Climax (andropause) is a syndrome of hormonal alteration of the body, caused by age-related changes. The main process is associated with changes in the work of the hypothalamic-pituitary system, which regulates the production of hormones by the sex glands. How is the climacteric period in women is known to all, we will spend time on the issues of andropause in men.
The level of testosterone decreases, which leads to disruption of metabolic processes, the functionality of most organs and systems. Hormonal imbalance explains a number of physiological changes in the male body. How the state manifests itself and when it begins is discussed in the article.
Manifestations of andropause from the sexual sphere
According to the data, the first symptoms of menopause in men appear from 40 to 65 years:
- early andropause (40-45 years),
- common or medium (45-60 years old),
- late (after 60 years).
The level of sex hormones decreases gradually, and therefore the manifestations on the part of the body do not have a bright start. Severe clinic is found only in 1 out of 5 men.
Sexual dysfunction is characteristic of 80% of persons who have crossed the initial age limit of andropause. Its manifestations are as follows:
- a sharp or gradual decrease in libido (sexual desire),
- Erectile dysfunction in the form of delayed or premature ejaculation,
- oligospermia (decrease in the amount of sperm).
Under the influence of hormonal imbalance, the parenchyma of the sex glands is replaced by connective tissue, which leads to their visual increase. A similar mechanism is characteristic for the development of prostate adenoma. By itself, the tumor is benign, however, it can squeeze the surrounding tissue, bladder, urethra, which serves as a factor provoking the development of pyelonephritis.
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels, especially the coronary arteries, are considered to be the leading cause of death among men. The appearance of disorders is associated with an increase in the level of triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins in the blood and a decrease in the number of high-density lipoproteins.
Reducing the level of sex hormones affects the inner membrane of the vascular wall - endothelium. Increased risk of angina, ischemia, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis.
The main manifestations of violations:
- blood pressure drops
- heart rhythm disorder
- deep breathing difficulties
- dizziness with loss of consciousness,
- darkening of the eyes or the appearance of "flies"
- aching pain behind the sternum.
Clinic of the endocrine system and the musculoskeletal system
Against the background of hormonal imbalance, metabolic disturbances occur. The consequence of this is metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, gynecomastia. Secondary sexual characteristics begin their regression:
- skin laxity and muscle weakness appear,
- dry coat
- hair loss and brittleness
- the deposition of adipose tissue on the female type
- increased sweating.
The thyroid gland is impaired, causing the development of hypothyroidism, pancreas, adrenal glands. Symptoms of changes in the adrenal glands: fatigue, muscle weakness, sleep disturbance, irritability, hyperpigmentation of certain areas of the skin and mucous membranes, headache attacks, disorders of taste buds.
Changes in the mineral balance lead to the development of osteoporosis. There is a decrease in bone density, which increases the risk of fractures. When the disease suffers spongy substance, which is localized in the vertebral bodies, the end sections of the bones. For several years of andropause, the loss of tissue mineral density can reach up to 10-15%.
The development of osteoporosis during andropause can be suspected by the following symptoms:
- reduced growth
- palpation in the spine causes pain,
- slouching, signs of scoliosis,
- the distance from the lower edge to the iliac bones decreases,
- bone pain caused by changing weather
- night cramps
- limb deformities (usually legs).
Almost always, menopausal changes in men are accompanied by changes in the nervous system. Awareness of their aging, the appearance of visual changes and the first problems in sexual life cause the development of latent or overt depression.
Men become conflicted, irritated, there is a feeling of incomprehensible fear and anxiety. Cephalgia (headaches), impaired attention and memory, insomnia are frequent manifestations. Emotional manifestations can be diverse: from increased excitability and aggression to drowsiness, apathy, depressive state. Mood changes several times a day, with no causal explanation.
All menopausal symptoms are individual. Absolutely does not mean that a man who crossed the line at 45 years old, must have all the above symptoms. In addition, expert advice, a comprehensive examination and taking the necessary drugs will stabilize the health of the sexual sphere and the organism as a whole.
