While often considered a myth, male menopause can more easily be explained by the change in a man’s hormone levels as a result of aging. Unlike the more dramatic drop in reproductive hormones seen in women during menopause, sexual hormone changes occur in men over a long period of time.
The term “male menopause” is often used to describe the decreasing levels of testosterone or the bioavailability of testosterone as it relates to aging. In men, hormone production and testosterone availability decreases gradually. The symptoms of these changes, such as in sexual function, energy level or mood, are usually subtle and may go unnoticed for years.
Many physicians use the term “andropause” when referring to male-related hormone changes in men. Other terms used to describe male menopause include testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency of the aging male and late-onset hypogonadism.
How Male Hormones Change Over Time
Testosterone levels vary greatly in men, however, older men generally have lower testosterone levels than younger men. These levels begin to decline (about 1 percent a year) after the age of 30. By age 70, the decrease in testosterone levels can be as much as 70 percent.