Do you suffer from male menopause?

Did you know that men suffer from male menopause too? That’s right, menopause is not just a woman’s condition. Men can also suffer the effects of changing hormones after a certain age. Many men experience some of the same symptoms that women experience in perimenopause (meaning around menopause) and menopause. This includes low sex drive, hot flashes, depression, irritability, mood swings, increased body fat, and decreased energy.

Male menopause is also known as andropause, which is a result of a gradual decrease in testosterone. Testosterone is an androgen. Male menopause is not the same as the type of menopause that women go through. For this reason, doctors usually refer to “male menopause” as low testosterone or an age-related decline in testosterone levels such as testosterone deficiency, androgen decline in the aging male, late onset hypogonadism.

Male menopause, or andropause is different from female menopause in that female menopause occurs when the production of female hormones drops suddenly. Andropause, on the other hand, is a gradual decline in hormone levels. The ovaries run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone. This does not happen with the testicles.

Testosterone levels in men gradually decline throughout the course of adulthood. This happens about one percent a year after the age of 30 on average. The loss of testosterone is rarely noticeable in men younger than 60. And by the time men reach their 80s, about half them have low testosterone.

The connection between symptoms of low testosterone and actual low testosterone levels is controversial. This is because symptoms of low testosterone are present with other health conditions. Low testosterone can also occur with conditions such as diabetes. If low testosterone symptoms are occurring as a result of an underlying health condition, there may be changes in testicular function that appear early on such as between the ages of 45 and 50, or even after 70.

Symptoms of male menopause or low testosterone include low sex drive, difficulties getting erections or erections that are not as strong as usual, lack of energy, depression, irritability and mood swings, loss of strength or muscle mass, increased body fat, and hot flashes.

There are a number of ways to diagnose male menopause or low testosterone. Diagnostic tools may include:

  • A blood test to measure testosterone level
  • Assessment of the following symptoms:
    • Change in sexual function (Less and weaker erections or erectile dysfunction. It is normal for erections to occur less frequently in older men. However, erectile dysfunction is usually a result of an underlying medical or psychological condition, not aging. About 90 percent of erectile dysfunction cases are believed to be caused by taking high blood pressure medications. Other changes in sexual function include low libido, infertility, or smaller testicles.)
    • Changes in sleep patterns (Insomnia or increased sleepiness)
    • Physical changes (Increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, decreased bone density, swollen or tender breasts, loss of body hair, and rarely, hot flashes and decreased energy.)
    • Emotional changes (Decrease in motivation or self-confidence, feeling sad or depressed, trouble concentrating or remembering things. Signs and symptoms can be caused by underlying factors other than low testosterone, including medication side effects, thyroid problems, depression and excessive alcohol use.)
  • Physical exam
  • Tests to rule out other conditions possibly causing low testosterone

David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor

View posts by David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Learn more at Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.


  1. Zak HinesJuly 10, 2015

    Interesting piece! I had only heard about male menopause very briefly prior to reading this, mostly used as a comedic line. But the fact is, this is a very real condition that affects men. Greater education from pieces like yours are paramount to men becoming more open and willing to talk to their doctor if they are experiencing symptoms and eventually will hopefully get the treatment and testing they need.

  2. SophiaJuly 13, 2015

    I really appreciate how this piece brings to light the male side of hormone imbalance, something that is really only thought of as a female issue. I find it interesting that any decline in testosterone levels are referred to as “low testosterone” because this implies that it is a problem, and contributes to the gender issue of men “not being tough enough.” If it is normal for testosterone levels to decline over a lifespan, are all declining levels really “low” or would a better word for them be “normal?”

  3. Jake PJuly 14, 2015

    Great article by Dr Samadi…

    My personal story involves being diagnosed with low testosterone at first…and then being prescribed TRT which made my situation worse.

    Low testosterone was causing my alot of weakness and felt fatigued most of the time (I’m only 39 by the way).

    The TRT triggered something called gynocomastia, which essentially meant my chest (or breasts) started to swell.

    With the assistance of my doctor, I weaned myself off TRT and resorted to using a
    a good quality testosterone supplement. So far so good I must say.

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