Discovering Health: “Do Men Go Through Menopause?”
Guess who’s become a cranky, menopausal dad? So much for aunt Marge and mom getting all the flack for approaching fifty with all of the cranky and irritable side-effects. Of course women have always gotten the brunt end of the deal when it comes to the natural progression of life’s change that has been ironically dubbed, “MEN-0-PAUSE.” Is it because it’s the period in life when women are to put all men on pause? I’m not sure of the country or origin for the word, nor am I so intrigued that I want to pull out my dusty etymology dictionary (of course I own one. Don’t you?). Being the research fiend that I am, I can tell you that men actually DO endure a life change called: Andropause. Now that’s hardly a fair name. How does a man pause from his Andro? Sigh ~
Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men
What interests me is the overwhelming number of male friends I have who are approaching, or have passed, the 50 yard age-line and just feel a bit, “Ho hum – What the hell,” and it’s seemingly for no apparent reason. Unless you factor in lowered, male hormone levels. Women are commercial prey: we get t-shirts that warn of hot flashes, we are fodder for comic strips, we are ALWAYS a sitcom writer’s best friend because when women are menopausal, we are tear prone, mood swing expectant, and essentially depicted as raging, maniacal, society misfits. That’s some good, Prime-Time TV.
“Poor Stan, he’s under so much pressure at work.”
“Don’t worry, men drink more when they get dad’s age.”
“Honey, you seem so disinterested in sex lately. Are you having an affair?” (YES, NOW BACK OFF).
Ok. The latter is maybe a humorous stretch and attempt to add light to an otherwise heavy subject, but the reality is that Stan gains man-weight through his mid-section, his hairline betrays him, and his days of youth erections aren’t as easily brought to life by the sight of porn or any naked body. Stan is just not interested. He’s experiencing andropause and has become a sleepaholic, tense and to- the-point raging, maniacal, society misfit. (No way was I gonna let women bear that title alone. Not in this blog.)
Most men aren’t aware of what their emotional or physical changes are OR if they are natural and can be treated. Real men don’t go to the doctor. Real men don’t talk about what they are going through. Real men don’t admit they are depressed. And…Real men don’t have sexual dysfunction.
Real men suffer from all of the above.
The impetus could be a major life change such as divorce, job loss, death or a birth of a new child. It could also be due to mother-nature doing what she does in every human being’s life and that is navigating change. Hormone levels decrease for both men and women after a certain age, but hormone replacement is also available for each gender.
I guess the bottom line reminds me of a cliche’ “Each one teach one.”
Instead of blaming family, life, occupation, or marriage woes on the changes of women and their slow climb to menopause, perhaps it is the responsibility of all women to make men equally aware of their own physical and emotional changes. Of course getting a man to “buy into and receive” the information may be a whole nutha’ challenge, but let’s start here.
Read the links, research more links on your own, and encourage the men in your life: husbands, fathers, uncles, brothers, boyfriends to be more proactive and aware of their man-health. I don’t think any of us wants to see Stan huddled in the corner and weeping:
“I just feel so unattractive. It’s like I’ve turned into a big, fat, nothing.”
Well, welcome to the 50+ club Stan. You’re officially experiencing male-menopause. Being unattractive is in the eye of the beholder, and while you may have become big and fat, you will never be “nothing” to the people around you. You are a very special something. Now pass the remote!
Penny Dickerson 2011