Andropause is a condition characterized by a decrease in the synthesis and release of the male sex hormone testosterone.

The difference between menopause and declining testosterone levels is that the process of developing the associated symptoms is slower than in women.

Approximately 30% of men over the age of 50 develop symptoms of the condition due to low androgen levels.

Men passing through this stage of life are at increased risk of developing serious diseases such as osteoporosis if they do not undergo treatment.

Testosterone is a sex hormone whose function is manifested in the formation of secondary male sex characteristics such as the characteristic deep voice, most muscle mass and the shape of the face and body.

As we age, testosterone levels decrease and so does the amount of sperm produced.

Due to the decrease in androgen levels, men develop certain physiological and psychological symptoms.

This is part of the male body’s natural aging process, and testosterone is thought to decline by about 10% every 10 years after reaching the age of 30.

What are the symptoms?

Although this stage of life is individual for men, some more common symptoms can still be highlighted:

• Decreased libido;
• Difficulty getting an erection or excited penis is not as hard as it used to be;
• Lack of energy;
• Depression;
• Irritability and mood swings;
• Loss of strength and muscle mass;
• Increased amount of body fat;
• Hot flashes;

Complications associated with low androgen levels are an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis /brittle bones/.

What are the causes?

Although declining testosterone levels are suspected to be a factor in the onset of andropause, as we age, levels of another hormone – sex hormone binding globulin , which pulls usable testosterone from the blood, begins to increase.

SHBG binds to some of the available testosterone circulating in the bloodstream. Testosterone that is not bound to SHBG is called bioavailable and is available for use by the body.

Men who already feel the symptoms of andropause have low amounts of bioavailable testosterone in their blood.

This is why the tissues that are stimulated by this hormone receive a smaller amount of it, which can lead to various physiological and possibly mental changes in men, such as frequent mood swings and fatigue.

Treatment of andropause

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with testosterone is most commonly used as a treatment method for low androgen levels in older men.

In most cases, therapy provides symptom relief and helps improve quality of life.

Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, taking steps to reduce stress, and eating right are also helpful.

Your doctor will help you decide if HRT with testosterone is right for you, as it also carries some health risks.

Testosterone is available on the market in all forms such as patches, capsules, gels and injections.

Your doctor will help you decide which treatment is best for you, after assessing your lifestyle.

But when starting HRT, regular check-ups are needed, where androgen tests are ordered to monitor whether the therapy is working and to what extent bioavailable testosterone has increased.

However, it has been established that with HRT, the amount of hormone-dependent cells in the prostate increases, which creates prerequisites for the development of malignant formations.

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