Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Male Menopause: Andropause

by Margaret Aranda, MD., Ph.D.

Andropause is also known as male menopause, the male climacteric, "man-opause", androgen deficiency of the aging male (ADAM), partial androgen deficiency in aging males (PADAM), symptomatic late onset hypogonadism (SLOH), or hypogonadism.  These are all terms used to describe the male equivalent to female menopause.  Whereas in women, menopause is a certain event that officially happens once the ovaries stop producing hormones and there is no longer any menstruation for one year,  the male does not have a 'cycle' that stops functioning.

But two hormones do decrease with time: testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).   After age 30, testosterone levels decrease 1% per year, or 10% every 10 years.  With the gradual decrease in testosterone comes an increase in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) starting at age 35, which leads to further decreases in the free testosterone that is available.

Symptoms of andropause include:  decrease in libido, decrease in quality of sexual experience, diminished morning erection, insomnia, hot flashes, fatigue, memory problems, decreased concentration, and sweating.

Andropause may lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer's Disease and depression.  Therefore, the stress of having andropause deserves medical attention if symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe and affect quality of life.

Men at risk to get andropause include the following: men who work on incinerators, on farms with pesticides, as well as men working in the plastics and pharmaceutical industries.  Medical diagnoses that are likely to have problems with testosterone levels are:  diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as the genetic disorders Klinefelter's Syndrome, androgen insensitivity syndrome, and Wilson-Turner syndrome.

                Figure.  A male with Klinefelter's Syndrome.

Treatment options include optimization of diet, exercise, stress reduction, sleep at night, and hormone replacement therapy.

It is important for men to know that there is help available to assist in improving quality of life when there are seemingly dramatic changes due to aging.  If these changes affect you, it may be that you can talk to your doctor or health care professional about checking your testosterone level and treating you with testosterone if you seem to be in andropause.  It's a start.

We are all about Quality of Life, and this is a Quality of Life issue.  You deserve the right attention.


Diamond J.  Surviving Male Menopause: A Guide for Women and Men.  2000, Maperville, ILL: Sourcebooks.  ISBN:  0-471-40262-1.

Fuller SJ, et al.  Androgens in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease in aging men and possible therapeutic interventions.  J Alzheimers Dis 12(2)129-42.

Tancredi A, et al.  No major month to month variation in free testosterone levels in aging males.  Minor impact on the biological diagnosis of 'andropause'.  Psychoneuroendocrinology 30(7):638-46.

Tan, RS et al.  Role of androgens in mild cognitive impairment and possible interventions during menopause.  Med Hypotheses 60(3):448-52.

Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this website is meant to diagnose, treat, or practice medicine. You must be seen in person by a physician for appropriate and individual medical treatment. If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1 in the USA.

Link Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any links that go outside of this website.

Full Disclosure: Margaret A. Ferrante, M.D.  was an Institute Physician with Cenegenics Medical Institute.  

1 comment:

  1. First of all i would like to thank you for the great and informative entry.I have noticed many new facts for me.Thanks a lot for sharing this useful and attractive information and I will be waiting for other interesting posts from you in the nearest future. Keep it up.