It’s not just women and it’s not just that time of the month.
Andropause — commonly called “male menopause” — is described as “aging-related hormone changes in men,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
The healthcare organization claims that “testosterone levels decline on average about 1% a year after age 40.”
As they continue to age, those levels may continue to lower with some men reporting up to a 50% reduction by age 70, compared to peak levels.
About 3 in 10 men in their 70s and 80s suffer from low testosterone levels, according to the American Urological Association.
While both men and women undergo changes in their testosterone levels, the changes are much more subtle for women.
In men, this hormonal change can cause symptoms such as reduced libido, fatigue, mood changes, hot flashes, erectile dysfunction, infertility and reduced muscle bulk.
Testosterone levels can be checked by a blood test, but tests aren’t commonly run.
While there is no designated cure for andropause, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and lifestyle changes can help men to replenish their hormones.
Prescription testosterone injections, topical gel or cream, oral medications or over-the-skin patches can be used to steadily increase hormone levels and may help to relieve men of their symptoms such as boosting sex drive and beating fatigue.
However, some experts have recorded and flagged a drastic increase in requests for the therapy.
“Virtually everybody asks about this now because the direct-to-consumer marketing is so aggressive,” Dr. Michael O’Leary, a urologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told Harvard Health.
He said that “tons of men who would never have asked me about it before started to do so” after seeing ads for common symptoms such as fatigue.
“If they have significant symptoms, they’ll need to have a lab test,” Dr. O’Leary said adding that “in most men the testosterone level is normal.”
The experts also noted that certain lifestyle changes can help aging men increase their testosterone levels. A balanced lifestyle of exercise, a healthy diet and good sleep maintain healthy testosterone levels.
One study published by Obesity Reviews found that overweight men are more likely to suffer from low testosterone, and losing weight can increase those levels.
While andropause is a natural condition of aging, experts and patients alike are trying to raise awareness.
British TV presenter and influencer Israel Cassol has spoken openly about the medical condition since being diagnosed with “male menopause” soon after turning 40.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I thought that menopause was something only women went through, I never knew it could affect men just as much,” Cassol explained to the Daily Mail.
He’s now on a mission to “petition more acknowledgment of male menopause.”
But Cassol isn’t the first to begin this campaign or recognize the stereotypes that keep men from discussing the medical condition candidly.
“One of the greatest barriers that keeps men from talking about male menopause is the fear of being less than manly,” Jed Diamond, a psychotherapist and author of “The Male Menopause,” told The Post back in 2000.
“Many guys would rather die than admit that their erections [aren’t what they were] or that they’ve been suffering mood swings. They want to appear invulnerable.”