Female menopause and its treatment using hormone replacement have received far more attention than male menopause and its treatment. Many men who are suffer from declining and insufficient levels of testosterone— andropause —remain undiagnosed and untreated. As men live longer, they also want to live healthier, better quality lives which accounts for the growing public interest in the treatment of male hormone deficiency.
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily by the testes. It is responsible for sex drive, deep voice, body and facial hair patterns, muscle mass, etc. Physicians have become increasingly aware that with the aging process, testosterone levels may drop to the extent that symptoms may develop. Symptoms may include the following:
The following questionnaire has proven useful in screening men for andropause:
If a man has symptoms of andropause, a simple blood test can be obtained to see if testosterone deficiency exists. If so, testosterone replacement may be the solution to the problem. The testosterone preparations currently available include oral formulations, injections, skin patches, and gels. The long-acting injectable formulation is useful for the initial trial to assess the effect of the testosterone replacement. If effective, the gel formulation is most often prescribed. It requires daily self administration which most patients have found very convenient and has very few adverse effects. Periodic monitoring of testosterone, prostate specific antigen, blood count, serum chemistries, and prostate digital examination are imperative.
Andrew L. Siegel, M.D.
255 W. Spring Valley Ave.