Over the past few months Christine and I have been bringing you a smattering of posts on perimenopause and menopause. After a conversation with a group of gals, the question came up – “Is there such a thing as Manopause”? At a certain age do men go through the same ups and downs, hormone imbalances and body changes like women do? Inquiring minds want to know.
The Answer is YES! But rarely talked about. Manopause is totally different from what we most likely associated with men getting older – The Midlife Crisis. The Midlife Crisis is when men ( and women) have more of an emotional reaction to aging and do something totally out of their normal and might revert back to the good ole’ days – Like purchasing a corvette or something like that! 😉
So What is ‘Manopause’
Manopause (AKA andropause, male menopause, testosterone deficiency) is an age related decline of testosterone in males that can affect your quality of life. You usually see this change happen around 50.
Low energy, depression, decreased motivation, lower self confidence, difficult sleeping, increase body fat, decrease muscle mass, breast development, erectile dysfunction, reduced libido.
Wait a minute! These symptoms ( minus erectile dysfunction) sound weirdly familiar. Hmm..And like when a women is perimenopausal, these symptoms can often be misdiagnosed. Can you imagine a household where you are starting perimenopause and your partner/husband is also feeling the effects of manopause.
Getting your testosterone checked is so important as we age for men and women. Lifestyle is also very vital to maintaining good health and lessening the symptoms. Healthy diet, exercise, sleep and reducing stress and maybe some supplementation if you are open to that. Talk to your health care practitioner when these symptoms arise. Check out the Blog Post: Women and Why we need Testosterone for info on testosterone and how to increase it naturally.
But there lies the issue with that statement ‘Talk to your health care practitioner‘. We as women are just starting to crack open the conversation on perimenopause and menopause. For years, women didn’t wanted to talk about how their bodies were changing. Men, on the other hand, are even more closed up and typically do not talk about feelings, emotional or physical. So Manopause symptoms will sometimes get overlooked and diagnosed as something else. (Disclaimer: I say typically, but there are definitely men out there trying to have open and honest conversations about health.)
We typically think how we feel as being ‘normal’ . Such as, it is normal to be this tired, I am not sleeping well at night, or my energy is low but i have been under a lot stress lately. It is not the norm and should not be pushed aside as being normal. The list of symptoms above are not ‘normal’ and we, male and female, do not have to live as they are.
I know we sometimes joke about grumpy men as going through menopause, not really thinking it is real. So when that questions comes up ‘Is there such a think as ‘Manopause’? The answer is YES and it happens more often then we know.
My hope with this post is to start the conversation that, yes, men go through a change or journey as well as women do. They have hormones in their bodies that decline as they age just as we do.
For the men in your life, who may be feeling some of these symptoms, let them know it is okay to talk with their health care practitioner and discuss the levels of testosterone in their bodies.