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The Male-Female Connection

Aging is about diminishing hormones. Since both men and women have the same hormones, aging is aging – regardless of gender. The nuances in symptoms are distinguished only by the degree of severity.

FEMALE MENOPAUSE
 

Affects all women.

Symptoms develop over a shorter period of time than in men, but not abruptly.

Dramatic drop in progesterone levels, beginning in 40s or 50s, along with estrogen and testosterone diminishment.

Diminished hormonal levels result in changes that can seriously affect physical and mental health.

Resulting symptoms are difficulty in sexual arousal, vaginal dryness, cardiac concerns, weight gain, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, hot flashes, anxiety, emotional upheavals, irritability, lack of skin elasticity, aches, pains and stiffness.

Unable to reproduce.

MALE MENOPAUSE


More subtle, affecting most men.

Symptoms creep up over a period of 20 years.

Reduction of testosterone, beginning in early 30s.

Diminishing hormonal levels result in changes that can seriously affect physical and mental health.

Resulting symptoms: difficulty in sexual arousal, weight gain, osteoporosis, cognitive concerns, fatigue, depression, emotional upheavals, irritability, anxiety, lack of skin elasticity, aches, pains and stiffness.

Maintains ability to produce sperm.
 

For example, both genders experience menopause. Male menopause (called andropause) is subtler than its female counterpart. Sparked by a decline in androgens (male sex hormones), male menopause typically begins in the 40s.

Female menopause (due to a dynamic drop in estrogen and testosterone levels) as defined by the cessation on menstruation and occurs at a definitive point in time, but other symptoms may begin much earlier. In males, andropause moves stealthily over a period of 20 years.

Nonetheless, both genders battle the same symptoms mentioned earlier. However, in the male aging process, there are compound challenges. Testosterone output decreases approximately 1%-3% per year, starting at age 30.

Men also begin to form more estrogen, which stores in fat. A typical 50-year-old male at normal weight has more estrogen than his female, postmenopausal counterpart. These higher estrogen levels ultimately compete with testosterone for the same receptors.

In addition, an increase in sex hormone-binding globulins (SHBG) takes up even more of the free testosterone. This loss of testosterone contributes to a middle-aged man’s “pot belly” and reduced muscle tone.

The differences between the sexes are quantitative, not qualitative. Both genders any need additional hormones to get their bodies back in balance, if testing reveals diminished levels.