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Menopause & Andropause

Menopause and andropause refer to life stages in women and men, during which sex hormones begin to decline. This results in physiological, emotional, psychological, and physical changes and can require medical and/or psychological support.

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What Are Menopause & Andropause

The word “Menopause” comes from Greek and refers to “month” or “menses” (menstruation) and “pause” meaning “stoppage” or “cessation”. “Andro” also comes from Greek and means “male” or “man”. Both refer to a natural biological process, however there are some differences between the menopause and the andropause, or what is known as the ‘male menopause’. For women, the menopause marks the end of menstruation and fertility, whereby the ovaries stop producing eggs and oestrogen, and progesterone.

 

Although men do not experience an end to reproductive function, they do experience a gradual decline in testosterone levels (the primary male sex hormone). Both tend to occur between the ages of 45 and 55, although for some it might happen earlier or later. Due to the hormonal changes, the ‘pauses’ can impact sex-drive, and physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing.

 

 

 

What Are The Symptoms?

Andropause

  • A decrease in energy levels, fatigue, and loss of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory problems
  • Increase in body fat and loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Erectile dysfunction and/or decreased sex drive
  • Breast enlargement (not as common)
  • Irritability, mood swings, and changes in emotional well-being
  • Changes in sleep patterns, including increased sleep disturbances and/or insomnia
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis and decrease in bone density
  • Changes in hair growth (for example, thinning or loss of facial and body hair)
  • Hot flashes, and/or night sweats (more common in women)

Menopause

  • Irregular periods, eventually becoming a complete cessation of menstruation
  • Fatigue and a decrease in energy levels
  • Changes in sleep patterns, including increased sleep disturbances and/or insomnia
  • Changes in libido (sex drive)
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Hot flashes, and/or night sweats characterized by sudden intense warmth, flushing, and sweating
  • Irritability, mood swings, and changes in emotional well-being
  • Changes in hair and skin (for example, dryness, thinning, and loss of elasticity)
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis and decrease in bone density

The Causes

Menopause and andropause are natural physiological changes that occur in humans as a part of the aging process. The main cause is hormonal changes, other factors can however play a role in the onset (timing) and severity of symptoms.

Menopause is caused by a gradual decrease in the production of the two main female sex hormones; oestrogen and progesterone, which are produced by the ovaries. Over time, the ovaries produce fewer hormones which leads to irregular periods and eventually, the end of menstruation, marking the end of the reproductive years for women.

Andropause is caused by the gradual decline in testosterone levels in men. Men experience a more gradual decrease in hormones when compared with women. Testosterone is produced by the testes and is the primary male sex hormone. It plays a crucial role in maintaining male reproductive and sexual function, as well as overall physical and mental well-being.

How Phinity Can Help

Psychotherapy at Phinity can help individuals manage the symptoms of menopause or andropause in several ways. The first stage would be to conduct a thorough psychological assessment which is important because how psychotherapy can help during menopause or andropause will vary depending on individual preferences, symptoms, and circumstances, so in this way, we would work with you collaboratively to tailor treatment to your unique goals and needs.

We offer an emotionally supportive space as the experience of menopause and andropause can bring about emotional challenges due to hormonal changes. Together, we can support you to learn strategies to help manage mood changes, for example, irritability, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and changes in sexual function. Psychotherapy offers empathy and enables the expression, validation, and processing of these emotions.

Menopause and andropause can also result in physical symptoms, like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and changes in energy levels. Through psychotherapy at Phinity, you can learn to develop coping strategies that will help you to manage these difficulties and adjust to the changes in your body.

Lifestyle adjustments: Menopause and andropause can mean a need to make changes to your lifestyle to adjust and cope, for example, to manage symptoms that relate to changes in sexual function. We can help you to develop adaptive strategies that help you cope and manage these changes and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Therapy can help you to prioritise your self-care and well-being during this time of transition. For example, you might identify needs that relate to coping skills, boundary setting, improving self-care routines, and practicing self-compassion.

Relationship and intimacy concerns can arise during menopause and andropause. We will offer you a safe space in which you can discuss and explore any concerns or challenges with your relationship(s) so that you can learn to better navigate the changes in yourself, and your relationship(s).

The CausesHow Phinity Can Help

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