Menopause is well known and understood as a phase that occurs in the life of every woman as she ages and the levels of naturally occurring hormones in her body begin to decline. What is perhaps not so commonly known is that men may also be affected by a reduction in hormone levels and function – often referred to as the male menopause it is more correctly known as the andropause.
Discussion regarding the existence of a defined menopausal period in men is ongoing within the medical community – some medical practitioners report that some male patients have reported relief of symptoms associated with the menopause after undergoing testosterone hormone therapy.
The decline of testosterone in men is much more gradual than the hormonal decline seen in women. A man is more than capable of producing healthy sperm well into his eighties since the testes do not exhaust their testosterone producing ability in the same why as the ovaries do in women. However, there may well be subtle changes in testes function from the age of forty-five in some men.
Symptoms of male menopause
There are a number of similarities in the symptoms of both the female and the
Loss of libido
These symptoms generally begin to manifest in middle age – the forties or fifties. Whilst hormone replacement therapy is an option for men experiencing the symptoms of menopause it is not without risk – replacing testosterone may increase the risk of prostate cancer developing for example. The use of natural, herbal supplements has been found to be beneficial for some men when used in combination or individually to treat those symptoms that resemble menopausal symptoms. The similarities between the female and male menopause means that treatments for both conditions may well overlap.
Black cohosh, when taken as a tea or as a supplement is known to alleviate symptoms such as night sweats, anxiety, and depression. The black cohosh is thought to reduce the secretion of the hormones that cause night sweats.
Saw palmetto is a supplement known to increase levels of testosterone as well as lowering and stabilising the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in men going through the male menopause – this helps prevent hair loss and may reduce irritation of the prostate gland.
Wild yam is known to encourage production of testosterone and so maintain normal levels of hormones in the individual going through the male menopause. This in turn reduces the frequency and severity of night sweats and alleviates depression and mood swings as well as improving energy levels.
This ancient Chinese herb is frequently used to increase and boost the production of the hormone testosterone – as well as relieving the symptoms of the male menopause this herbal supplement may also improve sperm quality and increase sexual performance and libido.
Red clover is thought to be beneficial in minimising the severity and occurrence of hot flushes, it is also believed to improve arterial circulation and enhance sexual desire and performance.