The human body goes through changes as it ages. The changes are a bit different for men and women. Menopause and andropause are both due to the hormonal changes that each gender goes through as part of aging. Menopause involves the cessation of a woman’s ability to reproduce. Before, during and after the actual event, there are dozens of symptoms associated with this including mood swings, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. For men, the changes are usually much more gradual. Andropause is a term covering the gradual decrease of hormones in men that usually begins around 30. Men do not lose their ability to procreate as part of that condition.
What are the similarities with menopause and andropause? Both of these conditions are because of lower hormone levels that come with aging. They can lead to similar symptoms like weight gain, mood swings, irritability, loss of mental acuity, and lower sex drive. Most people going through these conditions start to notice the effects in their 40s and 50s. Weight, health, and activity level play a significant role in how good or bad the symptoms react to the body in both men and women. These conditions not only affect the physical body. They also have profound effects on social, mental, psychological, and emotional health as well.
What are the differences with menopause and andropause? With menopause, women can no longer have children naturally. With andropause, there is no effect to a man’s ability to procreate naturally. With menopause, the changes happen much quicker that with andropause. A woman can go through menopause within a few months. Men can deal with andropause for decades. For healthy women, there is no escaping menopause. Only 20 to 30% of men go through symptoms associated with andropause. These differences are why some medical professionals will not diagnose men with andropause.
What else do you need to know about menopause and andropause? Both are natural parts of aging. Each person’s experience will be different. Some people go through these conditions without significant problems. Some will have severe symptoms that require medical intervention. Knowing about these medical conditions will help you manage whatever symptoms you may experience. When things get to the point of requiring assistance, you can visit a doctor and get help. Education is the beginning of dealing with something that will affect your life at some point. Doing something with that knowledge is the step that you have to take on your own.