The Andropause and Testosterone Therapy
About the Andropause
The male menopause or andropause is now recognized by professionals across the globe. The andropause is the normal part of aging in which hormone levels decline. Unlike women, this can occur over a number of years or even decades. The andropuase causes gradual body changes, such as loss of muscle mass and bone density, and it can also cause a decrease in sex drive. Other symptoms can include a loss of vitality, mood and attitude changes, and a decline in agility. The reduction in testosterone can also contribute to health problems such as heart disease.
Do make an appointment to see your doctor about testosterone if symptoms impact on your life. You can also use commercial screening services to check your testosterone levels.
If you do have low testosterone levels, you may be prescribed testosterone therapy. Like any form of treatment, testosterone therapy has a number of risks and benefits.
Potential Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
- Treat symptoms– improved energy, strength, mood, and feelings of well-being
- Increased arousal, desire, frequency of sexual activity, frequency of orgasm and sexual satisfaction
- Lower rate of bone loss and muscle strength that lead to an increased risk of fracture
- Small reduced risk of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes
- Small reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia
Potential Risks of Testosterone Therapy
- Side-effects of testosterone supplementation include acne, increased in facial hair, weight gain (muscle, rather than fat), breast enlargement and changes in mood (including increased levels of aggression at high doses)
- Some prostate cancers may be sensitive to testosterone, so men taking testosterone supplements should be repeatedly screened for prostate cancer
Other Options to Help Combat the Andropause
- Be aware of your symptoms – don’t just assume it is just getting old and suffer in silence.
- Take note – do you have a diminished libido, persistent unexplainable fatigue or a decreased sense of well-being?
- Increase physical activity – this will help slow the declining testosterone levels by maintaining weight control, and taking action to help prevent the onset of diabetes and obesity:
- Take up weight training 2 to 3 times per week – get a trainer or go to a class at your local gym
- Develop your own stretching program – buy a book that shows you how
- Get quality sleep – inadequate sleep is associated with reduced testosterone levels and makes the symptoms of low levels all the worse.
- Manage stress – try yoga, meditation rhythmic breathing or other relaxation techniques.
- Stop smoking – even second hand smoke will reduce your testosterone levels.
Last Reviewed 13/Mar/2014