Facts about male climax:
- Typically, menopause in men occurs at the age of 50-55 years due to natural causes - the onset of old age.
- Only every fifth man has a disease with pronounced symptoms.
- The menopause in men takes place on average over 5 years, after which this hormone level is gradually leveling out.
- The main difference between male menopause and female is its later offensive and easy flow.
The main cause of disease manifestations is a gradual reduction in testosterone production by the sex glands. Age, when there comes a male menopause, directly depends on the following factors.
Stages of menopause:
- Early - manifested in men under the age of 50 years, recorded cases of diagnosing the disease in men at 40 years of age.
- Normal - the age at which the disease manifests itself is from 50 to 60 years, at this age the male body begins to age very hard, therefore the manifestations of the disease during this period are quite natural.
- Late - manifested after 60 years.
It is not possible to establish exactly at what age the symptoms of male menopause begin. The early stage of the disease is increasingly being diagnosed, which is associated with an increased negative influence of external factors, sedentary types of work and an inactive lifestyle.
In men, menopause symptoms are mainly expressed in a decrease in libido, which ultimately leads to a gradual decrease in fertility. Sexual activity for men is an important psychological factor. Weakening or loss of activity is a serious blow to the mental health of a man.
- Hormone therapy.
- Biogenic adaptogens.
- Vitamin therapy.
- Vasoactive drugs.
- Drugs that correct erectile dysfunction.
- Biologically active additives.
- Healing baths.
Treatment of menopause symptoms in men under the age of 50 years involves strict adherence to diet and the rejection of bad habits, especially from alcohol.
Thanks to the described methods of treatment, it is possible to reduce the duration of the disease from five to two years, and in some cases, due to the general condition of the patient, even up to one year.
Proper treatment chosen by a specialist helps to maintain erectile function and the ability to conceive children into extreme old age.
Common signs of menopause in men, age of occurrence of signs of male menopause
Some doctors believe that the symptoms of male menopause are most likely the result of non-hormonal causes, such as:
- alcohol and drug use
- family and financial problems
- stress at work
- professional burnout
- sleep apnea.
The characteristic signs of menopause in men include:
- Endocrine Disorders: "Flushes", erectile dysfunction (may occur for other reasons, such as heart disease and vascular disease or diabetes, especially in people over 60 years old), a decrease in the number of nocturnal erections, an increase in visceral adipose tissue, dry skin on the face or arms, muscle pain, hair loss.
- Physical changes: decrease in muscle strength, fatigue during running or fast walking, dizziness, palpitations, decrease in bone mineral density, as a result of which osteoporosis can occur.
- Sexual changes: Many men over the age of 50 complain of a decrease in male libido, a decrease in sexual activity, a deterioration in the quality of orgasm, a decrease in the volume of ejaculate. The quality of an erection may decrease. This is due to a decrease in testosterone production from year to year.
- Psychological changes: mood swings, poor concentration, loss of motivation, memory loss, neglect of personal hygiene, anxiety, depression, irritability and insomnia.
The severity of various signs of male menopause does not necessarily coincide with each other. Their appearance is uneven, they can manifest themselves in 45-47 and 50 years or more. Sometimes male menopause may be asymptomatic. From its beginning to the end, on average, passes from 2 to 5 years.
The first signs of menopause in men may appear after 40 years, since during this period changes in the work of the sex glands begin. Changes are provoked by both the natural process of aging of the body, and testicular tumor, problems with the “access” of blood to the genitals, inflammatory diseases of the genitals, radiation exposure, surgical castration. After 40 years, it is necessary to observe every year with a urologist and talk to him about the appearance of any disturbing symptoms.
The need to treat aging associated with the symptoms of male menopause is controversial, as it does not help everyone.
Menopause treatment in men and menopause prevention in men
The development of andropause occurs in all men, usually between the ages of 40 and 55, although it may occur as early as 35 years or “at the last moment”, after 65 years. It means the end of the first part of a person’s life, and prepares it for the second half of life.
