Warning Signs Of Male Menopause

By molly atherton 7 months ago
You might have heard whispers about this elusive phenomenon of the male menopose, where men supposedly navigate their own version of the midlife rollercoaster. But wait—before you envision a bunch of guys in Hawaiian shirts clutching onto their hairlines, desperately searching for sports cars, let’s explore the reality. Male menopause, scientifically known as andropause, isn’t exactly a replica of its female counterpart but can bring its own unique set of quirks and challenges...

What is male menopause?

Menopause is a well-known life phase that women experience but many people are unaware that there is a comparable condition for men. Referred to as "male menopause" or andropause, the phenomenon is a genuine medical concern.
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This arises when a man experiences a significant decline in testosterone levels. It's important for every man to have knowledge about the signs of male menopause!Original content sourced from Femanin.com

Is it a myth?

The phenomenon known as "male menopause" refers to the decline in testosterone levels that occurs as a result of aging, but it is vastly different to women. In women, the process of ovulation comes to a halt, leading to a significant decrease in hormone production.
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The production of testosterone and other hormones in men gradually decreases over the course of several years, leading to uncertain consequences and this article details exactly what you might experience.

A reduced ability to exercise

According to the healthcare system, a reduced ability to exercise is one of the biggest symptoms a man might gain in his early 50s that could potentially point at male menopause. You might have never heard of the term before reading this article.
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But hopefully you'll be able to identify with some of the symptoms being addressed, and be able to get the help you need. Reduced ability to exercise may come in many different forms, including gaining weight and feeling weak and wobbly when you do exercise.

Increased fatigue

One common symptom that individuals may experience is a sudden and unexplained lack of energy. A common experience among many men is a noticeable decline in energy levels, leading to a lack of motivation.
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This might be for their once beloved hobbies and activities. Simple tasks like getting out of bed in the morning or making it through the day can become challenging.

Significant mood swings

One of the most noticeable changes that men experience when going through andropause is the sudden changes in mood. Unpredictable mood swings that come out of nowhere can be attributed to a significant hormone imbalance.
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So the next time you're unnecessarily angry or emotional, don't just shrug it off. You might be going through male menopause after all and you might want to get your symptoms checked out!

Noticeable fat redistribution

This is one that a lot of men can probably relate to; fat redistribution. For most of our lives, our body image is insanely important, and we try our hardest to look a certain way in order to fit in and be desired.
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Around the late 40s, early 50s, our bodies go through a change, and men can get larger bellies or gynaecomastia (man boobs) which can be really shameful for many men - even though they can't help it!

Heightened irritability

Along with mood swings, some men can get ridiculously irritable while experiencing male menopause. It can't often be helped, and sometimes the rage comes from absolutely nowhere, it can take you by surprise.
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If you are seeming to be a little less short-fused with your partner or children recently, consider whether you've been experiencing any other of these symptoms to identify if you've got a condition.

Sexual performance issues!

This is potentially one of the hardest and most shameful symptoms on this list, and one that a lot of men don't really want to talk about, but sexual performance is a hugely important sign of the male menopause.
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You might have noticed a difference in your sexual performance recently, that seems out of character and you can't control it. If so, you might want to reach out for some help.

A lowered libido

Not only is a change in sexual performance a big indicator of male menopause, but a lowered libido is also up there as a factor. The drop in testosterone affects the libido that you've been experiencing.
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Maybe you're not just lazy, or not attracted to your partner, but perhaps your body is undergoing a change that's effecting your libido! It's not always easy to talk about.

Erectile dysfunction issues

This is definitely a symptom that most men wouldn't be comfortable sharing, but you'd be surprised at how many men are effected by it. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get erect (or stay erect) for periods of time.
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Around 52% of men will experience some form of erectile dysfunction in their lifetime, solidifying the fact that there's nothing to be ashamed of.

A drop in self-confidence

It's no surprise that all of the above factors can have a massive impact on the way that you feel within yourself, and dramatically effect how confident you are. It's easy for these factors to effect your mental health negatively.
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And thus, this is likely to affect your confidence, but you shouldn't suffer alone. If this sounds like you, reach out to your doctor or loved ones for help.

