Male hypogonadism or Andropause

Decrease in testosterone level is common as men get older. This can result in symptoms of male andropause and affect physical functioning and the quality of life. Sometimes, younger men also experience andropause-like symptoms and this can significant impact on their health-beings in the long-term.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

  • Low libido and sex drive
  • Difficulty achieving and/or maintaining erection
  • Emotional, psychological and behavioural changes
  • Decreased muscle mass and loss of muscle strength
  • Increased upper and central body fat

Very good responses to testosterone have been reported for men with low testosterone in various clinical studies and they include:

  • Improvement in mood and sense of well-being
  • Increased mental alertness and physical energy
  • Decreased anger, irritability, sadness, tiredness, nervousness
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Improved libido and sexual performance
  • A decline in biochemical markers of bone degradation and an increase in bone density
  • An increase in lean body mass, a decline in fat mass
  • An increase in muscle strength (hand grip, upper and lower extremities).
  • Potentially, a decrease in the risk of heart disease
  • With testosterone therapy, one's attitude improves, reinforcing self-esteem and self-confidence in success at work, and increased energy at home and in social activities.
  • Most men will feel more vigorous, experience improvement in energy levels, mood, concentration, cognition, libido, sexual performance and overall sense of well-being.
  • This effect is usually noted in 3 to 6 weeks. Other potential benefits include maintenance or improvement in bone density, improved body composition, muscle mass and muscle strength, as well as improvement in visual-spatial skills.

If you do experience the above problems, testosterone replacement therapy could be what you need. However it is important for you to discuss this with your doctor so that you are screened for other serious medical conditions. It is also important that the doctor make sure you do not have any contra-indication to receiving testosterone replacement therapy such as prostate or breast cancer, enlarged prostate and obstructive apnea.

There are various forms and routes of testosterone replacement therapy in the market. You should have a frank and open discussion with your doctor about the options, safety profile, preference and ease of therapy administration. In Australia, there is a strict criteria to be eligible for testosterone replacement therapy. It is likely that testosterone replacement therapy will be life-long and therefore it is imperative that you understand the benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy.

Meet Professor Chung

Associate Professor Chung is a urological surgeon specialising in andrology, microsurgical, and urological prosthetic surgery.