Is Male Menopause Real?
Have you suddenly changed from been energetic and virile to lethargic and moody? If you are approaching your midlife years, then this feeling may be an indication of male menopause, a real transition that affects some men as their hormone levels change. By understanding male menopause in the general context of men's aging and health, you can understand the effects of your changing estrogen and testosterone levels.
Some of the common symptoms of male menopause include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Sexual dysfunction
- Moodiness (sadness or irritability)
- Decreased exercise tolerance
- Less energy
- Lost sex drive
- Difficulty concentrating.
These symptoms are same as some symptoms of depression, making it hard at times to identify changing hormone levels. Noticeably, depression can also contribute to male menopause by changing hormone levels because it reduces your testosterone by increasing nocturnal cortisol linked with anxiety.
The emotional impact
Male menopause affects a lot of men, but to different degrees. This basic biological process may also have intense effects on some men who conflict with certain cultural stereotypes that extol masculinity. Men find themselves experiencing unexpected emotions and periods of despair and doubt that they can’t easily mention to their friends or family members.
Managing male menopause
There are various steps that you can take, personally and as a couple, to walk through this sudden change in your life.
Go to the doctor
You do not have to pass through these changes without any help. The symptoms of male menopause you might be experiencing can be due to some issues such as sleep disorders, changing in hormone levels, or even depression. So dealing with these issues will help eliminate or at least diminish the symptoms.
Visit your primary health care professional or doctor for medical assistance. Your doctor may recommend antidepressant to relieve some symptoms, refer you for sleep study to determine underlying sleep disorders, or suggest hormone testing to identify whether you have testosterone deficiency.
Lead a healthy lifestyle
Obese or overweight men who lose weight can increase their testosterone levels as well as reduce circulating estrogen produced by body fat. Quit smoking and drinking alcohol, and review your diet. If you have not been physically active, discuss with your primary care doctor about starting an exercise plan to reduce weight.
At some point of their life, middle-aged men notice that their sexual capacity has declined. In most cases, it's manifested just in lower libido; however, some men may even experience the symptoms of erectile dysfunctions. So if you are having a hard time adjusting to your current sexual abilities, getting professional advice from a sex therapist would be a really good idea.
Remember that there are effective drugs like Viagra or Cialis that can make you perform in bed like you are 20 years younger. You may discuss the possibility of using them with your sex therapist and get a prescription.
Overall, middle age is a part of life with its own rewards and joys. Understanding how you can adjust to your changing hormone levels will help endure any physical and emotional challenges of your midlife.