Male Menopause

If you've heard the phrase male menopause, you may be assuming that this is a life stage, which occurs in males, that is similar to the female menopause; unfortunately, this phrase is misleading and it is not linked in any way to the physiological changes that occur when a woman's menstrual cycle comes to an end.

The male menopause is phrase generally used to describe a set of symptoms, which tend to affect men in their middle age; it is used predominantly in the media, rather than by medical experts. Common symptoms, which may be associated with the 'male menopause' include:

  • sweating and night sweats
  • reduced libido
  • erectile dysfunction
  • changes in body shape and redistribution of body fat (growth of 'man boobs' and a 'beer belly', for example)
  • loss of concentration and difficulties with memory loss
  • reduced muscle mass
  • anxiety and mood swings
  • increased risk of depression
  • lack of energy and motivation

It is important to highlight that there is no sudden hormonal change, which occurs in men in their 40's and 50's; although testosterone levels decline as you age, the fall is gradual and most men don't experience any symptoms as a result. Research suggests that between 30 and 40 years old, the levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone, fall by less than 2 per cent per year.

Many of the symptoms associated with the 'male menopause' arise from lifestyle factors, such as smoking, drinking more than the recommended daily intake of alcohol, living a sedentary lifestyle and psychological factors, such as anxiety and stress, which may be linked to pressures at home or work, financial issues and relationship worries.

In some cases, where psychological and lifestyle factors are not to blame, it may be necessary to check for underlying health issues; one problem, which may be associated with symptoms linked to male menopause is hypogonadism, which occurs when hormones are not produced by the testes; this may be linked to type 2 diabetes or obesity in older men.


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