As the menopausal years approach, anxiety and fears of the physical and psychological transition may begin to stir in not only women, but men as well. Yet andropause, otherwise known as male menopause, and female menopause are natural events, not illnesses to be feared. Menopause may bring about some undesirable changes and mark the end of fertility for men and women in their 40s or 50s, but it certainly does not mark the end of a healthy, active and enjoyable life. Rather than quietly sinking into the menopausal years with energy levels dipping and lower resistance to viruses, men and women can still slow down the ravages of aging and manage menopause with certain treatments and self-care. Menopause for both men and women is a turning point that can lead to the best years of one’s life or a time where some may even find their second bloom of youth.
Female menopause is a natural biological process that begins when the body starts producing fewer hormones, namely estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When the supply of eggs from a woman’s ovaries is completely depleted and hormones are hardly produced, a woman will experience menopause with the cessation of her menstrual period. This transition usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 55 but may vary with different women.
The signs and symptoms of menopause are also likely to vary with every individual. While some may mildly experience a few symptoms, others may experience physical changes like irregular menstrual periods, decreased fertility, urinary changes such as incontinence, vaginal tract changes where the vagina becomes drier and more vulnerable to infection, hot flashes, sleep disturbances and night sweats. Changes in appearance such as weight gain, thinning hair, and wrinkles may also occur during menopause.
As a result of hormonal changes and factors like sleep deprivation and stress, some women may also experience emotional changes, which include irritability, fatigue, decreased memory, and diminished concentration.
The Truth about Andropause
Andropause or male menopause is a distinct physiological phenomenon that is in many ways similar to, yet in certain ways different from female menopause. A condition that occurs in all men generally between the ages of 40 and 55 (though it can occur as early as 35 or as late as 65), andropause was first termed to describe a decline in levels of the male hormone, testosterone.
The free (active) testosterone levels decline as the hormone tends to bind to certain proteins in men and women as they age. As free testosterone and the substance it manufactures within the body, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), are responsible for the sex drive, as well as youth and energy, a drop in free testosterone levels can therefore lead to a lack of sexual desire, a decline in energy levels, aging, lower resistance to infections, poor memory and an unmotivated state of mind.
Like menopause in women, andropause therefore begins with hormonal and physiological changes, which include degenerating sense of well-being, delayed healing of wounds and recovery from injury, lack of energy, reduced endurance for physical activity, weight-gain, poorer eye-sight, loss or thinning of hair, sleep disturbances, as well as urinary changes such as frequent urination, difficulty in urinating and urinary incontinence.
With the decline of free testosterone, andropausal men may also experience sexual changes like loss of sexual desire (libido) and potency, ejaculatory problems and reduced fertility.
Like menopausal women, men suffering from andropause also experience psychological changes such as mood swings, irritability, indecisiveness, anxiety, depression, loss of self confidence and concentration, poor memory, and loneliness.
While male and female menopause is often associated with hormonal, physical, and psychological changes, it certainly is not the end of a man or woman’s youth or sexuality especially when managed with the proper self-care and treatments available today.
How to Manage Menopausal Times
The undesirable symptoms of andropause and menopause can be relieved with treatments like hormone therapy. Testosterone Replacement Therapy, which basically replenishes the body with testosterone, is available for men, while women may relief hot flashes and vaginal discomforts with Estrogen Therapy. However, results from recent clinical studies have suggested that the benefits of the hormone therapies may be outweighed by risks such as heart attack, stroke and even cancer. Depending on one’s personal and family medical history, it is best to consult a doctor to ascertain whether hormone therapy is the ideal option to relief symptoms of menopause.
Alternatively, both men and women can relieve symptoms of menopause and aging naturally by releasing their body’s own bounded testosterone with a special strain of green oats, as clinical studies conducted in Singapore, Europe and USA have concluded. Unlike hormone replacement therapies which have side effects, green oats has been clinically proven to effectively relief andropause and menopause safely and without negative side effects or any interactions with medications. By releasing the body’s own free testosterone that is responsible for improving sexual health, increasing energy levels, slowing down the aging process, and promoting a more positive mind set, Green oats can therefore help menopausal men and women reap the benefits of the youth hormone already present in their bodies.
Health supplements containing the flowering plant, Stinging Nettle, have also been used to help relief menopause by inducing positive effects on hormones and certain proteins. Menopausal individuals are also encouraged to take supplements containing powerful anti-oxidants such as the Sea Buckthorn fruit.
Both sexes can also reduce or prevent the undesirable effects of menopause by taking simple steps like eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, staying smoke free, controlling stress, optimizing sleep with relaxation exercises, doing pelvic floor muscle exercises to improve urinary incontinence, and going for regular check-ups.
By taking the right steps, men and women can easily manage menopause and fight the ravages of time without letting the undesirable symptoms affect their quality of life. After all, one should enjoy life at its prime.