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andropause effects on manThe process of menopause is commonly understood as describing the time in a woman's life when the menstrual cycle ends. The male equivalent however, called andropause, is not nearly as widely discussed. While the physiological mechanics of andropause differ significantly from those that affect women, the importance of understanding and dealing with this condition that impacts over 5 million men in the U.S. alone, cannot be overstated.

I can only speculate on the reason why the word 'andropause' seems to have escaped the common English lexicon. Perhaps because the visible effects it has on the male are seemingly less dramatic. Or maybe, like many beliefs in western society, we chalk it up to an unfortunate inevitability. Regardless, it is something that certainly exists - Male menopause? Yes, it's real.

The Onset of Andropause

Men usually start to exhibit andropausal symptoms between the ages of 40 and 55, although it can and does occur much earlier for some. During this period, men experience a sharp decline in male hormone levels (testosterone). Testosterone levels actually begin to decline at about age 30 and continue to drop at a tremendous rate of 10% every ten years.

The Importance of Testosterone

Testosterone is a naturally occurring male hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands and the testes. It is a vital component for maintaining normal sexual behavior, especially in the formation of erections. In addition to it's sexual health attributes, testosterone also affects many metabolic activities such as bone formation, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, the production of blood cells, as well as liver and prostate gland growth.

Symptoms and Risks

As testosterone levels decrease, men undergo a myriad of physical, emotional, psychological and behavioral changes including:

  • Increased risk of osteoporosis
  • Greater likelihood of cardiovascular diseases
  • Loss of energy and sex drive
  • Reduced blood circulation to the genitalia

Andropause and Erectile Dysfunction

As men grow older they face a higher risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction or impotence. While there can be numerous causes of erection failure, the decreased flow of blood to the pelvic region due to lowered hormone levels is one of the more direct. Without enough blood reaching the penis, a man cannot achieve or sustain an erection long enough to perform intercourse.

When we age, more and more fatty deposits are created in the arteries and blood vessels. Since the penis is composed of spongy tissues, it becomes more difficult for the arterial walls to carry the blood flow into these tissues due to the presence of these fatty deposits. Full engorgement of the penis eventually becomes impossible.

Improving Blood Flow and Cell Activity

While there are several pharmaceutical drugs designed to address the sexual side effects of andropause, certain natural remedies are often more effective (and safer) in their direct treatment of the problem. One particular method includes the use of a special traction device that works to stimulate tissue growth through the use of tactile force.

By applying a continuous and gentle stretch along the length of the shaft, these devices excite cells and allow for an increase in penile blood flow. Another noticeable, and often desired effect includes the actual physical enlargement of the penis itself in both thickness and length. See this article for more information about this practice.

Growing older is not a choice, it's a natural biological process that we have little control over and it effects everyone. What we can control is how we choose to improve the quality of our lives, both sexually and otherwise. That choice, for as long we desire it, will always remain ours.

To learn more about andropause and aging, please read the article entitled 'Overcoming Male Mid-Life Crisis'.

Posted by PRS
Monday, May 5th, 2008


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