Male menopause symptoms associated with andropause and the associated decline in testosterone levels do not affect all men with the same intensity. Many men may be surprised to know that male menopause symptoms are similar to those women experience with menopause. It is also possible for men’s symptoms to range from being mildly uncomfortable to erupting as severe as those reported by some menopausal women.
Symptoms and signs of menopause in men can include the following:
- Loss of libido
- Increased irritability and/or mood swings
- Hot flushes (yes, male hot flashes do occur)
- Insomnia and other sleep problems
- Loss of lean body mass
- Loss of bone mass/density (which increases the risk of fracture and development of osteoporosis)
- Decline in strength and/or endurance during exercise
- Increasing difficulty attaining and maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
About 40 percent of men ages 40 to 60 experience some of these male menopause symptoms to varying degrees, and the percentage continues to rise after age 60. Perhaps the most distressing of the male menopause symptoms is the onset of erection difficulties.
These challenges can escalate into full-blown erectile dysfunction, along with male loss of libido. However, erectile dysfunction is not an inevitable part of male menopause.
In fact, most men remain sexually active up to age 70 and beyond unless they have health problems that affect erectile function, such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity. Between 15 percent and 25 percent of men age 65 have chronic erectile dysfunction, while for a greater percentage of older men, erectile problems occur only occasionally.
For some men, however, stress and anxiety surrounding the development of male menopause symptoms causes them to experience erectile dysfunction. This anxiety can then perpetuate the problem unless men take steps to treat erectile dysfunction and andropause symptoms. In such cases, an understanding partner and perhaps counseling for erectile dysfunction can dispel the problem.
Read more in our Erectile Dysfunction Health Center.