Male Menopause ..…does it exist?

While there is no doubt woman experience menopause with symptoms they can’t often control, there have been many questions about men and do they really experience a “Male Menopause”…..

The answer is “YES” but not to the extent woman do. What happens in males as they age is we can experience symptoms such as physical and mental changes as we age. These changes largely relate to a decrease in testosterone levels. The term “male menopause” is a little different because changes in men do not occur at any specific age. Some of the symptoms are weight gain, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, infertility, decreased muscle mass and strength, excessive tiredness and for some, depression. While for most the levels of testosterone slowly drop off after the age of 50, however in others this may happen later or in fact earlier in life depending on already existing levels.

Loss of testosterone in men occurs much more gradually than the drop of estrogen levels and ovarian function in women, making it quite different. Since there is no drop-off, the term “menopause for men” can be misinterpreted. A better term is “Andropause” or even better, “Hypogonadism in Aging Men” Andropause relates to the slow but steady reduction of the production of the hormones testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone in middle aged men and the consequences of this reduction is associated with a decrease in leydig cells.

Leydig cells release a class of hormones called androgens (19-carbon steroids). These secrete testosterone, androsterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), when stimulated by the pituitary hormone luteinizing hormone (LH). LH increases cholesterol desmolase activity     (an enzyme associated with the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone leading to testosterone synthesis and secretion by these Leydig cells.

Each person’s biological clock ticks differently. Some men have a rapid decline in testosterone levels. While some men’s testosterone levels decline much slower. Unfortunately we can’t prevent this, but we can keep our levels up by exercising regularly particularly by completing weight training. Our bodies do have a response to this type of training and it is a good idea for men to keep training with weights. As we age the amount we can lift will decrease and our recovery will take longer. While we can’t stop the ageing process, what we can do by completing weight training is stave off the deteriorating process.    

So what does all this mean to us blokes?……”keep training until you end up in that box in the ground”

By

John Hart

“Master’s In Education” (Disability) Newcastle University Australia

“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia

“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”

“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”

“Cert 4 Personal Training”

“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)

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