Just as adolescence is a period of gradual “rearrangement” of a child’s body and a transition to adulthood, andropause is a transition between the first and second periods of adulthood.
The normal testosterone level in men under the age of 70 years is from 50 to 224 ng / dl (ng substance in 1 plasma deciliter). The lack of this hormone is a frequent cause of many physical, psychological and emotional problems, especially in old age.
Testosterone replacement therapy at an early or late climacteric period in men can reduce unpleasant symptoms, such as fatigue and headache. Also, testosterone treatment often improves sexual desire.
Testosterone is usually used in the form of patches, subcutaneous granules, creams, gels or intramuscular preparations weekly or weekly for an indefinite period.
In the short term, an increase in testosterone levels in aging men may be characterized by an improvement in lean body mass and cognitive functions, but the attending physician is unlikely to be able to give an exact answer to the question of how testosterone will affect the patient's cardiovascular system.
Treatment of menopause in men with testosterone has little or no effect on bone density or muscle strength.
While the drop in estradiol is a normal process that occurs quickly in all women, usually within one year after the onset of menopause, in men the process of testosterone levels in the blood decreases and its production in the testes decreases slowly and with significant individual differences .
Therefore, hormone therapy is very effective for women taking estrogen, but is often only partially effective for men taking testosterone.
Long-term testosterone treatment can lead to the development of:
- liver problems
- cardiovascular diseases
- prostate cancer.
The safety and efficacy of herbal supplements for the treatment of any symptom associated with andropause has not been proven. Therefore, to start using them without consulting a urologist should not be. Some supplements may even be dangerous. Prolonged use of DHEA, for example, has no proven benefits and may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Psychological counseling may be necessary when it is necessary to alleviate the manifestations of the crisis of old age (depression and anxiety) that are characteristic during andropause.
If the patient has problems with achieving and maintaining an erection necessary for sexual intercourse, the doctor may prescribe a phosphodiesterase inhibitor or surgery (a penis implant).
A person experiencing the signs and symptoms that may result from a decrease in testosterone levels should consult a physician. A normal confidential conversation with a urologist can help identify the menopause in men at an early stage and find the best way to treat the effects of this condition.
Risk factors for male menopause include:
- excessive drinking,
- poor nutrition
- endocrine diseases.
In order not to suffer from the strong manifestations of menopause in men, you can use the following preventive measures:
- Eat healthy foods and maintain physical activity in everyday life. This will help to maintain strength, energy and muscle mass, improve mood and normalize sleep.
- Use a yoga training system to manage stress.
Causes of Andropause
Termination of the activity of the sex glands leads to a decrease in the production of androgens (male sex hormones), and a modification of the tissues in the reproductive organs. There is a physiological and pathological male menopause.
In the first case, the onset of andropause occurs according to the “aging schedule”. The age at which extinction of reproductive functions begins is within the time frame of 45-55 years. With the physiological climax, the male body is rebuilt, the activity of the sex glands is extinguished naturally.
How does this process manifest itself? Due to age-related changes, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal system is suppressed, in which the functioning of the pituitary and hypothalamus is hormonally interconnected with the testes in the testes. Violation of this chain leads to insufficient secretion of androgens, a decrease in the level of endogenous testosterone and other hormones.
In the second case, male menopause can develop before 45 or after 55 years. The cause of early or late andropause is often a pathology. These are mainly infections or inflammation of the genitourinary organs, testicular neoplasms, adenoma and other diseases.
Other causes of the development of pathological andropause:
- taking antidepressants, antibiotics, anabolic steroids, glucocorticoids,
- frequent injuries of testicular tissue
- surgery on the organs of the reproductive system or in the brain in the region of the pituitary or hypothalamus,
- hypodynamia (not active enough life),
- thyroid dysfunction,
- bad habits,
- Work on the production of toxic substances or with different emissions.
