Male Menopause! Is it for real? Does it even exist? Medical and research fraternity has been debating over this for a long time now. It is basically a term given by some researchers to a condition wherein, there is lowering of male hormone levels in men. By a few, it is also called as ‘andropause’, while some others refer to it as ‘male climacteric’ (being a male hormone dependent condition).
Actually, this condition gets its name form ‘menopause’ which occurs in women. It means reduced levels of female hormone estrogen due to ageing. It generally starts between the ages of 40 to 50 years. This is a process where there is a sharp decline in estrogen (a key hormone in the occurrence of menstruation) and finally leads to cessation of menstrual periods in women. Hence called ‘menopause’.
Well, in men, usually around age 30 years onwards there may be a slight reduction in production of hormone testosterone. By some it is referred to as ‘Andropause’ since it is male hormone dependent condition. On the other hand, some researchers strongly believe it is wrong to call this condition andropause since the cause and progression of this condition is very different from that of menopause.
The main difference between menopause in women and testosterone decline in men is that in men it happens gradually, over a period of very long time, from probably around 30 years of age till they turn 80 or more and the production of testosterone may not stop entirely. While in women, it occurs in a relatively in a very short period of time and leads to complete cessation of menstruation. Also, for women menopause is a natural process. While, for men, it is believed that it’s a cause of aging as well as unhealthy lifestyle, various diseases and so on… Also, it may not occur at all in some men.
Hence many researchers are of the opinion that this condition is a myth and should not be termed as male menopause or andropause but should be called as low testosterone levels in males which could be due to various reasons and not always mandatory in all males, unlike menopause.
Causes for reduction of hormone testosterone in men: -