Both men and women experience changes in sex hormone levels as they age. In females the change is menopause and for men the change is andropause, or “male menopause”.
These changes usually occur for men between the age of 40 and their early 50s and may cause depression, loss of sex drive, impotence and other physical and emotional effects.
Some doctors identify the problem as Low Testosterone, a lowering of the level of testosterone present in the body. Unlike the sudden drop in estrogen level that occurs for women, there is a natural and gradual reduction of the level of testosterone with increasing age for men. Other factors such as diet, nutrition, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases also affect the level of testosterone. It is important to have regular medical exams to be sure the changes are not part of a disease process and are rather a part of the normal aging process.
Symptoms that men may experience include:
- erectile dysfunction (ED)
- decreased bone density or osteoporosis
- hot flashes
- mood swings, irritability, or depression
- loss of muscle mass and fat redistribution
- dry and thin skin
- increased sweating
- poor concentration
- loss of enthusiasm
If you experience the above symptoms, it is important to seek care from your healthcare provider to find out what is causing the symptoms. Some of the symptoms may be due to a gradual decrease in testosterone levels.
See the section on Hypogonadism (Low Testosterone) for more information.