Taking certain medications has a depressing effect on the central nervous system and the endocrine system, which indirectly affects the functioning of the sex glands and can provoke early male menopause. Injuries, surgical interventions, cardiovascular diseases, smoking, alcohol abuse, and simultaneously with androgen deficiency, have a destructive effect on blood vessels and capillaries. This disrupts the blood microcirculation in the reproductive organs, the tissue in the testicles is scarring, is replaced by a non-functioning connective tissue, and the formation of sperm and hormones is stopped. This is how male menopause begins.
Signs of Andropause
Many people tend to associate the symptoms that appear during this period with the mid-life crisis, and not with the extinction of reproductive function. Is there a male climacteric syndrome? Yes, the representatives of the stronger sex have a complex of symptoms of andropause, but not all of them are pronounced. Emotional lability (instability of psycho-emotional state) often occurs when male menopause begins before 50 years. The greater the age, the less andropause affects the mood swings.
Signs of male menopause:
- decreased libido (sexual desire),
- slow beard growth
- quick ejaculation
- weak erection
- reducing the amount of seminal fluid
- reducing the duration of sexual intercourse,
- irritability, nervousness,
- frequent urination,
- rushes of blood to the head and chest
- high sweating
- blood pressure surges,
- joint and / or muscle pain,
- suspiciousness, depression,
Usually the process stops after 2-5 years. The lower the age at which male menopause began its development, the more acute testosterone deficiency will manifest itself. With a decrease in androgens, first changes occur in the genital area, then the weight increases, the bulk of which is deposited in the abdomen and hips, the hair on the face grows more slowly. A man becomes inattentive, often complains of a bad mood, deterioration of health.
Symptoms of menopause, which is associated with pathology, flow through the vasoregulatory asthenic, angina, or hypertensive development.
In the first case, weakness and fatigue due to impaired blood circulation prevail, there may be intracellular oxygen starvation in the tissues. In the second - arrhythmia, heart pain, shortness of breath. In the third variant, pressure surges, migraines, and intense sweating appear. The treatment requires the main pathology, which has exacerbated the symptoms of male menopause.
Seek medical attention from an endocrinologist, andrologist or urologist. A man is asked to first fill out a questionnaire (AMC questionnaire), which indicates all the climacteric symptoms of androgen deficiency. The doctor assesses the results in points from 1 to 5, where 1 means no signs, 2 weakly manifested, 3 moderately expressed, 4 strongly reflected, 5 always present.
Then you need to donate blood for the analysis of hormonal status. In a laboratory study, the level of testosterone (total, free, biologically active), sex hormone binding globulin, prolactin, estradiol, dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), thyrotropic (TSH) and luteinizing (LG) hormones is determined. In addition, in the framework of biochemical analysis, an indicator of free and total prostate specific antigen - PSA is determined. This tumor marker helps to identify cancer cells in the prostate gland.
Necessarily and ultrasound examination of the prostate in the transrectal or classical way - through the abdominal wall. With male menopause, treatment of andropause begins after exclusion of a tumor, adenoma and other diseases of the prostate gland. The doctor may also prescribe an ultrasound of the organs in the scrotum to assess the condition of the testicles, appendages, spermatic cord.
Andropause therapy methods
Treatment of male menopause should begin with the correction of the diet and daily regimen, the use of physical therapy and physiotherapy. In some cases it is advisable to consult a psychologist, a neurologist.
When non-pharmacological therapy using herbal and homeopathic medicines, vitamin and mineral complexes. It is recommended to take ginseng root (tincture), tribulus, and guarana seeds from herbal remedies for male climax. The substances found in these plants improve muscle tone and increase testosterone production.
To normalize erectile function and increase the level of male hormones, vitamins and minerals are also needed. These are pyridoxine (B6), tocopherol, retinol, zinc, selenium, calcium, ascorbic acid.
In the case of male menopause, hormone replacement therapy is used, in the framework of which androgen deficiency is compensated by their analogs. In men whose age exceeds 40-45 years, erectile dysfunction is associated with a physiological reason for the decrease in testosterone. For its normalization, drugs are prescribed that increase the level of hormones from the androgen group and improve blood circulation in the organs of the reproductive system: Levitra, Cialis, Prasterone, Testosterone-Enantana, and others.
