What Is Male Menopause?
Male menopause” is the more common term for andropause. It describes age-related changes in male hormone levels. The same group of symptoms is also known as testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency, and late-onset hypogonadism.
Male menopause involves a drop in testosterone production in men who are age 50 or older. It’s often affiliated with hypogonadism. Both conditions involve lowered testosterone levels and similar symptoms.
If you’re a man, testosterone is a hormone produced in your testes. It does more than fuel your sex drive. It also fuels changes during puberty, fuels your mental and physical energy, maintains your muscle mass, regulates your fight-or-flight response, and regulates other key evolutionary features.
Male menopause differs from female menopause in several ways. For one thing, not all men experience it. For another, it doesn’t involve a complete shutdown of your reproductive organs. However, sexual complications may arise as a result of your lowered hormone levels.
Symptoms of Male Menopause
Male menopause can cause physical, sexual, and psychological problems. They typically worsen as you get older. They can include:
depression or sadness
insomnia or difficulty sleeping
increased body fat
reduced muscle mass and feelings of physical weakness
gynecomastia, or development of breasts
decreased bone density
As a result of the above, or as an extension of the hormone imbalance, individuals going through andropause can also experience psychological difficulties, including:
· poor concentration and short-term memory
· mood swings
· problems with memory.
You may also experience swollen or tender breasts, decreased testicle size, loss of body hair, or hot flashes. Low levels of testosterone associated with male menopause have also been linked to osteoporosis. This is a condition where your bones become weak and brittle. These are rare symptoms. They typically affect men at the same age as women entering menopause.
Diagnosing and Treating Male Menopause
Your doctor can take a sample of your blood to test your testosterone levels.
Unless male menopause is causing you severe hardship or disrupting your life, you’ll probably manage your symptoms without treatment. The biggest hurdle in treating male menopause may be talking to your doctor about your symptoms. Many men are too intimidated or shy to discuss sexual topics with their doctors.
The most common type of treatment for symptoms of male menopause is making healthier lifestyle choices. For example, your doctor might advise you to:
eat a healthy diet
get regular exercise
get enough sleep
reduce your stress
These lifestyle habits can benefit all men. After adopting these habits, men who are experiencing symptoms of male menopause may see a dramatic change in their overall health.
When responding to an employee experiencing difficulties caused by menopause, line managers should maintain an open door policy so that employees feel comfortable in approaching them. Line Managers should support employees to talk openly about their current situation and should not make presumptions about how it is affecting the employee.
During any discussions, line managers should consider individual situations and evaluate if any adjustments can be made. Employee individual needs need to be addressed sensitively and confidentiality will be need to be maintained.
Line managers should also arrange follow up sessions in order to evaluate the effectiveness of any adjustments put in place.
We understand that employees may feel uncomfortable discussing personal information with their line manager. If this is the case employees should be encouraged to discuss their situation with another senior member of staff, HR or an Employee Assistance Programme, if applicable.
In order to assist employees in their daily duties, you should explore making adjustments to their role or working environment with the aim of reducing the effect that andropause is having on them. We acknowledge that andropause affects each individual in different ways so no adjustment should be made without fully discussing it with your employee first.
Examples of adjustments include:
• conducting a risk assessment to identify any particular areas that are a detriment to individuals going through andropause
• assessing how work is allocated and whether the employee is affected at particular points of the day
• allowing additional rest breaks
• considering flexible working hours or allowing the employee to work from home
• making allowances for additional needs for sickness absence.
Once the adjustments are agreed, they should be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure they are having the required effect.
The Company is legally obliged by the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to an employee’s role or working conditions if they have a disability that places them at a disadvantage when performing their role and we will ensure compliance with our obligations in this regard.