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Home » Women's Health

Menopause: Why This Word Begins With MEN

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Webster’s dictionary defines the word menopause as: deriving from the French noun ménopause, from méno- meaning men; and pause, meaning to stop. Anyone wish to place a wager that a man came up with this word? Well, ladies, here is some information which you may find interesting. Men go through menopause, too.

Yes, it’s true. Men have been experiencing these symptoms for years, but have been either associating them to signs of aging, or have chosen to keep these symptoms to themselves. Because more men have been speaking out about these symptoms, researchers have been able to report that, in fact, there is a male menopause. The symptoms of menopause are psychological and physical, and can be compared to female menopause.

Here are some astounding statistics: More than 25 million men in the U.S. are now going through male menopause; 52% of men between 40 and 70 suffer from some degree of erectile dysfunction; Men, like women, experience complex hormonal rhythms that affect their mood, their physical well-being, and their sexuality; Emotional symptoms include irritability, worry, indecisiveness, and depression; Physical symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, short-term memory loss, and sleep disturbances; Sexual symptoms include reduced libido, fear of sexual failure, and increased desire to prove he can still perform by seeking a younger partner; Male menopause is like puberty the second time around where a man must face issues of identity, sexuality, dependence, and independence; When a man is going through menopause, it makes it very difficult to be an effective parent.

Male menopause occurs in all men generally between the ages of 40 and 55. While the symptoms of male menopause are not as severe as it is in women, nonetheless, 40% of men in their 40s, 50s and 60s will experience some degree of lethargy, depression, increased irritability, mood swings, and difficulty in attaining and sustaining erections that characterize male menopause.

In male menopause, the male hormone testosterone declines at a slower rate. The testes, however, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone. Therefore, a healthy male may be able to make sperm well into his eighties or longer. Remember Cary Grant? As a result of disease, subtle changes in the function of the testes may occur as early as 45 to 50 years of age, and more severely after the age of 70, in some men.

Once the testosterone levels are low, testosterone replacement therapy may help relieve such symptoms as loss of interest in sex, depression, and fatigue. But, as with hormone replacement therapy in women, testosterone replacement therapy does have some potential risks and side effects. While replacing testosterone may cause breast cancer in women, it can increase prostate cancer in men.

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