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Andropause Symptoms — Andropause Is not Low Testosterone, and It’s not the Same as Menopause

Before we talk about andropause symptoms, I want to address a deeper issue. Andropause is a very popular, and misunderstood, term being used these days. Andropause symptoms are supposedly very similar to (if not identical to) low testosterone.

Andropause symptoms — man holding head and looking down on black background

I just want to say right here that andropause (also known as “manopause”) and low testosterone are not synonymous — these are two very different terms, they mean two very different things, and while it is possible for them to overlap, this is not often the case.

Andropause is the gradual decline of natural testosterone production and levels over time, something that does not occur in all men, something that is (generally) independent of your starting testosterone level.

Low testosterone is a condition that must be clinically diagnosed, and it generally means a total testosterone level below (about) 300 ng/dL or a free testosterone level below 9 ng/dL, or both — and this can happen at any age and be caused by a variety of different diseases or disorders.

It’s hard to even say that andropause symptoms are something that exist — low testosterone symptoms are certainly real, but andropause symptoms not so much, mostly because the only time andropause might result in symptoms would be if andropause caused low testosterone.

Another problem I often see is when people make a false equivalence between andropause and menopause.

Andropause Is not Like Menopause

So some have argued that andropause will necessarily result in low testosterone, likening andropause to menopause, but andropause is not like menopause, which happens to all women and has a clear mechanism of action.

All women will eventually stop menstruating and begin menopause, which often results in a rapid, profound change in hormone levels.

But andropause is not being “set off” by a change in a man’s body — rather, it is a long, gradual decline (about 1% per year after age 30) of testosterone levels, something not linked to sperm levels or production.

It’s likely that andropause is just a result of the natural aging process and that a similar process is going on in women’s bodies independent of egg production or menstruation.

Andropause Will not Always Result in Low Testosterone

Let’s say, at age 30, that a man has a total testosterone level of 750 ng/dL. If your testosterone is reducing by 1% a year, your total testosterone is not going to sink below normal levels (300 ng/dL) until you’re about 122 years old.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t have very high hopes of living to be 122.

I chose that number of 750 ng/dL for a reason — this is a fairly normal level for a man in his 30s.

And here is why that matters — if you have normal testosterone levels, andropause is highly unlikely to cause you to have clinically diagnosable low testosterone.

However, if your testosterone levels were already in the low range of normal, it is possible that you’ll eventually fall into low testosterone territory.

Andropause Symptoms — What to Look for if You Suspect Low Testosterone

What we’re really talking about here are the symptoms of low testosterone, so here are a few possible symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Weight problems
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of bone mass
  • Loss of endurance
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle weakness or loss
  • Loss of height
  • Change in ratio of fat to muscle

If you’re experiencing andropause, and your andropause has led your already-low testosterone levels to dip into clinically low testosterone territory, one might be able to say that you’re experiencing “andropause symptoms,” but that’s as close as you’re going to get.

If you’re experiencing the symptoms above, set up a free consultation. We’ll discuss what you’re feeling and see if we can provide a solution.

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Glenn Steponaitis, PA-C

Glenn Steponaitis, PA-C began his healthcare career nearly 20 years ago as a medical technician at Seton Medical Center while concurrently earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at the University of Texas in Austin.   His interest in medicine lead him down the path of becoming a certified Physician Assistant and achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in this field from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.   Following completion of his schooling, Glenn started a 10 year career in the field of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and in 2010 he began focusing on the medical management of those suffering from symptoms caused by low testosterone after witnessing hormone replacement doctors help Low T sufferers.

1 Comment

  1. Andy on 06/01/2017 at 6:20 am

    Very informative. Thank you
    Being a Kline Felter syndrome XXY victim, have experienced low T all my life ?. So no surprises there. With being HRT for last 10 years. Things have started to look up for good now.

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