The Male Menopause
Everyone knows about a woman’s menopause that she goes through in middle age. After a lifetime of periods and fertility, the body’s reproductive hormones shift down a notch when the number of eggs available reaches zero. This makes the woman’s reproductive system and indeed whole body and mind go through a number of well known changes.
While the menopause happens to every woman without fail, the male menopause is a controversial topic with an undecided incidence. Proponents of the disorder say that it can occur in a high percentage of men as they get older, up to 30% or more. Critics say that the disease is much less common and found in only 2% of men/.
So why is there such a discrepancy between researchers? There are a couple of factors that need to be looked at before making a decision. First there is the definition of the male menopause. This is not a concrete medical fact that can be referenced, it is a syndrome or collection of symptoms that the medical community have put together. Even with a clear definition, we then have to decide how to accurately test for the disorder. How many things need to be measured?
Finally we need to look at treatment, and if we are actually treating the signs a patient brings to us or the numbers in their blood test results. If a man happens to have low testosterone on a blood test, is that enough to warrant prescription of testosterone replacement therapy? Probably not, as you will not be improving the patient’s life in any way, simply improving the numbers on a printout and introducing the risk of side effects. These side effects are pretty major and should not be ignored, like self induced infertility than can occur from too many exogenous hormones.
What Are The Signs of Male Menopause?
- Hot flushes.
- Agitation and poor mood.
- Fat accumulation around the central abdomen and chest.
- Decreased muscle mass, which turns into fat
- Thinner skin.
- Inappropriate sweating, known as Hyperhidrosis
- Reduced ability to concentrate.
- Decreased energy.
How Long Will I Experience Symptoms?
While for women they may experience changes in as little as 5-10 years the changes with men can last up to 15! The female experience is a result of lots of spikes in hormones which dies down after a few years of unrest. With men however there is only one change - a drop in testosterone. This is why the male version is sometimes called andropause - as in androgen p pause. The drop in testosterone happens gradually over many years, eventually the levels are so small that symptoms start to develop. This is why it is an important area to study, reducing the morbidity level would have a significant impact over that time period.
How Do I Combat Menopause Symptoms?
Increase testosterone levels. There is only one medical way to achieve this - testosterone replacement therapy. Natural options include living a more active and healthy lifestyle overall.
Increase vascular health of the penis. Stopping smoking and reducing your fat intake will minimize the build up of atherosclerosis in your blood vessels. This in turn allows for a greater flow of blood to your penis, resulting in bigger and harder erections.
Stress reducing techniques. Any sort of anxiety can worsen erectile problems. Sort your mental health out first and you will have less problems in the bedroom. Meditating at home is a free and easy way to get started. There are a few apps out there for iOs and android so you should be able to find one that suits your needs. If you want professional help counselling or cognitive behavioral therapy are great ways to combat anxiety and stress.
More sleep. Poor sleep drives down your energy levels and damage your performance in bed alongside increasing the risk of depression. Sleep is integral to every human no matter what their age so don’t neglect it.
Take a confidence class. Not everyone is born with the gift of social grace and ease. If you think you tend to sit in the corner instead of mingling with the crowd having menopause symptoms will only make things worse. Taking classes or seeking therapy for your issues could pay dividends in the long run.
Boost your sex drive. Again this is where your general physical health and mental well being comes into play. Being happier with yourself will naturally improve your sex drive and desire. If you have a partner it is definitely a good idea to discuss this with them. By being open and honest you are likely to see improvements sooner rather than later.