Yes, the male menopause is not a myth. It is very much real and your husband may be suffering from it. If you are a man looking for some help, here are some tips to help you deal with it.
It’s not just the women who go through menopause. Men do too. However, there is a catch here. The male menopause or andropause has not been ‘well-defined’ by doctors. But, patients have shown symptoms as well as response to treatments. Well, ever heard of the midlife crisis that most men go through in their late thirties to their forties? They deal with the male menopause soon after. Ever since we are born till we die, the hormonal composition in our body keeps changing. In old age, the sex hormones understandably deplete. These hormones control the physical and sexual changes in your body as you pass through stages of puberty, adulthood and old age. These are estrogen and progesterone in females and testosterone in males.
Menopause marks the decline in their levels in human body. In women, menopause occurs with noticeable changes that end their menstrual cycle. However, in men, these changes are perceived as signs of old age. This is, however, true because sex hormones are the highest during youth and naturally decline towards old age, thus, affecting sexual health. Did you know? At 60 to 70 years of age, the testosterone levels in your body are about half of what you had when you were 25 years old.
Dealing with Male Menopause
Man-opause or andropause is the mechanism of the fall in the levels of testosterone, also known as androgen, in a man on the horizon of old age. The body produces lesser and lesser quantities of this hormone, which mainly helps provide the masculine pitch to the voice during puberty, extra growth of hair on face and body as well as the development of the male reproductive system. The symptoms of male menopause are the same as exhibited during old age. Hence, it is not recognized by all doctors as menopause since women cannot reproduce post-menopause but a man as old as 100 years can father a child. As legend has it, Thomas Parr, born in 1483 and the oldest man documented to have lived, fathered a child even after he crossed the 130 years age mark. In fact, in the year 2010, a 94-year old Indian laborer had a boy with his wife. The decline in the production of testosterone in men occurs at a much slower pace as compared to the female menopause. These changes are felt by men in late forties and early fifties. They become prominent by the age of 70.
Symptoms of Andropause
The symptoms are very similar to those experienced by women going through menopause. But, these symptoms reportedly disappeared once testosterone was artificially administered to the male, which does support the existence of the male sexual disorder. The drop in the level of testosterone in the male body leads to the following changes:
If a man is suffering from andropause, he is examined by a doctor to rule out any diseases, because type 2 diabetes and hardening of arteries also trigger the andropause symptoms. A series of blood tests are required to be carried out to ascertain the testosterone level in the body. If the levels are low, a man does not have to worry as there is treatment available. A lot of men have favorably responded to hormonal replacement therapies that were administered to them to increase their testosterone levels. Since 1999, there has been about a 400% rise in the demand for testosterone therapy. But, you must note that these treatments may have some potential side effects on the body. If you are a prostate cancer patient, have undergone treatment for it, or have a tendency of prostate cancer in your family history, it is advised that you do not take such testosterone-increasing therapies as they may instigate or worsen the cancer. Other side effects include prostate enlargement, acne, thinning or loss of hair, sleep apnea and infertility. Other treatments include, making healthy lifestyle changes, adopting a nourishing diet to increase energy levels and a good exercise regime that is appropriate for the man’s age. You may also take psychiatric treatment to cure mood swings or depression. However, it is best to stay away from medications that may further disrupt the chemical changes in the body.
You must also take sufficient sleep as the amount of sleep has been linked to the level of testosterone in the body. Did you know? If you have abdominal fat around your belly, you will suffer from andropause sooner than your slimmer friends or colleagues. This is because fat converts testosterone to estrogen, so you are at the risk of depleted testosterone levels sooner. Just like menopause hits some women at a late stage, you may also delay the onset of menopause in your body by adopting a wholesome lifestyle for a robust body.