Are you less interested in sex these days? Feeling more irritated than you usually do? Are you fatigued? While these sound like the classic symptoms of menopause for women, they actually describe what happens when a man’s hormone levels drop around the age of 45.
But, unlike the more dramatic hormone plunge that occurs in women during menopause, hormone changes in men occur over time and are much more subtle, the Mayo Clinic reports. Another difference between the loss in hormones for men and women as they get older is that unlike women who lose their fertility at the point of menopause, men do not lose their fertility. In fact, they can make sperm well into their 80s or even longer, the Cleveland Clinic says. And while male menopause is sometimes used to describe this condition, experts say a more appropriate term may be “andropause.”
Regardless of the name, experts agree that dropping testosterone is normal in healthy males as they age and can affect a man’s body. According to womenshealth.gov, the condition has many signs including
* feeling fat/weight gain
* problems sleeping
* less interest in sex
* feeling irritable or angry
* erection problems
* problems with memory and concentration
* muscle loss
* increased urination
* loss of energy
* bone and hair loss
If you're having these symptoms of low testosterone, talk to your doctor. The Cleveland Clinic says “if testosterone levels are low, testosterone replacement therapy may help relieve such symptoms as loss of interest in sex (decreased libido), depression, and fatigue.” But, as with hormone replacement therapy in women, testosterone replacement therapy does have some potential risks and side effects. Replacing testosterone may worsen prostate cancer, for example.