A lack of enthusiasm

Given the significant drop in energy levels, excitement etc., it's no surprise that your enthusiasm has probably dropped quite a bit too. Do you often get moaned at by your loved ones purely because you're not looking or feeling excited about something?
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It's not something you can help, is it? So, before you start getting defensive, look into why you're feeling this way.

Significant loss in muscle mass

When individuals experience a general decline in muscle strength that hinders their ability to carry out everyday activities, it could potentially indicate a low level of testosterone.
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If you're at least forty years old and you've lost a significant amount of muscle mass, then you very well may be going through the male menopause, and might want to get checked out.

Loss of bone density

Osteopenia, characterized by a decrease in bone mineral density (BMD), is a condition that leads to weakened bones. It's frequently observed in men over the age of 50. Osteopenia typically doesn't present any noticeable signs or symptoms.
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However, there is a painless screening test available that can effectively measure the strength of your bones - it might be a good thing to do to check all is well - just in case!

Short-term memory loss

Along with struggling to concentrate, male menopause can dramatically effect memory too, which can often just be put down to age. Realistically, it's important to recognize if it's a relatively normal level of memory loss that you're experiencing.
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If you don't feel like it is, you still asses whether you are seriously experiencing a huge hormonal imbalance that needs addressing and rectifying.

Increased difficulty sleeping

While experiencing andropause doesn't mean you're going to exhibit every single symptom and sign on this list, it's useful to see how many of them you can identify with in order to get the right help.
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Another big sign of men going through male menopause is an increased difficulty in sleeping. You might spend half the night tossing and turning, struggling to nod off.

Regular night sweats

Not only would you have difficulty sleeping, but night sweats can also make an appearance too. Your hormonal imbalance could be to thank for this! Have you noticed much more recently, that you wake up from your sleep and the bed sheets (and you) are completely drenched?
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Yeah, the reason for that could be the male menopause, don't just dismiss it. Of course, it could be something completely unrelated, but it's worth getting checked out for sure.

Infertility is one too!

While a lot of people aren't looking to copulate in their late forties or early fifties, for some, it really is something they'd be looking to do. Perhaps you've waited all your life to have children, or maybe you struggled to have them beforehand.
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Often, hormonal imbalances can be the cause of infertility in men and this is definitely something you should talk to your doctor about if you're worried.

Reduces levels of energy

Energy levels can be hard to maintain, even as a youngster, and are generally quite different and vary from person to person. Yet, you might have noticed that your energy levels have seriously depleted just recently...
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...and you just can't even get up to wash the dishes, or take the dog on a walk. No, you're not lazy, you might be going through male menopause!

Height loss!

While this one is potentially not something you'd consider as a sign of male menopause, it definitely is something that can happen around this stage of life. By the age of 80, it's quite normal for men to lose two inches of their height.
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However, if you're noticing yourself shrink at an alarming rate by time of your 40s and 50s, then maybe there's something deeper going on. Who knows - it could be nothing, but it could be worth looking into it.

A change in your concentration

For those going through the male menopause, experiencing difficulties with concentration might have become apparent. It's easy to just brush it off as ageing, but in actuality there could be a lot more going on than just getting older.
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Many men who've experienced male menopause have spoken about how much they struggled with their concentration levels - even simple tasks sometimes become different during the worst days.

Hot flushes and sweats

A lot of women talk about their hot flushes and sweats when they get into menopause age, but did you know that it's not just the women that go through this symptom. The hormonal imbalance that comes with male menopause means that men may also get the same symptoms.
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You shouldn't disregard or feel ashamed about any of the symptoms listed and if it's worrying you, consult your doctor - that will put your mind at ease.

How is it diagnosed?

So, how does a doctor diagnose you with male menopause, or andropause? Well, if you've been suffering from the symptoms listed, and you're over 35, then you can potentially be assessed for andropause by your doctor.
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They will typically perform: a physical exam, urinalysis, blood work, and diagnostic imaging. They'll usually have a conversation with you about your medical history too.

How many people suffer with it?

Unlike menopause in women, the decrease in testosterone and the development of symptoms in men are more gradual. In Canada, it has been observed that a significant proportion of men, specifically over 25% of those aged 40 and above, encounter symptoms associated with andropause.
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So it's many more men than you think! While not all men will experience this (unlike women), it's still a difficult condition and many men do go through it.

