The term Andropause is used to parallel the feminine than of menopause. These two entities are different in their physiology, evolution, prognosis and clinical effects.
It should be noted that the androgenic deficit is gradual, occurs in 25 to 35% of men and there is only a partial androgen deficiency, not significantly affecting their ability to fertilize in certain cases, which is completely opposite to the stage of menopause.
The initiation of andropause is unpredictable and its manifestations are subtle and diverse. There are two synonymous terms that can be used as a definition of the phenomenon:
A.D.A.M. (Androgen Deficiency Adult Male)
L.O.H. (Late onset hypogonadism)
Thus, we refer to Andropause without this being a correct term, just as we refer to athlete’s foot. When describing the symptoms and signs of late hypogonadism, many feel identified with them, which explains their inespecificity and these can be presented by multiple factors (stress, hypothyroidism, sedentary life, sexual dysfunction …) or simply by a physiological phenomenon linked to age.
When does the Andropause begin?
The term «Andropause», as we have already pointed out, is not a masculine equivalent of menopause, but we use it in a figurative sense to refer to the Testosterone Deficit Occurring in the Adult. It should be mentioned that, in men, there is no definitive cessation of the hormonal activity of the testicles, but after 45 years in more than 38% of men, hormone production may decline, in some cases even earlier and present sexual disorders, which can complicate the relationship.
In women, when what is known as menopause occurs, it leads to the cessation of all activity of the ovaries and therefore menstruation. It is not something that happens abruptly, but is preceded by a period of at least one year of perimenopause or transition phase, which elapses from when the menstrual cycle alterations begin until the period completely disappears, generally between 45 and 55 years and can be so early that it occurs around 35 years.
What does Andropause produce?
> What does Andropause cause?
Various studies have shown that the passage of age is associated with a lower production of some hormones, especially sex steroids (androgens), growth hormone, melatonin and dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
There is a gradual decrease in testosterone over the years, but it is not comparable to the sudden drop in estrogen in women. This decrease is seen from 40-45 years and is a physiological decrease. Testosterone values, both total and bioavailable, decrease in healthy males by approximately 1 to 2% annually from the age of 30.
This decrease in testosterone plasma is due to changes in testicular tissue due to cell deterioration. The decrease in free testosterone is a consequence of the decrease in total testosterone production along with the increase in sex hormone-transporting globulin (SHBG) and therefore what is most important this leads to a decrease in available or free testosterone.
When should a specialist be consulted?
> When should a specialist be consulted?
Generally, men are reluctant to consult for fear that it will be a sign of weakness or that their self-esteem will be affected. However, this attitude can have negative consequences on their relationship as a couple, since it may interpret low sexual performance as a sign of disaffection or infidelity, in this situation you should consult a specialist.
The man who is in this state, manifest a loss of libido and sometimes erectile dysfunction, and present as general symptoms: a negative image of himself, low tolerance to stress, anxiety and sleep disorders, easy tiredness and loss of vital energy, difficulty in concentration, all accompanied by loss of muscle mass with a tendency to osteoporosis and increased abdominal fat, all this polychromatism or constellation of manifestations, are strong reasons to consult a specialist.
> Andropause treatment
When in certain men, and due to the sum of other predisposing factors, the clinical situation of hypogonadism becomes evident and has negative repercussions on physical and mental health, they are considered patients.
An early diagnosis and correct treatment with the appropriate hormone therapy will improve the psychological, physical and sexual aspects of the male. Men who, from 40-45 years of age, suffer with anguish the evident symptoms of andropause and feel more vulnerable, need professional support by experts in the field. The substitutive treatment allows multiple routes of administration of testosterone that the doctor will choose according to the case and / or the patient’s preference.
Prevention of Andropause
There is some certainty that symptoms and clinical signs, and testosterone values point to a true late hypogonadism, substitution treatment is justified by its adherence to treatment with good results.
Although similar results could be obtained with changes in diet, losing weight if there is obesity, exercises, not smoking and eliminating stress as some advise, but in this case there is a low percentage of performance and adherence to therapy.