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.
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.