When the male climax is recommended to balance the diet. It is necessary to reduce the content in the diet of animal fats, carbohydrates. Products should contain more vitamins from group B, A, C, E. It is desirable to increase the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts (walnuts, cedar, almonds), greens, cabbage, meat and sea fish.
What happens in the body?
The main changes in the male body occur in the hypothalamus – pituitary – testes system. Thanks to the correct operation of this system, a man can lead a normal sex life. During menopause, there is a decrease in the production of male sex hormones, namely testosterone. This irreversibly leads to hormonal imbalance, changes in metabolic processes, restructuring the functioning of many organs and systems.
Men who observe their daily routine in their youth, eat right, are not addicted to alcohol and smoking, play sports regularly, tolerate physiological age-related changes in the body more easily and in most cases do not even have a clue about what is male menopause. Men whose body is weakened due to injuries, diseases, disorderly lifestyle, rather difficult to endure the manifestations of menopause.
Who is at risk?
In some men, menopause may occur in 30 years, the reason for this is the presence of some factors:
- various diseases of genital inflammatory nature,
- swelling of the testicles
- the presence of circulatory disorders in the genitals,
- alcohol consumption and smoking
- signs of male menopause are most pronounced in men who for some reason have undergone surgical castration,
- toxic poisoning
- radiation effects (radioactive contamination).
In the absence of the above factors, in most cases, men do not have a clue as to how male menopause manifests, since the symptoms are almost imperceptible, and the strong half writes them off to the usual indisposition. But in order to prevent the development of unpleasant symptoms of menopause in time, men need to know the characteristic signs of the disease and carefully monitor their health.
Male menopause: symptoms
It is best to start treatment as early as possible, even if the first symptoms do not cause much discomfort.
The first signs of a climacteric period are reflected in a change in the state of the organism as a whole:
- fatigue, reduced performance, lost interest in life,
- excessive suspiciousness
- sleep disorders
- frequent depression,
- increased sweating.
The most common symptoms of male menopause:
- impaired cardiac function (arrhythmia, heart palpitations),
- sudden flushes to the head, neck and hands, which are manifested by reddening of the skin in these places,
- severe changes in blood pressure, both in the smaller and in the big direction,
- painful headaches
- shortness of breath, lack of air,
- periodically, stabbing, aching or pressing pain in the heart, extending to the left shoulder blade or arm (pain occurs at any time of the day, regardless of physical exertion).
For male menopause is characterized by a disorder of sexual function. As a rule, violations in the reproductive system develop quite slowly, so at the initial stage they may be invisible:
- accelerated ejaculation
- reducing the duration of sexual intercourse,
- violation of orgasm, or his complete absence,
- reducing the amount of ejaculate
- reduced sexual desire.
There are several other factors that characterize the menopause. Symptoms in many men manifest in the form of various urinary disorders:
- frequent urination,
- reduction of urinary jet
- heaviness in the abdomen and groin.
The time of appearance of menopause and the severity of its symptoms depend on the lifestyle, the general condition of the body and the degree of activity of the sexual life. Therefore, to visit the doctor does not need to wait for the appearance of all the above symptoms.
Diagnosis of menopause in men
Diagnosis consists of a comprehensive examination, which includes:
- Ultrasound of the prostate gland,
- full blood count
- PSA tests: general and free.
Each man, especially those who are at risk, must undergo an examination in order not to complicate the male menopause.
Symptoms - treatment: an important relationship
Manifestations of menopause in both men and women themselves will not pass. Therefore, it is necessary to seek help from a specialist to determine the correct therapy. You also need to understand that each person is individual, so all the representatives of the strong half have a male menopausal period in different ways. Symptoms, treatment are interrelated, since the brighter are the signs of menopause, the faster the treatment should begin, which, in turn, must be comprehensive: medical therapy, healthy eating, sports and sexual activity, and the patient should also have Lifestyle.
