Mid-Life Crisis Or What? Does the male menopause exist? Assessing opinions, the field seems to be divided. It certainly doesn’t have such a specific physical component as it does for women, our ‘reproductive organs’ are fully functional throughout the full course of our lives.
We do not suffer from the hormone imbalance that our female friends experience in their monthly cycles. Overall men are much more ‘steady’.
At the time of the menopause, all women experience a profound fall in oestrogen levels. Studies show that testosterone levels in men decline too, however, it seems they don’t fall so much and their decline is much more gradual.
Then the male midlife crisis comes around. Somehow our hormones seem to get the better of us. This occurs for most men around early to mid- 40’s, about the same time we start to notice that we can’t keep up with the younger guys any more and we start to question our performance level. That hidden issue of male performance rears its head.
For many men these feelings trigger a significant behavioural change. Right at a time when – just like it is the case with women – physical changes begin to occur. Some one described male menopause as a stage where changes present itself on a psychological, interpersonal, social, and spiritual plain.
Male Menopause – Man-opause
For men the menopause is sometimes referred to as man-opause. This word relates to the slow reduction of the production of two hormones, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone and the results of that reduction.
Most of us are familiar with testosterone. It provides the drive, the masculine characteristics of the body (hair, musculature etc.). Dehydroepiandrosterone influences a wide range of bodily and emotional functions such as the immune system, our stress response, our memory capability and our moods.
The menopause for men is sometimes called andropause, because around that same time the androgens, a class of hormones responsible for masculinising effects in the human body – also decreases.
Male Menopause – What are the symptoms?
- Declining sex drive (libido) – less interest in sex, having sex less frequently and enjoying it less.
- Fatigue, lessening energy – the same physical activity takes longer and requires more effort.
- Poor concentration and/or Forgetfulness, also more difficult to focus.
- Feelings of anger, anxiety, irritability, depression.
- Weight gain together with a loss of muscle mass.
- Sleep difficulties – difficulty in falling asleep, not sleeping well and having a restless time before awakening.
- Mood changes
- Confusion, indecisiveness.
- Declining self-confidence.
In themselves, these symptoms do not prove the existence of the andropause, as they are very common. A doctor’s diagnosis is required.
Male Menopause – Saving the Best for Last?
Probably for the first time in history, men live long enough to experience this decline of male hormones. It is a new field to explore. How would life be without being driven to achieve all the time, or to compete with other men let alone women? Perhaps we are saving the best for last..
Male Menopause – Treatment
If you recognise some of the symptoms mentioned above, go visit your doctor. Only a medical professional can determine the cause of your symptoms. In case of the diagnoses of male menopause, Hormone Replacement Therapy has been found to be effective. What lifestyle changes can a male make to reduce male menopause symptoms and support his health?
It has been proven that introducing important lifestyle changes will improve the symptoms. Things like quitting smoking, reducing your levels of stress, steering clear of excessive alcohol use, exercising on a regular basis and taking care of your diet are known to do wonders for your health.