What you should know about...Andropause (Male Menopause)

Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy

Most everyone is familiar with the term menopause, which refers to the end of a woman's reproductive years. What some people don't know is that men also go through a similar transition, known as andropause or male menopause, during their later years. In both cases, the transition is associated with hormone deficiencies and tends to coincide with other age-related declines. Fortunately, appropriate hormone treatment generally provides symptom relief, and also tends to delay other age-related illnesses or conditions.


 

Definition

Andropause is not considered to be a disease, nor is it the same as the "mid-life crisis" some med exhibit as they age. Most mid-life crises occur 10 to 20 years before andropause and may be indicative of the beginning of the decline, similar to symptoms of pre- or perimenopause in women.


 

The existence of andropause has been debated for years, but has recently gained recognition as a very real physiological state of hormone deficiency. Yet there is still controversy over an exact definition. Some practitioners define andropause as the inability to have a penile erection; others associate it with a marked decline in hormone levels. What most agree on is that andropause is the result of a very gradual, age-related decline in hormones such as testosterone, DHEA, and others. 

Andropause is not considered to be a disease, nor is it the same as the "mid-life crisis" some med exhibit as they age. Most mid-life crises occur 10 to 20 years before andropause and may be indicative of the beginning of the decline, similar to symptoms of pre- or perimenopause in women.


 

The existence of andropause has been debated for years, but has recently gained recognition as a very real physiological state of hormone deficiency. Yet there is still controversy over an exact definition. Some practitioners define andropause as the inability to have a penile erection; others associate it with a marked decline in hormone levels. What most agree on is that andropause is the result of a very gradual, age-related decline in hormones such as testosterone, DHEA, and others. 


 

Book Review:
My Journey to a Better Bladder by Teri Larison

 

Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy


Given that our Connections newsletters are
intended to help readers on a path to better health, we were ecstatic to learn that our newsletter titled A Quiet Epidemic of Bladder Troublesalong with an e-newsletter titled A Sense of Urgency, had been instrumental in Teri Larison's research and subsequent publication of her e-book, My Journey to a Better Bladder.

Too often, when browsing the Health section in a bookstore or doing an internet search, you find coping strategies rather than real solutions. Teri's book illustrates the power of the D-I-Y (do-it-yourself) options.

When Teri began to have bladder trouble, she engaged her OB/GYN and urologists, who treated her urgency or irritable bladder with antibiotics and drugs designed to dampen the nervous system irritability, but to no avail. Even Kegel exercises, which she thought would help the situation, were impossible for her to do.

Finally, the diagnosis from a cystoscopy indicated that Teri had a bladder prolapse, which prompted her to learn more about it. She was offered two choices: physical therapy, with little hope of healing; or surgery, which included adding meshes to hold the bladder in place. Although surgery was enthusiastically endorsed by her physician, an internet search alerted her to the possibility of outcomes that were less than ideal.

Testosterone: A Possible Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome (DES)

Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD - Women's International Pharmacy

Pharmacist Corner

An estimated 4- to 6-million older Americans suffer from mild to severe dry eyes. DES has a wide variety of causes. This condition, while not life threatening, can be quite uncomfortable and distressing. (For more information about dry eyes, see http://tinyurl.com/nuofj74.)

David Sullivan, a medical research scientist with the Schepens Eye Research Institute (a Harvard Medical School Affiliate), has spent the last 32 years studying the interrelationships between sex, sex steroids and dry eye disease. His work has focused on the essential role that androgens play in the health and vital functioning of tear-producing glands.  

 

Dr. Sullivan's research suggests that testosterone deficiency contributes to tear instability and evaporation of the oil component of the tear layer. He supports the use of testosterone in the treatment of DES.  


C.G. Connor studied the use of testosterone cream in DES.  He found that testosterone cream, when applied to the eyelids, provided both symptom relief and an increase in overall tear production. 

 

 

References

Robin Karr, "Hysterectomy, Hormones and Dry Eyes." 
Hormones Matter, Oct 9, 2014. http://www.hormonesmatter.com/hysterectomy-hormones-dry-eyes/


C.G. Connor, "Symptomatic Relief of Dry Eye Assessed With the OSDI in Patients Using 5% Testosterone Cream." Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Vol. 46 (2005). E-Abstract 2032.


C.G. Connor, "Retrospective Analysis of Dry Eye Patients Using 3% Transdermal Testosterone Cream." Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Vol. 45(2004). E-Abstract 3899.


 

 
Sincerely,

 

Women's International Pharmacy

 www.womensinternational.com 

___________________________________________________________

 

In This Issue
What you should know about Andropause
Book Review: My Journey to a Better Bladder
Testosterone: A Possible Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome

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