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Male Menopause - Myth or Reality?

Male menopause

It’s a popular discussion point! Husbands and partners frequently look for sympathy because of “the male menopause” that they are allegedly going through.

Now correct us if you think we’re wrong but, as far as we are aware men don’t ovulate or menstruate and, generally speaking, seem to be able to father children to a ripe old age. You’ve only got to think about the likes of John Humphreys or John Simpson who fathered children when in their 60’s, Rupert Murdoch or Des O’Connor in their 70’s and Julio Iglesias Snr at 89 to realise that men seem to keep going a lot longer than you’d want to believe possible.

Andropause not Menopause

We decided to do a bit of research into the subject. The first thing is, of course, that men really can’t have a Menopause because, by definition, it’s to do with ceasing to ovulate. Apparently the correct term is the Andropause and it relates to a gradual reduction in the levels of Androgens in the male body – which effectively seems to mean a reduction in Testosterone levels.

The fact that these changes take place very gradually and don’t have a clear beginning and end in the same way as the female menopause makes it rather difficult to spot the moment when a man can truly say he’s “Andropausal”. It’s hard to imagine its an expression often heard in discussions in the public bar of the “Dog and Trumpet”.

In addition this all occurs at about the time when men are traditionally going through that critical moment in their lives when their hair starts to fall out big time, they can’t fit in tight jeans anymore and young women in the street start to refer to them as “Dad”. So its quite difficult to tell what’s Andropause and what’s just the inevitable recognition of the aging process.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

The symptoms of low testosterone would strike a cord with anyone going through the menopause. These are:

  • Low sex drive
  • Emotional, psychological and behavioural changes
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Increased upper and central body fat
  • Osteoporosis or weak bones and back pain
  • Cardiovascular risk

  • So perhaps we should have some sympathy for our male partners and friends when they try to tell us that it’s just as bad for them. But not too much!

    Is The Menopause To Blame?

    The other lesson to take from this is that it’s all too easy to put all the aches and pains and ailments women get at this time of life down to the Menopause. It’s important to recognise that some of it is just the normal wear and tear on our bodies and reflects our stage in life. These things are just as real as the menopause but happen to men and women alike.

    So whether it is the Andropause, or just collateral damage he’s suffering from – show some sympathy!