While men and women have many inherent differences, hormones are the great equalizer. Fluctuations in any hormone in either gender leads to changes big and small and many aren’t welcome. Menopause, one of the best-known phases of hormonal change in women, has secured a place in pop culture and become the subject of jokes, songs, even theatrical productions. But few realize that men go through a similar phase in life called andropause.
Our team of sexual health specialists at Balanced Medical Solutions sheds light on this lesser-known male health issue and helps you find the treatment option that will help you manage and find relief from your symptoms.
Andropause: What is it?
Some call the gradual decline in hormones “male menopause,” but the transliteration of andropause in Greek means male (andro) cessation (pause). Similar to the female syndrome menopause, it refers to a condition where the production of male hormones slows or stops and causes a variety of uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms. You might also know this condition as low testosterone, low T, or “male menopause.”
Andropause also refers to the types of hormones that are impacted, known as androgens. Androgens are a group of hormones responsible for male development and sexual function. The main androgens are testosterone and androstenedione.
This fluctuation of hormones is often a natural part of the male aging process, though it usually develops more gradually than the changes that happen in women, which are sudden plunges in hormone production.
Warning signs of andropause
Because the onset is often gradual (sometimes spanning decades), it can be hard to identify andropause, and the warning signs can often be common to other health conditions and factors, such as medication use and having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. It’s important that you report any changes in your physical, sexual, and cognitive health, even if you’re unsure of what is causing them.
Some of the most common symptoms of andropause include:
- Changes in sexual desire and activity
- Erectile dysfunction
- Breast swelling and discomfort
- Fertility issues
- Height loss
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Self-esteem issues
- Mood changes
- Decreased concentration
- Sleep disturbances
- Reduces muscle mass
- Unexplained weight gain
Some men also report symptoms that are common in menopausal women, such as night sweats and hot flashes. We can diagnose a hormonal imbalance by taking a sample of your blood.
We know how frustrating hormone imbalances can be for both men and women, so we offer comprehensive treatments and therapies to help you address the problem at its source and manage your symptoms. Here are some of the treatments we recommend most often to our patients with andropause.
Hormone replacement therapy
The first place to start in addressing your andropause is at the heart of the problem – with your hormones. We use bioidentical hormones to restore balance to your physical, sexual, and cognitive function.
Bioidentical hormones come from plant materials and are structurally similar to the hormones your body produces naturally. They come in small pellets (size of a grain of rice) that we insert just below the surface of your skin.
The pellets provide a steady release of hormones into your bloodstream, which offers both relief from your symptoms and long-term stability to your hormone levels.
We also offer hormone replacement therapy through in-office and self-administered injections and creams. We can guide you toward the hormone therapy that will work best for you and your lifestyle.
Erectile dysfunction treatments
Perhaps one of the most aggravating symptoms of andropause is erectile dysfunction (ED). We offer a variety of ED treatments from medications to regenerative medicines to help you regain lost function.
Medically supervised weight loss
It is hard to see the number on the scale go up and feel your jeans get tighter, especially when it’s caused by an unexplained shift in your hormones. Talk to our specialists about taking advantage of our medically supervised weight loss programs as we treat your hormone imbalances. We provide the support and supplements you need to lose weight quickly and safely.
Losing weight may even help you manage the hormonal changes brought on by andropause.
If you’d like more information or would like to schedule an evaluation with one of our experts, request an appointment online or over the phone at our Hayward, California, office.