Hey, man. How are you doing? Feeling weak and tired? Moodswings? Less interested in sex?
Whoa, what’s happening to your manhood?
No, this isn’t the infamous “mid-life crisis” we’re talking about; so don’t go slapping this term conveniently on yourself.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news but this really isn’t another feminist male-bashing ploy – male menopause is real and it happens to all men.
Hold your breath, now: The instant, anytime, “as-many-times-as-you-want” erections disappear, the urges reduce or are completely inexistent, any time is not always a good time anymore, and now it actually needs extra work to get aroused. It’s true… a man's sex drive declines with age.
This seemingly impossible phenomenon is caused by a slow decrease in the male sex hormone, testosterone.
Testosterone is a hormone that is secreted by Leydig cells in the testes, and these cells respond to another hormone produced in a gland at the base of the brain, known as the pituitary gland. With increasing age, the function of the Leydig cells decline. This leads to a decline in the testosterone production.
The decline in active testosterone starts as early as 40 years of age and about 20% of men between the ages of 60 to 80 years of age have a lower than normal testosterone level.
To most men, this is the very thing that defines their masculinity. The mere thought of losing sexual desires could send a man pleading for some justice in this world.
There used to be a time when the entire question of whether males can reach menopause was a complete controversy. Women were entirely to blame after their fertility clock stops ticking, and their male counterparts got away scot-free. Men were (and still are) unwilling to accept andropause.
In recent years, doctors have proven that there is no such thing as “the ageless male” and not all men get to boast about their virility all the way to their graves.
ANDROPAUSE VS MENOPAUSE
Andropause is considered a natural state men eventually come to, just like how women come to menopause. However, this change is much more gradual in men, which probably explains why we sometimes see senile 75-year-old men dating luscious young twenty-something women.
The decline in testosterone levels may however, be accelerated by poor diet and lack of exercise, as well as a genetic predisposition.
Both versions of menopause bear striking similarities. As hilarious as this might sound, men take on a more “maternal role”, as if transitioning from fatherly to motherly.
They become more attached to their families; they want to be closer to their friends, as if regretting their previous almost nonchalant attitude for focusing too intently on career, money and power.
What’s even more interesting is that many of them don’t even sense these changes in themselves – it is the women who notice that their men are undergoing “the manopause”!
NOT JUST THE TESTOSTERONE
There are still other trigger factors like unanticipated physical or psychological changes.
Also, without an understanding partner, these problems may result in a dreadful combination of insecurity, anxiety and self-doubt, which can lead to total impotency and sexual frustration. This problem cannot be attributed to the aging process alone because a survey noted that well over 40 % of males remain sexually active at 70 years of age and beyond.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Of course, there’s no way to stop your testosterone levels from dropping, but here are a few things that might help slow down the aging process.
Eat right, exercise regularly and move around. Staying inactive (like staying indoors for the whole day) for a long period of time makes your brain and muscles rusty! Step outside and get some fresh air.
If you’re having sexual problems, your doctor can help you find the best ways to cope. Erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues are actually very common as men get older, so there’s no need to be shy about them. Methods can range from medical treatment all the way to lifestyle changes.
Curb depression. Living in such a competitive society, we are all too familiar with stress. Depression doesn’t just come from work; it can also be caused by isolation and loneliness. Therefore, seek help right away when you feel the empty feeling sinking in.