Myths and Truths about Andropause in Men

People like to think of andropause as male menopause but they're actually quite different. The first one is the result of a decrease in testosterone.
Myths and Truths about Andropause in Men
Elisa Martin Cano

Written and verified by the doctor Elisa Martin Cano.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Andropause is a physiological phenomenon that occurs in men after a certain age, as a result of a decrease in testosterone production. Some like to think of it as a type of male menopause, but it’s actually a completely different condition.

Certain myths have spread around this topic and make it difficult to understand what actually happens and the changes it brings. Today’s article will review the most relevant features of this condition. Read on!

What’s andropause?

A man with a doctor.
Andropause occurs when testosterone levels, the most important sex hormone in men, decrease.

This process takes place in a man’s body due to a decrease in testosterone production with age. This is because testosterone is the most important sex hormone in men. In fact, it’s responsible for masculine characteristics such as body hair, strong chins, and big muscles.

In addition, this hormone is responsible for maintaining sperm production, sex drive, and bone health in men. The testicles are where the main production of this hormone happens, and it begins to decrease around the age of 40-45.

This is a slow gradual process. It’s possible for some men affected to a greater extent to experience more symptoms while others won’t even notice it.

Myths about andropause

  • “Andropause doesn’t exist.” This isn’t true. As mentioned above, this is a physiological process all men experience to a greater or lesser extent.
  • “Any decrease in male sexual desire is due to andropause.” This isn’t true either. A proper evaluation by a specialist is always necessary. Likewise, not every man with a decreased libido requires testosterone treatment.
  • “Andropause causes breasts to grow.” This is also false. There is indeed a greater accumulation of fat but it can happen in any part of the body.

Facts about andropause

  • “It causes impotence in men.” This is true. As testosterone decreases, sexual desire and the ease with which erections occur also decrease. As we mentioned above, this doesn’t affect everyone with the same intensity.
  • “Certain factors or circumstances can accelerate or slow it down.” This is also true. Some diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, etc. speed up the process. Conversely, healthy lifestyle habits, physical activity, and proper rest will lead to a slow drop in testosterone levels that cause fewer symptoms.
  • “It can produce mood changes.” Indeed, this is true. It’s because men with lower testosterone levels tend to be moody. Also, other symptoms such as impotence can lead to insecurities that add to the low mood.
  • “Men lose strength and body hair.” This is true. As mentioned above, testosterone is the main hormone contributing to both of these traits. It also increases the accumulation of fat and cholesterol.

Diagnosis and treatment

A lab technician holding a vial.
A physician must do a blood test and look at the testosterone levels in order to diagnose andropause.

The diagnosis of this process requires a blood test to measure the level of testosterone. A physician will prescribe treatment once they confirm the diagnosis. There’s the possibility of administering testosterone like any other medication.

There are pills, injections, and patches, among others. The method chosen will depend on the patient and their treating physician. We’ve already mentioned that testosterone treatment won’t always be necessary.

Apart from medical treatment, a healthy lifestyle always helps to relieve some of the symptoms. Also, a man can control many of these with regular physical activity, as it helps clear the mind, improve mood and promote rest.

Consult a doctor

Andropause is a completely normal process that can have different effects on men who go through it. As always, consult a doctor in the presence of any symptoms that interfere with normal life. They should be able to conduct the necessary studies and suggest treatment if necessary.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.