Male Menopause Is Not Just for Older Men: Understanding Andropause

In discussions surrounding hormonal changes and ageing, the term “menopause” often brings to mind images of women experiencing a significant shift in their bodies and lives. However, what many may not realize is that men, too, undergo hormonal changes as they age, a phenomenon often referred to as “andropause” or “male menopause.” While traditionally associated with older men, the reality is that andropause can affect males at various stages of life, bringing with it a host of physical, emotional, and psychological changes.

Understanding and recognising the complexities of andropause is essential for men of all ages, as it can impact numerous aspects of their health and well-being. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of andropause, exploring its symptoms, causes, and available treatments. By shedding light on this often-overlooked topic, we aim to provide valuable insights and support for men navigating the challenges of hormonal changes throughout their lives.

Understanding Andropause

Andropause is a natural, albeit gradual, decline in testosterone levels in men as they age, typically occurring around middle age. Unlike menopause in women, which involves a sudden drop in estrogen levels, andropause is characterized by a more subtle decline in testosterone production. Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, plays a vital role in various bodily functions, including muscle mass maintenance, bone density, libido, and mood regulation.

Symptoms of Andropause

Symptoms of andropause, also known as male menopause, are primarily associated with declining testosterone levels and can manifest physically, emotionally, and psychologically. While individual experiences may vary, and not all men will exhibit the same symptoms or to the same extent, understanding these symptoms is crucial for recognizing and addressing the changes associated with andropause. Let’s explore the symptoms of andropause in detail:

Decreased Libido and Sexual Dysfunction: One of the hallmark symptoms of andropause is a decline in libido or sex drive. Men may notice a reduced interest in sexual activity and may also experience difficulties achieving or maintaining erections, known as erectile dysfunction (ED). These changes can significantly impact a man’s confidence, self-esteem, and intimate relationships.

Fatigue and Decreased Energy Levels: Men experiencing andropause often report feelings of fatigue and decreased energy levels. They may find it more challenging to muster the energy for daily activities, exercise, or work. Persistent fatigue can interfere with productivity and overall quality of life.

Mood Swings, Irritability, and Depression: Hormonal fluctuations during andropause can affect mood regulation, leading to mood swings, irritability, and even symptoms of depression. Men may find themselves feeling more irritable or short-tempered, and they may also experience periods of sadness or low mood without an apparent cause.

Loss of Muscle Mass and Strength: Testosterone plays a crucial role in maintaining muscle mass and strength. As testosterone levels decline during andropause, men may notice a gradual loss of muscle mass and strength. This can contribute to feelings of weakness, reduced physical performance, and changes in body composition.

Increased Body Fat: Andropause is often accompanied by an increase in body fat, particularly around the abdomen. This redistribution of fat can lead to the development of a more “apple-shaped” body, with excess fat accumulation around the midsection. Increased body fat not only affects physical appearance but also increases the risk of developing obesity-related health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Cognitive Changes: Some men may experience changes in cognitive function during andropause, such as difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, and reduced mental clarity. These cognitive changes can impact daily functioning and may contribute to feelings of frustration or inadequacy.

Sleep Disturbances: Changes in hormone levels during andropause can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or achieving restful sleep. Men may experience insomnia, frequent awakenings during the night, or early morning awakening. Poor sleep quality can exacerbate fatigue and mood disturbances, further impacting overall well-being.

Other Symptoms

In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, men may experience other physical and emotional changes during andropause, including:

  • Hot flashes or night sweats
  • Decreased bone density (osteoporosis)
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Increased irritability or aggressiveness
  • Reduced motivation or interest in activities

It’s important to note that while these symptoms are commonly associated with andropause, they can also be indicative of other underlying medical conditions. Therefore, men experiencing symptoms of andropause should consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Causes of Andropause

The causes of andropause, also known as male menopause, are primarily attributed to age-related hormonal changes, particularly a decline in testosterone levels. However, several factors can contribute to the onset and progression of andropause, including

Age-related Changes in the Testes: The primary cause of andropause is the natural aging process, which affects the function of the testes—the organs responsible for producing testosterone. As men age, the Leydig cells within the testes, which produce testosterone, become less efficient, leading to a gradual decline in testosterone production. This decline typically begins in a man’s late 40s to early 50s, although it can vary among individuals.

