The answer to the question does the male menopause really exist will vary depending on who’s being asked. Ask a scientist and you’ll get one answer while a middle-aged man and his partner might have an entirely different reply!
Most people are familiar with the female menopause but may not be so aware that many symptoms can be experienced by both men and women during that midlife period. Things like fatigue, low libido and mood swings as well as night sweats and feeling demotivated and depressed can be felt by both men and women. In women it is a drop in oestrogen levels that causes the problem while in men, testosterone is the culprit in a different way.
In the past what men experienced in that middle period of life may have been referred to as a midlife crisis. We’re all familiar with the joke about the middle-aged man buying a Ferrari and becoming a lycra clad biker, but the joking stops when men are faced with feeling hopeless, suffering impotency and even developing man boobs.
To look at male menopause in the same ways female menopause is actually not the correct way to view what is often called ‘andropause’ in men. That is because, unlike women who are responding to a drop in hormone levels men’s problems can be psychological or lifestyle factors. That is because the drop in testosterone levels is very gradual when it begins at age 30 to 40 and in fact declines at the rate of only about 2% yearly which is not a level that should cause any significant problems
If a man is investigated it may be found to be deficient in testosterone, known in medical terms as late onset hypogonadism which may be the cause of the menopause-type symptoms that can be experienced.
When a man is suffering from male menopause there are things he can do to help himself. Testosterone replacement therapy is a great place to start, but equally important will be attention to lifestyle and diet. As men get to their 40s and 50s the ability of their body to bounce back from all-nighters and boozy weekends. lessens. Often weight gain and burnout can be the result. As testosterone is produced at night, during deep sleep. getting enough rest is also extremely important and without it the symptoms of male menopause can soon take their toll. a man suffering from low testosterone levels, may find himself unable to perform in the bedroom which in turn will lead to him becoming anxious and depressed. This in turn will lead to him not sleeping very well and worrying even more. It can be an extremely destructive vicious cycle.
Addressing lifestyle issues and any weight gain is obviously the first step, along with testosterone replacement therapy, but keeping communication lines open between you and your partner is also extremely important so that no misunderstandings come between you.
Midlife can be a tricky time for men and for women, especially when men realise that they don’t have the stamina or the physical prowess that they once had and are going to have to take things a little bit more slowly. Cutting back on the booze and stopping smoking, not putting yourself under any undue stress or anxiety and getting plenty of rest will, along with your testosterone therapy, help get you back to feeling like you again.
The answer to the question does male menopause exist, is in our opinion, very definitely! We have seen the improvement that testosterone replacement has had on men who had felt very low and despondent. The time has gone when men suffered in silence, because just like women men now demand answers and solutions to the problems they face!