hormone specialists to address and dispel the myths about male menopause and shed some light on the truths: from signs and symptoms to available male menopause treatments.
Male menopause: Myth or reality?
Male menopause, also known as ‘manopause’ or ‘andropause,’ is used to describe the decreasing testosterone levels related to ageing men.
Like female menopause, male menopause is usually an ageing-related hormonal imbalance issue.
However, relating the process to female menopause is not a completely accurate picture.
The significant difference is that male menopause doesn’t involve a complete shutdown of reproductive organs, unlike that of female menopause, which marks the end of the female reproductive cycle due to a woman’s ovaries running out of functioning eggs.
However, like women, men might sail through and not notice any symptoms. However, if you do, the signs are very real and can manifest differently.
“It is normal for men to experience a decline in the production of the male hormone testosterone as they age. This happens naturally in men from age 30 onwards at an average of 2% a year,” explains Dr Rachel Jones, a UK-based consultant forensic psychiatrist and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy expert.
Although male menopause symptoms often occur in older men with declining testosterone levels, they are common in older males with heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
At what age does male menopause start?
“It tends to occur in the mid-40s and may present to the outside world as a ‘midlife crisis,” Dr Jones says.
Male menopause symptoms and signs appear during late 40s to early 50s but can start to manifest any time from 30 onwards. So with that, there is no fixed male menopause age.
“Some men develop symptoms when their testosterone level falls below a critical level. This level differs for each man, so it is important to pay close attention to changes in behaviour and physical symptoms,” Dr Jones adds.
What are the male menopause symptoms?
Male menopause symptoms include:
- low energy
- depression or sadness
- decreased motivation
- lowered self-confidence
- difficulty concentrating
- insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- decreased bone density
- hot flushes
- moodiness and irritability
- fat build-up around the abdomen and the chest
- dry, thin skin
- male night sweats
- joint pains
- memory loss
- reduced beard growth
Dr Jones adds: “Men may also have reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased morning erections and erection strength. They may also notice reduced strength, a decrease in lean body mass, weight gain and gynaecomastia (man boobs).”
Tests available to determine male menopause
If you think you are suffering from male menopause symptoms and it is disturbing your day-to-day life. Don’t ignore the signs and suffer in silence. Instead, consult with a medical professional. There are ways to determine, diagnose and treat male menopause, so a medical professional will guide you with your steps.
A complete health history and lifestyle assessment will be made to determine why you are feeling uncomfortable.
“It is important for men to be seen and examined by a medical professional where a full history will be considered to evaluate the full picture of a patient’s health. Questions will also be asked about lifestyle and personal circumstances,” Dr Jones says.
Speaking to a professional is also a great opportunity for you to discuss anything that may be worrying or concerning you.
Your doctor can take a sample of your blood to test your testosterone levels. “If a hormonal imbalance is diagnosed, a personalised treatment plan including bio-identical testosterone therapy will be prescribed,” she explains.
Treatments and supplements for male menopause
Testosterone replacement therapy
“It is important for men to look after their physical health during this time, although it can be hard if they feel low in mood with low energy and motivation to follow it through. Testosterone replacement can often kickstart their motivation to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” Dr Jones says.
“Testosterone replacement therapy is prescribed by medical professionals using bioidentical transdermal testosterone. This is a cream containing testosterone applied to the skin once daily in the morning and is identical to the testosterone the body naturally produces.”
Talking with your doctor is the only way to know if testosterone therapy is right for you.
Dr Jones recommends taking B vitamins and adaptogens such as Ashwagandha, which can help to reduce stress by reducing the production of the hormone cortisol.
Tweak your lifestyle and diet
Look at lifestyle and nutritional changes. Create a physical program that stimulates your hormonal cascade and reduces stress through meditation, yoga, pilates etc.
The most common treatment for male menopause symptoms is making healthier lifestyle choices such as: eating a healthy diet, reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, optimising sleep, and managing stress.
Relaxation is key to combating high-stress levels, and spa treatments are one of the many ways to reduce stress levels and anxiety. We recommend booking this 60-min Deep Tissue Massage or Hot Stone Massage. Both promise total body relaxation and restore your sense of wellbeing.
Don’t forget to exercise. Dr Jones says: “First thing in the morning is when men have their ‘testosterone surge.’ Then, it should include resistance training.”
3 ways to look after your mental health during male menopause
US-based Dr Tilden Sokoloff, MD, DPM, Women’s Health Physician, Founder and Chairman at HealthSearches for Women and member of the American Medical Association, shares ways to take care of your wellbeing during male menopause.
1. Acknowledge you are going through a change
“I am an expert in female perimenopause and menopause but having said that, I have seen my fair share of men going through a ‘change.’ First and foremost, acknowledge that something is changing. Then, figure out what helps you feel better or consult an integrative or functional medicine doctor.”
2. Make every day exciting
“Learn new hobbies, engage socially with friends and family, and make new friends. There is a whole big life out there beyond ‘male menopause‘.
3. Spice things up your relationship
“Learn what helps turn you on sexually, ask for what you want and do the same for your partner. It’s not the same as jumping in the sack when you were 30.”
It is important to know that you are not alone and that help and support are available from a healthcare professional who specialises in the field such as Dr Jones and Dr Sokoloff.
If you think that you are experiencing male menopause and your symptoms are stopping you from being able to do normal things in your life or are causing you to worry, see your doctor and get the conversation started.
Check Centre for Men’s Health for more information about male menopause and schedule a call or book an appointment with an expert.