Menopause is the natural process wherein women experience decline in reproductive hormones such as estrogen. It usually starts to manifest around 12 months after the last menstruation. Some of the common identifiers for menopause include reduced sex drive, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and sleep disturbances. Fatigue, anxiety, and depression can also occur due to menopause.
So, is menopause limited only to women? Or do men also experience menopause? Well, the subject of male menopause is highly debatable. One reason is that there is no clear evidence in the context of male menopause. While menopause in women is clearly understood, the same is not the case with the phenomenon of male menopause. Here are some important things to know to understand if male menopause is myth or reality.
What is male menopause?
In women, menopause occurs in 40 to 50+ years of age. In comparison, there is no clear range in case of men. There are contradictions in the viewpoint of medical fraternity. It is tough to establish if male menopause is a natural process or if it is just a decline in testosterone production. Low testosterone can occur due to multiple reasons, which makes it difficult to associate it with male menopause.
For example, things like stress or diabetes can also lead to low testosterone levels among men. The decline in testosterone also varies widely among men. Some men may experience it in their 40s whereas others may not be affected even in their 70s and 80s. All these factors make it difficult to establish male menopause.
Male menopause symptoms
Men affected by low testosterone levels may experience symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, reduced sex drive, mood swings, and depression. A key difference is that menopause in women occurs fairly rapidly. In comparison, menopause-like phenomenon among men is a relatively slower process. As compared to menopausal women whose ovaries stop producing eggs, men can continue producing sperms even in their 80s and beyond. This is another reason why the topic of male menopause remains debatable.
Male menopause diagnosis and treatment
If you think you have symptoms similar to male menopause, you can consult your doctor. A physical examination may be carried out by our doctor. Some tests may be ordered to assess testosterone levels in blood and to rule out other causes that may be contributing to the condition.
If low testosterone level is detected, the doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy. This can help alleviate symptoms like fatigue, depression and decreased libido. However, hormone replacement therapy can have side effects. Your doctor will be the best judge to decide your treatment. Your doctor could also prescribe lifestyle changes. It may include nutritious food, regular exercise, yoga, etc. Medications like antidepressants are prescribed in specific cases.