Middle-aged? Tired? Not interested in sex? Hey, Mister … you might be in ‘male menopause’

The Palm Beach Post

By Sonja Isger

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 3:19 p.m. Monday, July 26, 2010

Is male menopause a true medical condition or just a good punch line when you’re 50-something and not feeling quite yourself?

You know, “Oh, that male menopause must’ve kicked in”?

Could your doctor really diagnose male menopause, or is it merely a phrase that Oprah or GQ use to hook you?

My middle-aged male editor wanted to know.

No punch lines here, my friend, er, boss.

There is such a thing as male menopause (though technically the name is all wrong – but we’ll get to that).

Is every man destined for the same hot flashes and mood swings they dread to see in the women they love?

That’s another story.

But the hormonal change is real and so are a multitude of symptoms that can accompany it – from a loss in libido or erectile dysfunction to fatigue or depression.

And, yes, sometimes even night sweats.

Every woman who lives long enough will experience menopause – a (permanent) pause in her menstrual cycle that signals the end to the steady stream of the hormone estrogen her body makes. Hence the name menopause.

Normally, this happens between the ages of 45 and 50. And the dramatic drop in hormones can trigger all sorts of physical and psychological changes.

Conversely, the hormone faucet in men never turns off.

But the flow of testosterone does begin to gradually decrease at a rate of about 1 percent a year beginning at age 30.

And for some men, the result over the years can be simply unpleasant or potentially life-changing.

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PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.