Do men undergo something like menopause as they age?
The term “male menopause” is really something of a misnomer. What the average healthy man will experience as he ages is not a noticeable change, like female menopause, but a gradual decline in the principal male sex hormone, testosterone. The decrease can begin in the late thirties, and by the seventies, blood levels may have dropped by one-third to one-half of the levels observed in young men. We believe that this decline is linked to common age-related changes in healthy men, such as decreases in muscle tissue and bone mineral density, increases in abdominal body fat, a rise in cholesterol, and deteriorating heart function, as well as psychological and sexual changes. We know that such hormonal associations with aging exist for women, and we can treat them with replacement therapy. We also know that young men with severe testosterone deficiency suffer from muscle weakness, osteoporosis and psychosexual dysfunction, and that these problems lessen or disappear when such men are given a