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Male menopause - What is it?

The Male Menopause is also known by some other names, including "the andropause", "Androgen Deficiency of the Aging Male" or ADAM, and "Late Onset Hypogonadism" (LOH). It should not be dismissed or confused with a "mid-life crisis".

It is characterised by a collection of symptoms, associated with abnormally low levels of the male hormone testosterone. Recent research has suggested that it is more common than previously recognised, particularly in men over 50 years old.

  • <5% for men in 20s & 30s
  • 10% for men in 50s
  • 20% for men in their 60s
  • 30% for men in their 70s
  • 50% for men >80

What are the symptoms of male menopause?

  • Reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Erection problems (impotence)
  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Reduced concentration / performance at work
  • Tiredness
  • Increase in weight / waist size

Screening

More importantly, testosterone deficiency can lead to a range of other health problems if left untreated. For this reason many specialists recommend screening for male menopause in men in their early fifties. Screening involves filling out the ADAM questionnaire (see below). A blood test is then used to confirm the diagnosis if necessary.

There are a variety of health problems that are associated with testosterone deficiency including osteoporosis, depression, impotence and weight gain. Also, testosterone deficiency can be a sign of other underlying health problems, including:

  • liver problems (eg cirrhosis)
  • other hormone abnormailites
  • kidney disease
  • certain types of tumour