Many men believe: in order to restore sexual activity, it is necessary to resort to frequent sexual intercourse. But this is a misconception. Frequency of intercourse does not affect the symptoms of male menopause. On the contrary, doctors recommend to conduct a measured sex life during this period of life.
The treatment mainly consists of:
- hormone replacement therapy,
- drugs to normalize erectile function
- vitamins for the maintenance and correction of related health problems.
Acceptance of male sex hormones is the main treatment for manifestations of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is prescribed only after an examination, the result of which should exclude prostate cancer. Patients are prescribed testosterone preparations (intramuscular injection of 5% testosterone-propionate solution, 1 ml 2 times a week, 10-12 injections). The majority of men disappear painful manifestations of menopause, and in general the condition of the body improves. After injections, patients are prescribed methyltestosterone tablets (0.005 g, 2-3 times a day, in courses of 20-30 days).
Following the recommendations of the attending physician and long-term treatment with hormonal drugs gives positive results: overall health is noticeably improved, insomnia disappears, and heartbeat returns to normal.
Alcohol consumption and smoking significantly reduce the effectiveness of treatment. It is important for the patient to understand that the climacteric period is a temporary condition of the body and with the provision of proper treatment passes, leaving no consequences.
Treatment of folk remedies
If it is not possible to consult a doctor, and a man suffers from a male menopausal period (symptoms), the treatment may consist not only in taking medications. There are quite effective folk remedies to eliminate signs of menopause in men.
- Shepherd's grass bag. It is necessary to pour 30 g of grass with 1 cup of boiling water. Leave the broth to infuse for 1 hour. Then strain and use half a cup at least 3 times a day.
- Hawthorn flowers. 3 tbsp. l flowers pour 3 tbsp. raw water. Insist 8-10 hour. Then boil for 5-7 minutes, warm and insist 30 minutes. After the time, strain and use in the morning 1 cup of broth on an empty stomach. Then, during the day, take after meals.
- Hypericum perforatum. 15 g of Hypericum pour 200 ml of water, boil for 15 minutes. Then wrap and leave to infuse for 45 minutes. Strain and consume 1 tbsp. l 6 times a day.
- Ashberry odorous well helps in the period of early menopause. It is necessary to prepare a mixture consisting of: fragrant wood of ash (20 g), blackberry leaves (25 g), hawthorn flowers (10 g), motherwort grass (20 g) and melted roe grass (15 g). 1 tbsp. l mix pour 1 tbsp. boiling water, well insulate and insist 1 hour. Before use, strain and drink 1 tbsp. l at least 3 times a day.
To restore sexual function help:
- tincture of ginseng root,
- vitamin E,
- rosemary officinalis
Traditional methods of treatment can be applied only in consultation with your doctor.
What is dangerous male climacteric period?
Numerous medical studies have shown that male menopause aggravates coronary heart disease and contributes to the development of heart attack and impaired cerebral circulation, which can lead to stroke. Also in the period of menopause immunity decreases. This factor contributes to the risk of multiple myeloma and Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, if you are at the stage when the male menopausal period begins, treatment should be timely. To do this, do not postpone the visit to the doctor.
How to delay the onset of menopause?
It is recommended to use foods that contain vitamin E (lettuce, nuts, cereals).
- Eat foods that contain a large amount of fiber (coarse flour, cereal, fruit, bran).
- It is necessary to reduce the use of salts, carbohydrates, smoked meats.
- Regularly visit the doctor for a routine examination.
- Seek medical attention in time if you have any health problems.
- Follow all doctor's prescriptions.
- Try to spend more time in the fresh air while walking.
An important role is played by the inner emotional state of a person.
A major role in the period of the climacteric period is played by the regulation of sexual life, matrimonial harmony, adherence to work and rest, proper nutrition, elimination of psycho-traumatic situations and regular dosed physical exertion.
It is worth noting that preventive measures are not aimed at eliminating menopause, but at eliminating its manifestations.