Now, ways to combat male menopause...

According to the those in the health care system in the USA, male menopause isn't always something that can develop, but rather, is something that can be caused by a number of different factors.
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These factors tend to be able to be managed by changing different elements of your lifestyle in order to reinstate the hormonal imbalance that's going inside. It's important to not feel shameful about your male menopause!

Eating a healthy diet

So in order to help you restore that hormonal imbalance, help with your muscle mass, fat redistribution and general mood, you should try and adopt a decent diet. Your diet should be balanced and not sugar-foods heavy.
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These foods are to blame for a lot of mental health conditions. A good diet can actually go a long way, so don't rule it out immediately - plus, doing exercise will help too!

Reducing stress levels

Stress can be a nuisance for all sorts of medical conditions, and doctors will always prescribe you with "less stress" for various medical problems. With andropause, that also is the case.
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Reducing your stress levels (whether that be eliminating stressful factors in your life or taking a step back from work) can really help you restore that hormonal imbalance.

Getting a good amount of sleep

 
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However, it is generally thought that the closer to 8 you can get, the better. Try falling asleep around the same hours too in order to remain consistent.

Exercising regularly

Exercising regularly has been proven to help with all sorts of mental health conditions, which can be a reason why you're experiencing andropause, or a symptom of andropause itself.
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Try and push past the barriers that male menopause is throwing at you, in order for you to get the better of it, rather than it get the better of you. You should feel better for it!

Hormone replacement therapy

Last, but not least, is hormone therapy. This can be utilized if your testosterone levels are really low, and can sometimes be injections, testosterone gel or medication that you take. Of course, this needs to be prescribed.
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If you're confused about any of this, or think you might be experiencing male menopause yourself, definitely consult your doctor for a formal diagnosis and treatment path.

How to support anyone going through menopause

Menopause is a very difficult period of time for someone going through it - it can be confusing on top of every other change happening. The support of people around them is going to be key for working through the menopause stage, whether it's female menopause or male menopause.
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Here's how you can support someone going through it - and use these tips to be kind to yourself if you're going through it, too and you could always tell a friend or partner about this advice if you feel you need it.

Learn as much as you can about it

Just like reading articles like this one, you should arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible to understand what a person going through menopause is going to be experiencing, and what it all means.
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The better you understand it, the better you're going to be able to support them. Don't depend on them being able to tell you about it, because they might not fully understand it themselves!

Know the symptoms ahead of time

You can be better prepared for what's to come if you know all the symptoms ahead of time. That way, you won't question when something begins to change, like thinking 'why are they suddenly in a different mood?'
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Or it could be something like 'why are they hot and uncomfortable, are they ill?' Knowing the symptoms means it will more quickly click into place about what's going on when it happens.

Speak openly about it

Sometimes, a person going through the menopause might not want to readily talk about it or bring it up. Some people might even feel embarrassed about the changes going on in their body and they might find it difficult to articulate how they feel.
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This is why it can really help if you can be the first person to speak up about it and encourage an honest conversation about it, showing that you don't mind talking about it and you are there for them if they need it.

And listening to them is extremely important!

But it's also important to ensure you're listening as well as speaking, as you don't want to steamroll them by talking about everything you know or everything you think when they're the one going through it.
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Be ready to listen openly, without butting in and without judgement, when they want to speak about their experience with it and what's happening - and be there to offer advice for them.

Remind them that they're appreciated

It's very easy to no longer feel like yourself when you're going through the menopause, because of so many changes happening. This can leave the person feeling a little useless and out of sorts, and this can affect their mental health, too.
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Small things like reminding them how much they're appreciated and how well they're doing will make a big difference - and make them feel like they are not going through it on their own.

Draw attention to their usual, awesome qualities!

Be sure to not focus too much on the 'negatives' of the menopause, either, and talk about other things - like their usual qualities that make them who they are, the things you usually laugh about, and just a reminder of all the awesome things they've done.
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And of course, remind them of all the things they are capable of. It might sound silly, but sometimes they just need that boost of a reminder of who they are normally without feeling these changes.

