Technically, menopause means the end of menstruation, so men could not have quite the same thing. But while the female hormonal reshuffle lasts for about 10 years, and brings about the end of female fertility, males also experience a hormonal drop, albeit more gradual and subtle. Less radical, but no less real.
Note to all men reading this: if this information is bringing on a hot flush, you should relax and read on. It is not all bad news.
Some have called it “Andropause” but this a bit of an overstatement. The body does not stop producing male hormones; it experiences a slow, continuous drop in the level of testosterone in the bloodstream. Between the late teens and midlife, measurable testosterone levels will slowly decline by about a third, making a significant difference to the male sex drive. Maybe production goes down, or perhaps the hormones are reduced by stress, diet and other factors. In any case, less testosterone means less drive to get down and boogie.
The lowered testosterone level tends to become noticeable as men enter their 40′s. Although their ability to father children is not diminished, what is affected to some extent is their sexual performance. Of course the timing and level of change varies greatly between men, but for each one, there will be a change compared to how they experienced sex at an earlier age. By age 80, the hormone level in most men will return to what it was before puberty. Hopefully by then positive experience and a good memory will serve to keep a sex drive alive.
What can happen to the body when the testosterone levels drop?
• A waning in the sex drive
• Erections are not as strong and they may not always last until orgasm
• A decrease in strength and energy levels
• Mental health effects including sadness and depression
Coping with Hormonal Change
Since these physical changes can be a downer in more ways than one, it is worthwhile to think how to take care of it at the root and avoid secondary problems.
Age does have its benefits: what you lose in capability, you should hopefully make up for in experience, sensitivity and creativity. But you can also reduce the physical challenges by reducing your stress level and having a healthy lifestyle. Keep your blood vessels flowing freely with a low-fat diet and plenty of exercise, and blood will get where it needs to go. Exercise also increases the sex drive.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
A more radical option is Testosterone Replacement Therapy, which you will need to discuss with a doctor, because it is not suitable for everyone. Like estrogen, testosterone comes with a lot of side effects, so it would be recommended only if symptoms are severe. TRT comes in many forms that were developed for contraceptives – oral, injection and implants.
If you`re considering TRT for impotence problems, you need to make sure that the erection problems are due to hormone levels and are not psychological. In that case, the treatment may uncover one layer of the problem but it won`t set it all straight. This is why it is important to deal with sexual problems when they turn up, and not ignore them and allow them trigger secondary troubles.