Men’s Hormones and Andropause
Andropause, also known as man-o-pause and male menopause, is a condition caused by the slow decline of testosterone levels in men as they grow older. Unlike menopause – which is more of a sudden stop to hormone production – andropause results in a gradual loss of testosterone over many years. It is not as well-known as menopause and is severely underdiagnosed and undertreated, despite being a serious condition.
Starting around age 30, men begin to produce less testosterone and their levels start to slowly decline. The amount lost differs amongst individuals, but this loss is typically 1% per year, though in some cases it may be as high as 3% per year. Some men are at higher risk because they are exposed to more estrogen than normal, which can result in lower testosterone levels, meaning this gradual decline will push their hormone levels into dangerously low levels sooner than normal.
There is some debate over whether andropause is even a disorder in itself, as it does not mimic menopause despite sharing the same condition of a lack of important hormones. However, whether the title of andropause is accurate or not, the decline in testosterone as men age is very real, and is a serious issue that should be treated with the severity it deserves – low testosterone can result in life threatening conditions if left untreated.