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What is Andropause?

Have you heard the term ‘andropause’ before? Have you ever wondered if there is a male version of menopause? Well, we have the answers to both of those questions for you! Andropause is a period of life where a man experiences a decrease in testosterone levels.  Andropause will be experienced by around 30% of men in their 50s. While they have some similarities, andropause is quite different to menopause, in that the testosterone levels will decrease quite slowly.

It is estimated that a male’s testosterone levels will decrease by approximately 10% per decade after the age of 30. This is a natural part of ageing, and will not necessarily mean andropause. Andropause is caused by not only a drop in testosterone, but also an increase in levels of another hormone, SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), which extracts usable testosterone from the blood. SHBG will bind some testosterone within the blood, meaning only the testosterone left will be useable by the body. This means that men who are experiencing andropause have less available testosterone.

Andropause can cause some unpleasant symptoms, some of which are not dissimilar to those experienced through menopause. Some men may experience mental symptoms such as mental fatigue, depression, mood swings, and irritability. Physical symptoms include fatigue or a lack of energy, loss of strength and muscle mass, increased body fat, hot flushes, and a lower sex drive.

If you or someone close to you appears to experiencing andropause, contact your health care professional today.

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