What is “andropause”, male menopause?

Initially, there are night sweats. Then some depression, complete loss of libido and erectile problems. Like Remy Berkel, many men after the age of 60 face a phenomenon called “andropause,” a common but little-known phenomenon.

“At 55, I started having hot flashes at night. My wife, who was going through menopause, was experiencing exactly the same thing.”This director says, is now 62 years old.

When he experienced fatigue, depression and above all a complete absence of sexual desire, anxiety grew. “But like a lot of men, it was the fact that he was no longer able to get hard that made me realize there was a problem.”.

He then carried out research, looked up the term “andropause” and consulted his GP who prescribed the pills, so “Start over like 40”.

Moved by this event, Rémy Berkelle began making a documentary (“Andropause, la grande debande?”, soon on France TV). He finds that many men affected by similar symptoms choose to keep quiet about them. “I felt kind of embarrassed”He told AFP.

“We usually talk about andropause to draw a parallel with menopause but it’s not the same clinical picture”Andrologist, Dr Pierre Desvaux, Director of Sexology Teaching at the Paris Center Faculty.

“getting old”

If menopause is characteristic, in women around age 50, men experience a gradual decline in testosterone, stopping the production of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone). But even when reduced, reproductive functions remain.

“Instead of andropause, it is more accurate to talk about age-related decline in androgens (Dala) or testosterone deficiency”Dr Desvaux underlines. “It is believed that after the age of 60, about 20% of men lack testosterone but production never stops completely until chemical castration occurs in the context of prostate cancer.”It continues.

Not all men suffer from it. The clinical manifestations of this variable decrease in hormones are usually grouped under the expression of the famous “aging”: “We feel more tired, we have less brioche, less libido, less frank ejaculation…”Lists the doctor.

Daniel Gouliard, a 68-year-old retiree in Drôme Provence, sees it as one “The Adventure of a Lifetime”. “It took me a while to realize this phenomenon. A decline in sexual appetite can be attributed to the aging of both the man and the couple.”It analyzes.


But one thing is certain: the topic remains “taboo”. “When I say the name andropause, people look at me strangely,” she smiles. “The men I talk to about it react with dirty jokes,” also notes 75-year-old Valentin Huser, who “took a long time to accept what was happening.”.

“When I found a relationship again, at around 60-65 years of age, after a hermit life, I realized that the enthusiasm that my youth had given me was no longer manifesting”, he says. So he shares “something else” With his last partner: tenderness, humor…

To reduce symptoms, solutions exist. To diagnose age-related testosterone deficiency, the doctor, after questioning the patient and conducting a clinical examination, can prescribe a replacement dose of this hormone. It can combine medications to treat erectile dysfunction.

“Care should be global, if things don’t go well in the head, they won’t go well in the body”warns Paris andrologist Marc Galliano, who campaigns for the education of boys in sexual health from a very young age.

“Since the twenties, testosterone levels naturally decline every year, 40% of men over 40 have erectile difficulties… a man who knows how it works will look after himself”It assures.

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