Many men struggle with the way they look and feel as they age. Balding, trouble maintaining a healthy weight, enlarged male breast tissue, and trouble adding muscle mass start to nag you, potentially for the first time. Meanwhile, symptoms like erectile dysfunction, fatigue, low libido, and depression can drastically interfere with your relationships and your sense of self. Often, men often brush these experiences off as inevitable consequences of aging or stress and resign themselves to their new reality. In recent years, however, a growing number of men have become familiar with the term “male menopause” to describe the age-related symptoms that emerge in midlife.
Unfortunately, male menopause is sometimes assumed to be another term for a midlife crisis, and the emotional upheaval men experience at this time is often seen as a simple aversion to aging. But while the symptoms men experience as they transition into middle age may be intimately intertwined with the crisis of identity and confidence that defines a midlife crisis, male menopause is a fundamentally biological process that can cause significant physical and emotional distress rooted in hormonal change. And you don’t have to accept these changes. By gaining a deeper understanding of male menopause—also known as andropause—you can more fully recognize your symptoms for what they are and develop a plan to address them using cutting-edge hormonal therapies.
Identifying the Symptoms of Male Menopause
- Hair loss
- Difficulty gaining muscle
- Difficulty losing weight
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Hot flashes
- Increase in belly fat
Each of these symptoms is linked to naturally decreasing levels of testosterone, which begin to recede in your early 20s. The symptoms themselves, however, typically emerge in midlife. Not all men will experience all of the symptoms of andropause, nor will all men experience symptoms of the same intensity.
Why Male Menopause Can Be Hard to Recognize
While the impact of decreasing testosterone is well-known in the medical community, many men fail to attribute their symptoms to hormonal change due to the environmental stressors and life changes that are so often present in midlife. Kids are getting older and parenting is becoming more complex. Or they may be going off to college, and you are facing an empty nest for the first time. Your career and the responsibilities that come with it may be at their zenith, your relationships with your loved ones may be changing, and your financial burden may be peaking. In other words, life can be stressful in midlife.
This effects of this stress can mimic a multitude of andropause symptoms. You’re tired from being on all the time, subsequently causing fatigue and sexual difficulties like low libido or erectile dysfunction. You may not have time to eat a well-balanced diet and healthy habits like getting exercise start to slip, leading to fat gain and lost muscle mass. And, of course, stress can contribute to mental health disorders such as depression that often go unaddressed.
All of these effects may look the same as the symptoms of andropause from the outside, but their cause is very different; andropause isn’t about having trouble with a stressful life, it’s about your body’s changing hormonal make-up creating new points of stress. Indeed, perceiving that you are changing in an uncomfortable and undesirable way can be deeply distressing and may add to the uncertainty and anxiety of midlife.
Many men are reluctant to talk about their symptoms for fear that their concerns will be trivialized, because they hope they can resolve them with lifestyle changes, or because they believe the symptoms to be inevitable. However, male menopause is it is a persistent hormonal state with known physical and emotional effects, and your hormone levels won’t return to their previous state without intervention. As such, it is critical to recognize the root of your symptoms; without understanding what is causing your distress, you cannot adequately address it.
Taking Control of Your Symptoms
Men owe it to themselves to live to their fullest as they age. Andropause isn’t a just a midlife crisis or the result of your lifestyle choices, it’s a new physiological mode that your body operates. The good news is that there are now more options than ever before to mitigate your symptoms of male menopause and with the help of an experienced practitioner, you can reclaim your quality of life.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can be an ideal way to feel like yourself again. Bioidentical hormones are chemically and structurally identical to the hormones your body produces, which means that they are uniquely compatible with your physiology. By using bioidentical testosterone, BHRT can restore your hormonal balance and help to alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms of andropause.
Male menopause doesn’t have to derail your life and you don’t have to suffer in silence. With the help of our resources here at BodyLogicMD, you can find the treatment that’s right for your body, help you seize each day with vigor and a renewed sense of wellness.
BodyLogicMD can help you transform your life with expert care from a highly-trained practitioner who specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and integrative medicine. The practitioners within the BodyLogicMD network are among the top medical professionals in the nation and specially certified to help you address the symptoms of andropause so that you can achieve your health goals. Get started on a customized treatment plan designed to fit your lifestyle and help you reach optimal wellness and virility —contact a local practitioner to schedule your first appointment or take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz today.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diseases.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.