Hormonal Imbalance: Andropause is characterized by an imbalance in hormone levels, particularly a decrease in testosterone and an increase in other hormones such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). This hormonal imbalance disrupts the body’s normal physiological processes and contributes to the symptoms associated with andropause.

Lifestyle Factors:

Various lifestyle factors can accelerate the decline in testosterone levels and exacerbate symptoms of andropause. These include:

  • Poor Diet: A diet high in processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats can contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, and hormonal imbalances, all of which can impact testosterone production.
  • Lack of Exercise: Sedentary behaviour and a lack of physical activity have been linked to lower testosterone levels and an increased risk of developing symptoms of andropause.
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Heavy alcohol consumption can impair liver function and interfere with testosterone metabolism, leading to lower testosterone levels.
  • Smoking: Smoking has been associated with lower testosterone levels and may accelerate the decline in testosterone production during andropause.
  • Chronic Stress: Prolonged stress can disrupt hormone balance, including testosterone production, and contribute to the development of andropause symptoms.

Medical Conditions:

Certain medical conditions can affect hormone levels and contribute to the onset or exacerbation of andropause. These conditions include:

  • Obesity: Excess body fat, particularly visceral fat around the abdomen, can lead to insulin resistance, inflammation, and hormonal imbalances that impact testosterone production.
  • Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes can impair testicular function and decrease testosterone production, contributing to symptoms of andropause.
  • Thyroid Disorders: Disorders of the thyroid gland, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can disrupt hormone levels and contribute to hormonal imbalances associated with andropause.
  • Pituitary Disorders: Disorders of the pituitary gland, such as pituitary tumours or dysfunction, can affect the production of hormones that regulate testosterone production, leading to hormonal imbalances.
  • Testicular Disorders: Conditions affecting the testes, such as injury, infection, or genetic disorders, can impair testosterone production and contribute to the development of andropause.

Treatment Options

While andropause is a natural part of ageing, there are various treatment options available to manage its symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): HRT involves the administration of testosterone to supplement declining levels in the body. This can be done through injections, patches, gels, or pellets implanted under the skin.

Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help alleviate symptoms of andropause. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in nutrients, adequate sleep, stress management techniques, and limiting alcohol consumption and smoking.

Counselling and Support: Dealing with the emotional and psychological effects of andropause can be challenging. Seeking counselling or joining support groups can provide valuable emotional support and coping strategies.

Medications: In some cases, medications such as antidepressants or erectile dysfunction drugs may be prescribed to manage symptoms like depression or sexual dysfunction.

It’s important for men experiencing symptoms of andropause to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on their individual needs and medical history.


By delving into the symptoms of andropause, including decreased libido, fatigue, mood changes, and cognitive alterations, we gain insight into the multifaceted nature of this transitional phase in men’s lives. Additionally, understanding the underlying causes of andropause, such as age-related hormonal changes, lifestyle factors, and medical conditions, underscores the importance of proactive health management and seeking professional guidance when needed.

Moreover, acknowledging that andropause can affect men at various stages of life, not just older age, emphasizes the need for broader awareness and support for men’s health across the lifespan. Whether it’s through hormone replacement therapy, lifestyle modifications, counselling, or medication, addressing the symptoms of andropause requires a holistic approach tailored to individual needs and circumstances.

Ultimately, by fostering understanding and open dialogue about andropause, we can empower men to navigate this phase of life with knowledge, confidence, and proactive health management strategies. Male menopause is indeed not just for older men—it’s a nuanced aspect of men’s health that deserves attention, support, and comprehensive care at every stage of life.

Dr. Sumit Sharma is an experienced urologist, andrologist, and kidney transplant surgeon with over 20 years of clinical experience. He is the founder of the Department of Urology at multiple hospitals in Gurgaon and has established successful kidney transplant programs across the city.

With a commitment to the highest standards, Dr. Sumit Sharma ensures personalised, professional treatment, making your well-being the primary focus. Choose Dr. Sumit Sharma for outstanding Urological care in Gurgaon.

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