Andropause (or Male Menopause) is a multi-dimensional change of life with hormonal, physical, psychological, interpersonal, social, sexual, and spiritual aspects. Male Menopause occurs in all men, usually between the ages of 40 and 55, though it can occur as early as 35 or as late as 65. It represents the end of the first part of a mans life, and prepares him for the second half. Like adolescence it is the transitional phase between childhood and adulthood, Andropause is the passage between first adulthood and second adulthood.
The term male menopause is misleading. Men dont have menstrual periods and so they dont stop having them. Unlike women, men can continue to have children late into their lives. But in terms of other life changes, women and men experience have similar experiences.
The notion of Male Menopause is not new. Heller and Myers (1944) identified symptoms of what they labeled the male climacteric including loss of libido and potency, nervousness, depression, impaired memory, the inability to concentrate, fatigue, insomnia, hot flushes, and sweating. Heller and Myers observed that their subjects had below normal levels of testosterone and that symptoms improved dramatically when subjects were given replacement doses of testosterone.
The concept is more widely accepted in England, Australia, and Europe than in the United States. There are many who believe that since men can continue to reproduce into old age, they dont experience Male Menopause. Others feel that Male Menopause is real, but is synonymous with hypogonadism (low testosterone levels).
A ten-question survey was developed by Dr. John Morely (2000) that screens for Male Menopause. Survey questions such as:
1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
2.Do you experience fatigue?
3. Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?
4. Have you lost height?
5. Do you feel as if you enjoy life less?
6. Are you sad and/or grumpy?
7. Are your erections less strong?
8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
9. Do you fall asleep right after dinner?
10. Is your work performance suffering?
If a man answers yes to any three questions and/or yes to questions 1 or 7, Dr. Morely believes that there is an indication that he is going through Male Menopause and may need to have testosterone levels checked.
A significant problems for men going through Male Menopause is depression, yet it is greatly under-diagnosed. Failure to diagnose depression can prove to be deadly. The rate of suicide for men forty-five to sixty-four is three times higher than the rate for women of the same age. The rate for men over sixty-five is seven times higher.
Ive identified several intervention strategies that have been effective. Some of these include:
Hormone replacement therapy,
Stress reduction, exercise, dietary changes,
Chinese medicine, herbal treatments, acupuncture,
spiritual support, and career refocusing,
Chemical dependency treatment, sexual compulsivity treatment,
Treatment for depression.
Finding and engaging ones calling in the second half of life.
For the last 40 plus years Ive been dedicated to helping men and the women who love them. Ive written a book on Male Menopause which provides an extensive analysis and solutions. For more information go to http://SurvivingMaleMenopause.com