The ageing process in men is accompanied by a significant decrease in available androgen (male hormone) levels, probably as a result of decreased activity of androgen producing cells in the testes and a reduced blood supply in the testes. Androgen deficiency in men may lead to loss of strength and energy, a decrease in muscle mass, osteoporosis, a decrease in sexual activity, and, in some cases, changes in mood and cognitive function, This combination of factors often results in impaired quality of life in these men.
While the female menopause usually happens in the limited age range of about 45-55, the symptoms in men can start any time from 30 onwards, though they too tend to peak at 50. And unlike women who are willing to discuss their menopause with each other and with their medical advisers, men are remarkably reluctant to turn to either unless desperate.
“What is the mystery of the male menopause? It is the mystery of why the vitality and virility of millions of men go missing in middle age or later”. So, said Andrologist Dr. Malcolm Carruthers, ‘The typical story is of a man in middle age who gradually loses his drive, strength, energy and enthusiasm for life and love. An all-enveloping mental and physical tiredness descends on him, often for no apparent reason. He changes from being a positive, outgoing person who it is good to be around, to a negative, pessimistic, depressed bear with a sore head and it is increasingly difficult to live or work with him’.
The classic symptoms and signs of this deficiency include:
Decreased sex drive
Decreased muscle mass and strength
Increased body fat in men up to 70 years
Decreased hair growth
The hormone deficiency most commonly associated with the above symptoms is the male hormone Testosterone.
Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testes and is responsible for:
1. Development of male secondary sex characteristics
Body hair growth (eg. Beard, chest, pubic hair)
Genitals- penile growth
Deepening of the voice
2. Sexual behaviour
Sex drive (libido)
Erections sufficient to achieve successful penetration
3. Possibly for well-being and energy
Reasons for Testosterone Replacement:
Low levels of testosterone in the blood may indicate the need for testosterone replacement, especially if there is decreased libido, or impotence. Replacement may also improve general sense of well-being and physical stamina.
The testosterone level is low if the testes fail to produce sufficient testosterone (hypogonadism). The underproduction by the testes may be due to poor functioning of the testes or due to disease of the pituitary gland (hypopituitarism) which ceases to stimulate the testes to produce testosterone. If testosterone levels in the blood remain low for many years, osteoporosis (brittle bones) may develop. Testosterone replacement can help prevent this from occurring.
How do you go about receiving Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
Treatment with TRT is undertaken when men present with clinical symptoms of reduced testosterone, in conjunction with evidence that testosterone production is decreased or that is a result of reduced activity of the cells in the testes.
Before we will start you on therapy, a baseline assessment of your clinical and biochemical status is undertaken. This is done as a means to pick up irregularities as well as a baseline against which future comparisons can be made. A blood test may also be needed to test your PSA levels to rule our possible prostate issues.
No patient is too old to start testosterone therapy.
What should you expect to experience?
– Improved feeling of well being
– More energy
– Increased strength
– Better sleeping pattern
– Improved libido
– Possible increased bone mineralisation and bone strength
The Men’s Clinic can provide you with an effective andropause treatment plan incorporating bio-identical hormones.