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Shelley Osterloh ReportingMost people know about the hormone changes in women known as menopause, but doctors say some men between the ages of 40 and 55 may experience something similar, but it’s called something else.
Lindsey A. Kerr, M.D. Division of Urology: "We like to call it andropause, because it really refers to changes in men's levels of hormones versus menopause referring to changes in women's levels of hormones."
Dr. Kerr says the symptoms come on gradually and many men may not notice them.
Lindsey A. Kerr, M.D.: "They'll have fatigue, they may have some weight gain. They'll have some change in muscle mass, loss of their interest in sexual relations, and depression."
Hormonal changes are not as prevalent in men as women, but for those who do suffer, there are a number of treatments.
Lindsey A. Kerr, M.D.: "Most of the medical supplements that we have initially took the form of injections. And you can imagine most men were not exactly thrilled about having an injection every three to four weeks. But now we have patches similar to what women use for hormone replacement. And, we also have a gel that goes on after a shower."
In addition to the loss of sex drive, men have to look closely at how they feel to determine if they may have a low level of the male hormone testosterone.
Lindsey A. Kerr, M.D.: "I think they have to ask themselves carefully, do I feel differently than I did say a year or two ago. Am I having a harder time keeping up? Am I waking up feeling blue where I didn't feel blue before? Have I noticed a difference in what I can lift and what I can carry?"
Dr. Kerr says those kinds of feelings or symptoms might trigger a call to your physician.