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Dr. Kathy Maupin

Medical Director of BioBalance Health and Author of The Secret Female Hormone

Female Andropause

Female andropause is rarely discussed but is so important to what is wrong with you! Andropause occurs years before menopause and it steals your youthful figure, ability to think, energy, self esteem, beauty, sex drive, and most importantly your health!

 Andropause is the loss of Testosterone that reaches a critical level between 38 and 50 in most women. You have a critical level, and we don’t know what it is until you experience it….it is unique to you! This is what makes it hard to measure scientifically..it is most easily diagnosed through your symptoms, age and then confirmed by blood levels. Because until recently women were not thought by the medical mainstream to have a libido, it was not even addressed as a problem.

Andropause is real in women and men! If you are thinking, ”I am not menopausal yet, but there is something really wrong with me!” It may be andropause.

Testosterone gives us so many wonderful things when we are young, and actually works on our brain to make us who we are: I provides our happy mood, our self-esteem, motivation to work and play, and of course our Libido! Physically Testosterone gives us muscle mass, a healthy immune system, young looking skin tone, orgasms, and many other attributes we associate with youth.

  1. Comments
  2. |
    Aug 7, 2009
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    I am 52 yrs old, mother of five. I have been diagnosed with both menopause and andropause by symptoms and hormone blood levels. I am also an RN who likes googling. Treatment began last fall with dot and titrated to 0.075 mg patch. I am symptom free of most menopausal complaints! Recently, I began treatment for andropause with 2.5mg twice/day testosterone for a blood level of 0.1! My doctor wisely waited until the estadiol level was under control to start testosterone. I have been on the bioidentical testosterone now for nearly a week. I am wondering when I should see improvement. I have been fatigued for a long time and lacked libido and strength. Does this seem like a very low dose? Will I gain weight on this? What other side effects should I be aware of with low dose testosterone. My doctor thinks none because it is such a low dose. He said something about waiting 3 mos before increasing the dose, but I think maybe it could be increased after a month or so. So far, I feel no different. Hormone levels take more than a week to rise I’m sure! Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my comments.

  3. |
    Aug 11, 2009
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    Many of the questions you have are issues my patients bring to me when they come from other doctors dispensing Bio-identical hormones. I can offer you general advice, but since we have not met and I have not gotten a complete history I hope you can see why my advice must be general in nature.

    First, all estradiol and testosterone preparations are not equal! The DELIVERY METHOD is critical to how well you absorb it, and the side effects that are possible with each method.

    The least effective route of delivery for both Testosterone and Estradiol is the transdermal method using creams or gel that you apply once or twice a day. The fact is that most women don’t absorb well through the skin,unless it is a patch, or their absorption is
    variable depending on temperature and humdity.

    The next least effective delivery system for Testosterone is sublingual or buccal, where you absorb Testosterone through the inside of your mouth. This method is excellent for Estreadiol, or Progesterone, but the Testosterone sublingual tablet rarely is absorbed at all!

    The Vaginal route is generally adequate, but the side effects of Testosterone causing facial hair and the danger of extremely high levels, is high. Many women are not happy with this delivery system for Testosterone.

    The most effective delivery system, which I emoploy in 95% of my patients, is the subcutaneous (under the skin) pellet method which delivers evenly both Testosterone and Estradiol over a 4 month cycle. This delivery route is the most like how your body regulated your hormones from your ovary before andropause. There are very few side effects and my patients regain their “old selves” within 4 weeks….in the other methods of Testosterone delivery you should be feeling great within a month.

    As for the levels we find to be effective in post menopausal women, we find that our patients feel best when their free Testosterone is greater than 30 pgs. The level of Total Testosterone can be in the hundreds, but the Free Testosterone is the only number that corrolates to how my patients feel.

    I hope this helps you decide on the type of Testosterone you should use and when to change methods.

  4. |
    Sep 2, 2009
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    I’ve never heard menopause called andropause to be honest. But a website that helped me research treatments for unbalanced hormones is,

    http://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-women/menopause-and-her-ugly-sisters

  5. |
    Sep 12, 2009
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    I am a 31 year old women that has been having a variety of hormonal issues for years, including irregular cycles, small ovarian cysts (one burst in college), infertility problems (1st pregnacy with Clomid and second with Glocofuguse- because incorrectly diagonsed with PCOS). I finally confince my doctor to check my hormone levels and they found that my estrogen and testerone levels were very low. I have had some say that my thyroid levels were on the low side while others say it is just fine.

    When I visited a Endocrinologist after the low homonal levels- she proceeded to give me a lecture on a newly found low blood sugar- which only started after taking the metformin- and gave me a 20 min. lecture on how I was going to be developing diabetes!

    My energy level is very low and I am at my wits end with doctors. I am looking for someone who has knowledge about how all of these hormones work together. I just want to feel good after 4 years of feeling bad.

    Thank you for your time.

  6. |
    Mar 24, 2010
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    Sherry, I started 4 mg twice a day transdermal testosterone replacement therapy in November, and I’m VERY happy with it. It took me about 10 days before I felt a difference. I suddenly started having sexual dreams, which I hadn’t had in years, and my libido returned somewhat. I regained some energy and stopped being exhausted all the time, and my mood improved some. The best benefit is how my body started to respond to sexual activity again. For 7 years, I was incapable of lubrication or excitement, but now both are back. I was on the verge of a divorce because my husband felt so unwanted, and this has literally saved my marriage! I am glad you found a doctor who is willing to try replacement therapy… I am pre-menopausal so it took me 6 years and 5 docs to find someone who was educated enough in female sexual dysfunction to take me seriously! And you shouldn’t gain weight from the testosterone. My weight has stayed the same, but I’ve gained muscle mass, so I’m actually a size smaller!

    • |
      Mar 25, 2010
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      Dear Diana,

      I don’t have the details in your history that I should,to offer an opinion, but generally testosterone does not cause isomnia, but treat it! If you know your testosterone level, then you probably had an endocrine work up, so I will assume you have ruled out Cushings, which is an adrenal disease. If you have been cleared by an endocrinologist then a sleep study would probably help you resolve this issue.

      Dr. Maupin

  7. |
    Aug 22, 2013
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    Shocking as it may be to some men, male menopause, or andropause, is becoming more widely recognized and accepted by physicians for the changes many middle-aged men experience — from energy loss to depression to loss of libido to sexual dysfunction. And some clinicians are recommending that certain men experiencing these symptoms, along with a host of others such as decreased bone density and weight gain, seek hormone replacement therapy and other treatments.

 
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