The andropause, a disorder similar to female menopause but in this case affects men, which causes symptoms such as increased body fat, decreased body hair or less sexual desire, and can also cause erectile dysfunction, not only is it due to the decline in testosterone -The main male hormone-, but it could also be associated with a decrease in estrogen.
That at least is what emerges from a recent study conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), whose results have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, which has revealed that the lack of sexual desire associated with age experienced by males, what in medical terms is known as hypogonadism, does not depend solely on the shortage of testosterone.
A team of scientists, led by Joel Finkelstein, decided to carry out an investigation to verify from what levels of testosterone began to manifest themselves. symptoms of andropause, and if the deficit of this hormone was the main cause of the disorder, or there were other factors, such as estrogen, involved in its appearance.
The authors of the study, which involved 198 healthy men between 20 and 50 years, explain that although currently to diagnose andropause a blood test is used in which only the level of testosterone is taken into account, a small amount of This hormone is converted into estrogen, so the higher the amount of testosterone, the higher is also the level of estrogen in the body of males, and vice versa, the decrease in testosterone also reduces the amount of estrogen.
To carry out the investigation, the volunteers were divided into two groups, and one of them was administered an aromatase inhibitor so that testosterone was not reconverted into estrogen. Previously all had been treated with a drug that prevents the normal production of all reproductive hormones, and with a testosterone gel that is used as a replacement therapy for this hormone in patients diagnosed with andropause.
The study revealed that by suppressing estrogen synthesis, men's sexual desire significantly resented
The researchers observed that in the first group the accumulation of fat appeared as testosterone levels began to fall, the mass and muscle strength decreased when the amount of the hormone was already very low, sexual desire decreased progressively, and erectile dysfunction only occurred if the levels were very low.
In the second group, the results were similar with the exception of sexual function, since by suppressing the synthesis of estrogen, sexual desire suffered significantly. Therefore, and according to the authors of this research, if their results are confirmed, it would be convenient to diagnose the male hypogonadism not only testosterone levels will be analyzed, but also the amount of estrogen.