Andropause, the male counterpart of menopause

Everyone is familiar with menopause in women, but many people are completely unaware of its male counterpart, andropause. Yet many men experience it and complaints such as depression, lethargy and reduced libido can occur. What causes andropause and can something be done about it to get through the period well? Read more about andropause in the article below.

What is andropause

Andropause is the menopause period in men that can be compared to menopause in women. The Latin name for the andropause is climacteric, in English the andropause is also called the ADAM syndrome (Androgen Decline in Aging Man).
Colloquially there are other names, some synonyms:

  • Changeover years
  • Transition
  • Penopause

Men enter andropause around the age of 50 . Because menopause is a more gradual process than menopause in women, some men do not even notice that they have entered their transition years. Over time, they only notice that their body has aged slightly and that certain things that used to be taken for granted no longer run as smoothly, such as sexual performance and strength. Men also become less fertile during and after the menopause period; they continue to produce sperm cells, but the quality of the sperm deteriorates.

However, there is a large group of men who experience (many) complaints during andropause, which can cause them to have a difficult period. Just as with women, psychological problems can develop as a result of which bystanders such as a partner, children, friends and colleagues do not always understand them properly. For example, one wonders why that always nice, cheerful man suddenly behaves so sullenly and why is he suddenly just hanging around on the couch, after all, he was always so energetic and full of life? These can all be symptoms associated with andropause.

Cause of andropause

We can be short and sweet about the cause of andropause: due to a gradual decrease in testosterone production and sometimes an increase in the female hormone estradiol, men enter the menopause years.

Complaints about andropause

Some men experience no complaints at all during their menopause period, while for other men it can be a very unpleasant period. The complaints can vary greatly from man to man because the testosterone level is not the same in every man and testosterone production does not decrease to the same extent. The further the production and level decrease, the more complaints the man will experience.

During androzauze, men can develop the following complaints:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Psychological complaints
  • Fatigue
  • Decrease in muscle mass
  • Muscle strength decrease
  • Weight gain
  • Prostate problems
  • Fertility disorders
  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Impotence

During andropause, men may also experience hot flashes and night sweats, but this is usually not as intense as it is seen in women.

Emotional, psychological and behavioral changes

Because a lot changes in the male body during the changing years, both physically and hormonally, men can have a very difficult time. Things that were very normal for them “before” suddenly become more difficult or even no longer work. Because it is sometimes difficult for them to accept, all kinds of excuses are often made, as is often seen with erection problems and impotence. This behavior partly arises because potency is often (wrongly) associated with masculinity. It is much wiser to discuss the problems openly and honestly with your partner. Excuses only lead to suspicion that can cause tension and conflict in a relationship. Men can also feel lethargic, tired, depressed and alone during andropause. In addition, men must learn to accept that their bodies are changing, they become less strong, the body becomes weaker, they grow less body hair and gain weight.

A man often feels misunderstood during and after andropause. This problem arises partly because ” man’s menopause ” is not yet fully accepted in our contemporary society. People generally laugh about the penopause and men are labeled as wimps if they say they suffer from it. That is why men often decide not to talk about it with friends and/or acquaintances, but they would do better to break the taboo in this way.

Can complaints surrounding andropause be reduced?

Complaints that come with growing older are a part of life and we must partly accept them. On the other hand, it is important to live healthy and stay vital, so don’t give up.
Make sure you:

  • Sufficient exercise every day. Exercise gives you more energy and makes you less likely to become tired and/or listless.
  • Eat a healthy and varied diet every day. This prevents obesity, which causes an increase in the female hormone estrogen.
  • Doesn’t smoke. Smoking causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, which can cause erection problems. In combination with a low testosterone level, this can make problems worse.
  • Not consuming much alcohol. Just as with obesity, alcohol causes an increase in the female hormone estrogen.

If there are serious complaints, a specialist can administer the hormone testosterone . This usually only happens after several examinations, in order to be able to say with certainty that the complaints are indeed caused by a low testosterone level. It can be administered by means of injections, tablets, patches or special skin gels.


Always discuss problems with your partner, together we can usually find a better solution. Do not continue to suffer from complaints for too long, seek help from a doctor early. This article is purely informative and cannot replace any medical specialist.
Are you also interested in women’s menopause? Then click here for the article “The menopause, not always an easy period”

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