Andropause (Male Menopause)

Do men have a menopause?

Declining levels of testosterone and DHEA are commonly seen in men beginning in the fourth decade of life. These anabolic hormones are particularly important in men, as they are the major players in maintaining both physical and mental health. For example, they increase energy and decrease fatigue; they help in maintaining erectile function and normal sex drive; and they increase the strength of all structural tissues in the skin, bones, and muscles, including the heart. Proper levels of androgens also help to prevent depression and mental fatigue.

Yes, men do experience age-related changes in their hormone levels.

This hormonal decline, referred to as andropause, often coincides with symptoms of aging in males. The term andropause, named after the male hormones known as androgens, is the counterpart to menopause in women when production of estrogens and progesterone by the ovaries begins to decline. But, the drop is more gradual in men than the hormonal “roller coaster” so often experienced by women during menopause.

Stress management, exercise, proper nutrition, dietary supplements (particularly zinc and selenium), and androgen replacement therapy with physician guidance have all been shown to raise androgen levels in men and help to counter andropause symptoms.

Do you test for hormonal imbalances in men?

Yes. Undiagnosed hormonal imbalances are often linked to increased risks for prostate disease, low sex drive, rapid aging, and poor quality of life in general. By having your hormones tested in saliva (Female/Male Saliva Profile I) or in blood spot (Male Blood Profiles I or II), one can identify the specific hormonal excesses and deficiencies associated with specific symptoms. Test results can facilitate safe, appropriate prescribing and adjustment of hormone therapy as needed.

Which hormone tests are recommended for men?

For the best, most-comprehensive assessment of male hormone levels during the andropause years and/or for those men having suspected imbalances of thyroid and/or adrenal function, we recommend our Comprehensive Male Profile II. This profile tests all reproductive (sex) hormones, thyroid, and adrenal hormones with the added bonus of a PSA measurement (essential in men supplementing with testosterone to determine their prostate health status). We also provide a 5-hormone panel in saliva (Female/Male Saliva Profile I) that tests estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-S, and cortisol levels. We also recommend Male Blood Profiles (I and II) in blood spot, both of which include: E2, T, SHBG, PSA, DS, C, estradiol, testosterone, SHBG, DHEA-S, and morning cortisol. Male Blood Profile II also tests our Complete Thyroid Profile (TSH, fT3, fT4, TPO).

My husband has symptoms of low testosterone. Can saliva hormone testing help?

Saliva testing can measure present hormone levels to identify the extent to which testosterone levels are low. Our test reports indicate an expected range enabling a person to compare his levels to the normal range. Saliva testing can also identify additional androgen hormone levels (such as DHEA-S and cortisol), which may contribute to a low testosterone reading. In blood spot, the level of testosterone available to the cells can be measured in concert with PSA, which is an important prerequisite for initiating testosterone supplementation. We can also provide informational materials for his physician and follow-up resources.