Understand that symptoms are unique to the person

This is the thing about menopause: you can do as much research as you need to about the standard symptoms and what to expect, but it's not guaranteed everyone will go through it the same way - people really do react so differently!
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Some people might only get some of the symptoms, other might get some of the symptoms much worse than others... you need to understand what that specific person is going through without assuming it's 'standard' menopause.

Do what you can to make the symptoms a little easier

Once you understand the specific symptoms they're going through that are impacting them negatively, you can then work out what to do to best support them. One of the biggest things you can do is not to take anything personally.
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This is because getting offended or angry over their mood swings is only going to make them feel worse. Try to take some of the load off what they're feeling by being calm and understanding where they are coming from.

Make the changes together

If there's something they need to do or change to better help with their symptoms, it can be really supportive to do it along with them so they don't feel alone - and so they're more likely to keep up with it.
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If they need to exercise more or change their diet to manage any health changes or weight changes, it can be helpful if you do this together as a lifestyle choice.

And understand you might have to make changes you're not happy about

This counts more if you're a couple with one of you going through the menopause, because of the shared living space and bedroom space you'll likely have. Make changes that will benefit all of you, instead of thinking about yourself.
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With the menopause, it can be common for feelings of discomfort, sleep troubles and hot sweats at night. You might have to make some compromises with how you usually like to sleep, for example, to make them more comfortable.

Build up their self-esteem

Menopause can result in a lot of physical changes, like hair changes or body image issues, and this can do a number on the person's self esteem. To best support them, do what you can to pick their self-esteem back up.
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This can help them feel better about themselves. Make sure to give compliments where you can! And help with confidence boosts in any areas they're struggling. Of course don't give fake compliments but dish out real ones as and when!

Resist bad habits in front of them

If they're trying their hardest to stick to a healthy diet or new exercise routine, or anything that's alleviating their symptoms through their own willpower, it's going to be very difficult for them if they catch you eating a slab of chocolate.
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Even something like you watching them work out from your place on the couch. If you're not going to do it together, at the very least just don't rub it in their face!

Make your employees feel comfortable

If you're an employer, another way you can support people going through menopause is to create an open workplace where they feel comfortable talking about problems they might be having because of menopause symptoms.
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They might need extra support from their employer through understanding how going through the menopause might impact their work.

Encourage blood tests

Some people can go through the symptoms of menopause without it actually being that, as sometimes other health conditions can result in symptoms of menopause. Blood tests are a good way to understand what's going on, and why changes are happening in the body.
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So you can also support someone going through menopause symptoms by talking to them about blood tests if they think they need further investigation.

Look for official support groups

There are many healthcare providers or support groups that are there to speak with, and support, people going through menopause. There should be one you can find most suited to your circumstance, and this can be a big help.
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Especially if you yourself don't feel equipped to support them in the way they need. Especially for people of different genders going through the menopause, there are tailored groups out there.

Be lenient and patient

In a close relationship especially, if your partner is having severe mood swings and being a little more difficult than usual, it's hard for you, too, but sometimes you have to practice patience and let a lot of things go with the understanding that they can't help it!
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There's no point getting into an argument over every mood swing, because that will only make it worse. Try to listen to each other and understand how the other person feels.

Make some s*x life changes

One of the biggest ways menopause can affect a person - and a couple - is their s*x life. For women going through the menopause, s*x can become more uncomfortable or even painful, and any gender going through it may have a huge dip in libido.
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So what's important here is working through different ways you can still feel close, if that means changing what you've always done then so be it! Change is sometimes a good thing!

Let them control the temperature

Temperature is going to be one of the biggest struggles for a person going through menopause - and the person living with them who has a completely different idea of hot or cold! But for the sake of making it more comfortable for them...
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...let them have control over the air conditioning, windows open or closed, fans and the thermostat... and just work around it! You can always put a jumper on or get a cold shower to cool off!

Let them decide whether to talk about it

The last thing they might want is for you to constantly be asking about their symptoms (even if you really mean well) and especially if you talk about it in front of other people when they might not have wanted everyone to know!
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Be ready to listen when they want to speak about it, but don't make it the topic of every conversation - and let them lead!