Ambulatory Services

Menopause and Andropause

We are often told that menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life. But who has to put up with hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, in addition to migraines, palpitations and other unpleasant symptoms, whose « natural » situation is difficult to accept.

However, menopause is an inevitable stage in a woman’s life, and medical advice can help you get through it safely.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a physiological period marked by the cessation of menstruations, which is a consequence of the decrease of hormonal secretion from the ovaries. It can rarely happen suddenly. It is a normal aging process that can last from a few months to three or five years.

From 45 to 55 years old, menopause can set in. And yet, this period, which heralds the end of fertile life, following the cessation of hormonal secretion from the ovaries (estrogen and progesterone) is similar for many elderly women and in physiological decline. In order to be able to consider menopause as a natural stage of life, we need to know what we are facing.

What are the stages of menopause?

The stages that every woman goes through during menopause are:

  • Perimenopause, also called transition to menopause. This is the period during which irregular menstruation occurs and lasts for a maximum of one year after the last menstruation.
  • Menopause is the period of one year after the last menstrual period.
  • Postmenopause is considered the period that begins two years after the last menstrual period.

Symptoms of menopause

Confirmed menopause – when one year has passed since the last menstrual period – is preceded by perimenopause. Hormonal changes are « to blame » for any discomfort that may occur during this period:

  • irregular periods
  • menstruation more or less abundant than usual
  • hot flashes
  • migraine
  • night sweats
  • insomnia
  • sore breasts
  • anxiety
  • mood changing
  • weight gain

All of these symptoms can cause concern and have the potential to degrade quality of life. But you don’t have to know the whole list of perimenopausal symptoms and furthermore until up to 20% of women do not experience any of these discomforts.

It is important to know what the pathologies associated with menopause are and what we must do to avoid them. When a woman’s body is no longer protected from the production of estrogen and progesterone, many unwanted conditions can arise.

Cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, worsening rheumatic pain, hypertension, genital and urinary disorders, increased risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer, in addition to depression, decreased poor concentration and impaired memory are just a few.

How can menopause counseling help you?

Menopause is a major change in a woman’s life, with a significant psychological impact. If it is accompanied by physical symptoms affecting the quality of life (insomnia, hot flushes, urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, obesity, reduced sexual desire, anxiety or depression) it is recommended to consult a doctor.

After evaluating the patient and depending on her needs, the doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy (effective in the short term, especially in premenopause), non-hormonal treatment, treatments for pathologies linked to menopause, until good lifestyle.

The most effective ways to prevent these conditions will be determined with the doctor, whether it be medication, nutritional supplements, alternative therapies and a healthy lifestyle. It is recommended that you focus on a healthy, low-calorie diet, exercise, stop smoking, moderation of alcohol consumption and get enough sleep.

If you want to know when menopause will set in, you can ask your doctor to recommend a series of hormonal tests that can assess the start of the menopausal transition.

The anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) test is a marker of ovarian function, which helps determine the remaining ovarian reserve. A series of hormonal tests may be performed which can assess the start of the transition to menopause.

In order to make a complete assessment according to your needs, we recommend a consultation in our clinic.


What is andropause?

Andropause, also referred to as « male menopause », refers to changes in male hormone levels resulting from aging. It involves a decrease in testosterone production in men over 50.

Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testicles. This hormone does more than fuel your sex drive. Testosterone is responsible for changes during puberty, fueling mental and physical energy, maintaining muscle mass, regulating the fight or flight response, and other key developmental characteristics.

Andropause differs from female menopause in several ways. First, not all men experience it. On the other hand, it does not imply the complete cessation of the reproductive organs, but sexual complications may appear as a result of the decrease in hormone levels.


Andropause Symptoms

Lifestyle factors or psychological issues are often responsible for many symptoms of andropause.

For example, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and mood swings can be the result of stress, depression or anxiety but also the physical causes of erectile dysfunction, such as changes in blood vessels, which can occur with any psychological cause. These issues are usually caused by work or relationship issues, divorce, money issues, or worrying about aging parents.

Other possible causes of « male menopause » include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • A poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Smoker
  • Low self-esteem
  • Late hypogonadism (delayed growth and sexual development)

Diagnosis of andropause

Since there are other diseases associated with low testosterone (for example, hypogonadism, which causes retarded growth and sexual development, diabetes, high blood pressure), in the first phase, the doctor will perform tests to rule out these possibilities, before making the diagnosis of andropause.

It is important to remember that many of the symptoms associated with andropause are part of normal aging and may not be reversible with treatment.

Andropause treatment

Lifestyle changes, such as exercise, stress reduction, and proper diet, can help prevent andropause.

In order to make a complete assessment according to your needs, we recommend a consultation in our clinic.


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