Male Menopause and Testosterone: Are They Connected?

March 25, 2013 2 min read

Male Menopause

Some people question whether or not male menopause is a real condition, but there is no question that age-related changes in men can  affect their testosterone levels. It seems that a  drastically increasing number of men are turning to androgen therapy for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer treatment experts now urge men and their physicians to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with caution.  Male Menopause Increased risk of prostate cancer is a possible side effect of testosterone replacement therapy .

Generally speaking male menopause, or andropause, symptoms occur much more gradually than menopause symptoms in women. Around age 35 or 40, a man's testosterone level naturally begins to decline at a rate of about 1-2% per year, making the term "pause" not entirely true. They begin to feel some changes to include reduced sexual desire, night sweats, fatigue and reduced muscle strength. In fact often they experience similar symptoms to  female menopausal  symptoms. Normal testosterone level, at any age, is measured in a range of 300 to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter.  If you're at the low end of the range it does not mean you need more testosterone. This might be normal for you and not necessarily a bad thing.

Testosterone Risks: Hormone replacement therapy for men is not new, but recent studies show there may be little effectiveness, and potentially more harm than good. In 2008, during the largest testosterone replacement study to date, researchers in the Netherlands found almost no improvement in quality of life, bone density, cognitive thinking, or muscle strength among those using testosterone. There's also a myth that increasing testosterone level decreases erectile dysfunction (ED). In truth, testosterone has more to do with sex drive and nothing to do with erections. What's more, replacing a man's testosterone level ceases his own natural production of the hormone, causing significant withdrawal symptoms when the replacement is stopped.

It's important to be clear that male menopause does not cause prostate cancer, nor does low testosterone, but how men choose to manage those symptoms may impact their prostate cancer risk level. Taking Testosterone can actually increase your risk of  prostate cancer. In a recent Australia-based study of men in their 70s and 80s, there was  shown to be an increased risk of prostate cancer among men with higher testosterone levels, both naturally high and replacement high. Testosterone replacement therapy is not recommended for men at increased risk for developing prostate cancer. Luckily there are natural remedies for many of the male menopause symptoms experienced, so there is no need to jump on the testosterone band wagon unless absolutely necessary. Always consult with your physician before starting any type of hormone treatment.


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