Male Menopause (Testosterone Deficiency)
Male Menopause - What's in a name?
Male menopause is one of a number of common terms used to describe what happens when a man’s level of total or active testosterone becomes too low (deficient), or their body is unable to make effective use of the testosterone in the blood, due to age or other causes. Other common terms used to describe this situation and the symptoms and signs that usually come with it include andropause, hypogonadism and Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome. All these refer to the same condition. The Centre generally uses the term Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TDS), as we believe this most accurately describes the condition and its cause.
Male menopause is a medically inaccurate term. The term "menopause" describes the time in a woman's life when her monthly periods stop, combining two Greek words menses (periods) and pausis (stop). Male menopause is usually used in the media and some online medical information as shorthand for age related decline in testosterone in men and the health consequences of this.
Falling levels of testosterone and increasing resistance to its action, often cause men from around the age of fifty to lose their morning erections and develop erectile dysfunction. However, this distressing symptom can usually be helped by testosterone replacement treatment, aided if necessary by erection medications, a combination of which can provide a success rate of up to 90%.
Testosterone and its role in men's health
Testosterone is the key hormone (chemical messenger) in men. It is vital for to the development and maintenance of men’s sexual characteristics and function, including sex drive (libido). Normal active testosterone levels help to maintain normal sex drive and fertility, as well as energy levels and healthy mood. It is also increasingly recognised as being very important to wider male health in a range of other areas, such as contributing to maintaining energy levels and healthy bones. Whilst best known as a male hormone, testosterone is also made, albeit in much lower quantities, in the female body.