As men age, they begin to experience what is now referred to as “andropause,” which is the male version of menopause. Let’s back up for a minute and talk about the role of progesterone in men. Firstly, it is important to note that men can have just as much progesterone in their bodies as women, although in most instances, men tend to produce about half as much as women. The progesterone that men produce is used to make testosterone and produce cortisone, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
Male Andropause (a.k.a. Male Menopause)
Somewhere between 40 and 50 years of age, men began to go through “male andropause,” which is the male version of menopause. Male andropause is the result of lower progesterone and testosterone levels, which then may cause such symptoms that may include fatigue, insomnia, irritability, poor concentration, frequent urination, decreased libido and more. Health research does reflect that andropause is a physical condition as the gradual and subtle shift in the male hormones begins to take place as men age. According to the US Census bureau, somewhere between four and five million men suffer with symptoms of andropause as a result of lower testosterone levels. According to a World Health Organization report, testosterone levels in most men 70 years of age were only 10 percent from what they were when the men were 25 years old.
Although science has been aware of andropause since the 1940’s, it is only recently that doctors have begun to recommend progesterone in order to treat the symptoms. According to Dr. Michelle Tonkin and nutritionist Melissa Tonkin in their book, “That’s the Key: Unlocking the Door to Health and Freedom in Every Area of Your Life” increasing the levels of progesterone and testosterone, and reducing estrogen levels may help to ease the symptoms associated with male andropause.
12 Symptoms of Andropause
- Declining ability to concentrate
- Memory Loss
- Feelings of anger, anxiety, irritability and depression
- Weight Gain
- Sleep Problems (sleep apnea)
- Fatigue – not as much energy
- Frequent urination
- Confusion, declining self-confidence and indecisiveness
- Diminished Libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Gynecomastia (male breasts)