Andropause, or “male menopause,” has a reputation of being the male version of female menopause. However, there are distinct differences between menopause and andropause. Medical experts who deal with these medical conditions generally recognize three significant differences between the two conditions. The rate of change is quite different. The effect on reproductive ability is another significant difference. Finally, age plays a part in one, but not the other. Knowing these differences allows you to understand both conditions better.
The most significant difference between these two medical conditions is the rate of hormone change. In female menopause, the hormone levels change swiftly. In male menopause, the hormone changes are much slower. In men, the gradual shift allows them to deal with most symptoms without thinking. However, at some point, many men notice they have had significant changes in sex drive, muscle mass, and energy levels. For women, the changes can be more dramatic and easily seen in a short time. While women may have pre-menopause symptoms for many years, actual menopause happens quite rapidly. In men, the change is so slow it can be a surprise.
Another difference between menopause and andropause is its effects on reproductive ability. In women, menopause has a cessation point when the female reproductive organs cease producing eggs for potential reproduction. The ovaries also cease producing certain hormones that prepare the uterine lining for potential pregnancy. That leads directly to the cessation of menses, known more commonly as the period. In men, cessation of reproductive ability is not part of andropause. Lower levels of testosterone can lead to a lower libido, but it does not affect sperm production or fertility. Men can continue reproducing well into their 80s and 90s.
A big difference doctors observe between menopause and andropause is the age factor. For women who live to an old age, menopause will happen. In women living in the Western world, the typical age for menopause is between 40 and 61 years