Loss of testosterone in men is called andropause. Andropause is a gradual loss of testosterone that begins in the late twenties to the mid-thirties and continues on a gradual decline for the next fifty years. This decline is so gradual that most men hardly notice the changes caused by this deficiency. Menopause in women is dramatically exemplified by hot flashes, vaginal dryness, weight gain, depression, mood swings, poor sleep, just to name a few symptoms. Men are different, as we all know.
One of the first signs of testosterone deficiency in men is erectile dysfunction. Erections are more difficult to achieve and maintain with less fullness of erections. Even “Viagra” does not help all the time. A marked decrease in spontaneous early morning erection is a hallmark for low testosterone. THere is less volume of semen in ejaculation. There is not as much strength of a climax and decreased muscular pulsations. Too often, this is just pushed off as stress. Men are told they are just getting older or are overworked.
There’s a bit of truth to the “use it or lose it” theory. A man with low levels of testosterone may lose his desire for sex. Sexual stimulation and sexual activity cause testosterone levels to rise. Testosterone levels can drop during a period of sexual inactivity. Low testosterone can also result in erectile dysfunction (ED).
Men may notice an increase in tiredness, diminished sex drive, weight gain especially around the abdomen, decreased mental clarity, arthritis, depression, osteopenia and osteoporosis, loss of self-esteem, decreased exercise tolerance and loss of vitality. Men are more likely to notice a decrease in athletic performance, sore joints and muscles with stiffness, less flexibility, a decrease in muscle size and tone, and a decrease in stamina.
-Dr. Dan Hale