Menopause Vs Andropause

As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes, affecting us physically and mentally. A significant change occurs in both men and women when

Menopause Vs Andropause

Differences between Menopause and Andropause

What is one major difference between menopause and andropause? - IVFix

As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes, affecting us physically and mentally. A significant change occurs in both men and women when we’re aged between 40 and 60, caused by a drastic drop in our reproductive hormone levels. This is known as menopause for women – a condition that is commonly understood – and the male equivalent, andropause, which is not very well known. Here, we’ll detail what menopause and andropause are, the symptoms experienced with each condition, the main differences between them and how to combat the symptoms.

What is Menopause

Menopause is diagnosed once a woman’s menstrual periods have stopped altogether for 12 months. It’s a natural part of the ageing process caused by the depletion of estrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone and progestogen. At the start of menopause, the ovaries stop functioning correctly so that neither ovulation nor menstruation occurs, and there’s a sharp decline in the hormones produced. Once menopause has finished, a woman can no longer have any children.
Some factors can lead to the early onset of menopause, such as if a woman has had her uterus or ovaries removed.

What is Andropause

Andropause is a gradual condition in men that’s caused by a decrease in testosterone levels. Not all men are affected by andropause, which is one of the reasons it’s not widely known. The testosterone levels– the hormone that creates muscle mass and hair on the face and body and causes a man’s voice to deepen – reduce very slowly, such as by 1% to 2% each year. Unlike menopause in women, andropause in men doesn’t cause infertility.

Menopause and Andropause: Differences | Jacqueline Jardine CMCIPD posted on the topic | LinkedIn

What are the symptoms of menopause?

All women experience menopause, and it’s quite a sudden process, leading to several symptoms as the body responds to the fast changes. These can include:

  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog
  • Hair loss
  • A lack of energy
  • Vaginal dryness
  • A low libido
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

What are the symptoms of andropause?

Despite the gradual onset and effects of andropause, there are various symptoms that men can suffer from, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • A low libido
  • Brain fog
  • A lack of energy
  • Mood swings
  • Hot flushes
  • Hair loss
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Weight gain
  • Night sweats
  • Reduced muscle mass

How do menopause and andropause differ?

As mentioned above, there are a few main differences between these distinct conditions in men and women.

They occur at different levels

In menopause, the hormone levels decrease rapidly, and this sudden change in a woman’s body leads to numerous symptoms that signify the arrival of menopause. Andropause, on the other hand, occurs gradually over time, and it can be so slight that symptoms are not always apparent or are experienced a lot later in the process.

All women experience menopause, but not all men suffer from andropause

Menopause is a natural process that affects all women at some point in their lives. It typically happens between the ages of 40, which is considered to be an early age to have menopause, and 60, which is a late age to suffer from the condition. Andropause, however, doesn’t affect all men. Most men don’t have a significant enough decrease in testosterone levels to suffer from andropause.

Menopause leads to infertility — andropause doesn’t

As a woman’s reproductive hormones reduce to the point where ovulation and menstruation stop, the result of menopause is that the woman becomes infertile and can no longer have any children. Although men suffering from andropause have lower levels of testosterone, their fertility is not affected.

Ways to combat the symptoms of menopause and andropause

Once the signs of menopause and andropause are understood and recognized, steps can be taken to ease the symptoms a person may suffer. Medical advice can be sought from a doctor, or a more natural approach can be taken to relieve the symptoms.

Medical treatment

Many of the symptoms of andropause are similar to those experienced with other conditions, such as late-onset hypogonadism. Suppose a man experiences any of the symptoms detailed above. In that case, his doctor can do a blood test to check his levels of testosterone and ascertain whether or not he is experiencing andropause. The signs of menopause are much more apparent as it’s diagnosed once a woman’s menstrual periods have ceased for at least a year, but, again, a blood test can confirm this.

For either condition, medication can be taken to help combat the symptoms. This can be in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). For men, HRT involves testosterone replacement, while estrogen and progestogen are replaced in women. When suffering from anxiety or depression, cognitive behavioural therapy can be sought. In some cases, antidepressants may be prescribed or medication to combat high blood pressure.

3 Primary Differences Between Menopause and Andropause (Male Menopause) - Priority Men's Medical

Natural solutions

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can also ease the symptoms of each condition. To help alleviate night sweats and hot flushes, it’s advisable to wear loose, lightweight clothing and keep the bedroom as cool as possible. Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks should be avoided, as well as spicy foods, as these increase the body’s temperature. It’s also best to stop smoking.

Maintaining a healthy diet rich in nutrients and having lower amounts of sugar and carbohydrates is important. It’s also essential to get regular exercise, and it is worth taking part in relaxing activities, such as tai chi, yoga or deep breathing exercises, which can also help to ease some of the symptoms. Women can develop weak bones, so it’s recommended to take calcium and vitamin D supplements if there’s not enough sunlight to promote natural production.

Natural supplements can be taken to help relieve some of the symptoms. These supplements can be used to even out mood swings, promote sexual health, calm hot flushes and night sweats, ease anxiety and foster better sleep patterns.

Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources and are a natural alternative to medical hormone replacement therapy. The plant-derived hormones have a chemical composition identical to those produced in the body. Compounded bioidentical hormone therapy can be tailored to an individual’s needs. It may have fewer side effects than traditional HRT, although studies are still being conducted to ascertain its effectiveness and safety.