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Am J Ther. 2006 Mar-Apr;13(2):145-60.

Management of the cardinal features of andropause.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO 63104, USA.


There are several problems facing aging men, especially sexual dysfunction, hypogonadism, and psychologic changes. This constellation of changes is sometimes referred to as "manopause" or "andropause." Unlike the dramatic changes in the hormonal milieu occurring during menopause in women, the age-related changes in reproductive hormones of men are subtle and occur gradually throughout the years of mature life. It has been estimated that circulating testosterone (T) declines longitudinally from age 19 at an average rate of 1% per year. The free or dialyzable fraction of serum T and the bioavailable (the sum of free fraction and loosely bound to albumin fraction) T decline more rapidly with age. Although the essential role of androgens in reproductive tissue development and emergence of secondary sex characteristics is well known, their role in adult sexual function seems to be primarily facultative. The effect of T on the central nervous system extends beyond sexual behavior. T has been shown to alter mood, memory, ability to concentrate, and the overall sense of vigor and well being that may interact with a host of other psychologic changes associated with aging. Disordered erectile function is not generally an endocrine problem but rather vascular, neurologic, and psychogenic in origin. It also may be the first sign of systemic vascular disease. The clinical management of andropause requires an individualized approach. In some men, the main problem may be psychologic, whereas in others, hypogonadism may play an important role. Many with erectile failure, suffer silently regardless of its etiology. In this review, we suggest some practical guidelines for the management of these conditions.

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