Manopause - The effects of the male menopause.
The Menopause in men and women.
Night sweats, mood swings, and depression are just some of the events that take hold when women reach "that certain age" when the menopause strikes. It seems that womens bodies' are prepared from an early age to cope with child-bearing in adolescent years and then forty years or so later, it is stripped from them. What about when middle age hits the average guy? Some men don't get off Scot-free. This hub is about the men in our lives, and the changes that they go through. I call it "The Manopause."
The Manopause (or andropause)
Men and women are different in very obvious ways. Menstruation for women occurs in their teenage years, although my partner does suffer from P.M.S. for two months of the year. Basically this has nothing to do with the manopause and instead is Pre-Match Stress during the summer when the football season stops! The Manopause doesn't have quite the same effect as Menopause has on a women. Men don't have to worry about their monthly periods stopping, whether or not to take HRT, or that mother nature is telling them that their child-bearing years are coming to an end.
Men have completely different worries which are still very important and worrying. They may start to lose their hair, may lose their sex drive and may feel anxious or depressed. It is common for a man to go through a "change of life" crisis between the ages of 50 and 60. Manopause affects men in various ways. They too go through changes both emotionally and physically. Testosterone levels fall - a recent report from the British Medical Association stated that around 1% of testosterone decreases annually from around the age of 40 years old. Although doctors do not recognise "manopause" as a medical condition, there is another condition known as andropause.
The difference between Manopause and Andropause
Basically, Manopause is the term given to a man who reaches middle age. These are some symptoms of manopause which are very common in most men:
- tends to put weight on much more easily.
- grey or thinning hair.
- may go through feelings of insecurity.
- may lose sex drive.
In other words, manopause is a normal process of growing older. As I mentioned previously, testosterone levels decrease at a rate of 1% per year from the age of around 40 which is common, however, if the testosterone decreases at a higher percentage, the effects of the menopause in males becomes known as Andropause.
What is Andropause?
Andropause is a medical term used by doctors for middle-aged men undergoing the "change of life." 100% of women go through menopause, while around 3-5% of men go through manopause. The symptoms of vary from man to man, but these some of the conditions which may affect some men:
- loss of libido
- sexual dysfunction
- hot/cold sweats
- higher than 1% annually testosterone decrease
- chronic tiredness
If you suffer from any of the above, it could be that you have reached andropause, and should consult your doctor. A simple blood test can tell if this is the case.
Treatment for Andropause
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a hormone medication to slow down the testosterone decrease, and tablets to treat sexual dysfunction are available.
There are a number of ways that you can help yourself through this stage in life:
Good diet - Drinking plenty of water helps keep the body hydrated. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is a great source of vitamins and minerals.
Reduce stress - Being stressed out is not good for your physical and emotional well-being. Look at your life and try to find ways that this can be reduced.
Exercise - Regular exercise is especially important to increase energy levels, improve your mood and aid weight loss.
Fresh air - This will clear your body of impurities and boosts oxygen levels in our blood cells. By spending at least 20-30 minutes in the open air each day will also increase energy levels.
Give your partner a treat
If your partner is in his manopausal years, why not give him a little treat by taking him away for a relaxing weekend or short break. If this is not an option, you could run him a warm bubble bath and let him ease away his troubles, surrounded by scented candles. Cook his favourite meal, with a bottle of fine wine by candlelight, and soft background music playing is a sure way to get the stress levels down. Give him a gift voucher for his favourite hobby, hairdressing salon, or a facial etc.
Perhaps pamper him by giving him a massage with some carefully chosen essential oils:
Ylang ylang is a sweet smelling oil and wonderful for reducing stress and anxiety. Sandalwood is very relaxing for both the mind and body. Lavender reduces tension and has properties which can help induce sleep.
Always exercise caution when using essential oils, and never use on anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. If you are in any doubt, refrain from using them until you have consulted with your doctor. Pure or baby oil is an alternative to essential oils, and is still very soothing and relaxing.
Men suffer similar symptoms to women in menopause, except that they are less common and less severe. The most important thing is to be there, show you care and work through it together.