If you recently turned 50 years of age and now feel uninterested in sexual intimacy, experience nightly hot flashes or lack the energy to get through the day, you may have male menopause or andropause. Women aren't the only ones who can experience drastic changes in their hormone levels once they reach age 50. Men can also undergo hormone changes in their bodies. Many of these changes go unchecked by a doctor for a number of reasons, including embarrassment, low self-esteem and denial. Hormone replacement therapy may help you overcome these obstacles. Here are the facts about andropause and how hormone therapy works.
What Exactly Is Male Menopause?
If your spouse is experiencing menopause right now, you may notice the symptoms she has during the night. Your spouse's nightly hot flashes, sweats and inability to sleep occur from a reduction in estrogen and progesterone. These hormones regulate her reproductive system, but once she enters her mid-forties, the hormones decrease. By the time your spouse turns 50 years old, she no longer has a healthy supply of estrogen and progesterone in her body. Male menopause creates similar symptoms in you.
Although andropause isn't as widespread as menopause, male menopause can affect your happiness, well-being and way of life. In fact, about two percent of men over the age of 40 living in the United States will experience male menopause or its symptoms every year. It occurs when your testosterone levels go down or become too slow to regulate your sexual, emotional and personal health. You may also experience symptoms similar to your spouse's menopause symptoms, as well as a few others like these below:
If you have another health condition, such as diabetes, heart ailments or impotency, you may think that your strange symptoms come from that medical problem. If you're relatively healthy, the menopausal-like symptoms may baffle you instead. However, your medical provider can diagnose male menopause by examining you in the office.
How Is Andropause Diagnosed?
Like menopause, your doctor may diagnose male menopause by checking your hormone levels. Your doctor expects to find some decline in your testosterone levels, but it may concern your physician if you have less testosterone in your body than you should for your age group.
From age 30 to middle age, your body loses about one percent of its testosterone each year. By the time you enter your 70s and 80s, you may have less than half of your body's natural testosterone levels. If your blood and urine tests show that you lost a high percentage of hormones at age 50, such as up to or over half of your testosterone, then you may have entered male menopause.
Treatment for male menopause includes taking bioidentical hormone therapy, as well as other natural remedies you might try.
Why Is Hormone Therapy a Viable Option?
Bioidentical hormone therapy is a type of hormone therapy that helps your body make its own testosterone without adding man-made chemicals into your body. A hormone therapist may use different, natural ingredients like plant extracts to increase your hormone levels. The ingredients are usually compounded in a pharmacy for safety.
Bioidentical hormone therapy comes in several forms, including pills that you ingest and gels that you apply directly to your skin. Other methods include placing special pellets under the skin to replenish lost testosterone in men. However, a hormone therapy specialist and your doctor may only prescribe a form that works for your body's needs.
Additionally, hormone therapy may increase your libido and interest in marital intimacy with your spouse. The therapy may offer or provide other useful benefits, such as:
Keep in mind that if you have other health issues, your health providers may offer alternatives to hormone therapy, especially if you take medications that interfere with your bioidentical treatment. Some medications, such as heart medications, may increase the loss of your testosterone levels, even while taking hormone therapy.
You can learn more about hormone therapy and male menopause by contacting a bioidentical specialist today.
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