This is a tough subject to write about. Not only is there a significant amount of debate going on inside the medical profession about the existence of “manopause” but being a dude, it kinda hits close to home.
For those of you out there who might be unfamiliar with the term, “manopause” is what the women of the species refer to as menopause. Only this time, it affects those of us who happen to either blessed or cursed with a Y chromosome. In some circles, it’s also known as andropause but since I’m not an android I don’t see how that’s really relevant.
Tick, Tick, Tick
Let’s take your average male. It’s a well known fact that their hormone levels reach their peak somewhere between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. (On a personal note, never mind those Viagra warnings about the four hour erection, during those formative years, I think I limped around with four year erection.) In most cases, once a male begins to hit his mid twenties, those hormone levels will slowly but surely begin to fall. Not to worry though, most of us are still safe until well into our forties. After that, in about half the male population, it’s when you hit fifty when the bottom begins to fall out. (Note to self, ignore 50th birthday later this year).
That’s right my testosterone ladened friends. One in two of us will experience a “significant” drop off in what we used to take for granted. From there, it’s a downhill ride all the way.
Pulling the Trigger
To date, nobody can seem to pinpoint what causes some men to contract “manopause” while other don’t. Some folks rationalize that it just might be nature’s way of telling you to slow down. Others theorize that within each of us resides a biological clock that’s set at different times depending on our genes and ancestry. One thing they all agree on is that certain things such as illness, depression, alcoholism, drug or substance abuse, dementia and obesity all contribute to the onset of “manopause”.
Is It Reversible?
I’m thinking no but with all the wonder drugs out there that claim to help folks with erectile dysfunction, who the hell knows? Personally, (you reading this gals?), I haven’t had to rely on any of them but should the day come when my pecker turns into putty, I’ll be first in line at my local pharmacy with one hand on my insurance card and the other on my Johnson.
Does This Sound Familiar?
Much like females, symptoms of “manopause” can and will vary from person to person. I’m no doctor but generally speaking, if you find yourself suffering from mood swings, depression and on a regular basis would rather curl up on the couch and watch old reruns of American Idol than have a romp in the hay, I’d say you’re a victim. Some guys might get variations of hot flashes or night sweats but they’re usually few and far between.
Is It At Least Treatable?
As far as I know the answer to that one is a resounding “No”. Oh, you might go to extremes and get injections of testosterone to restore your fragile libido but sooner or later they wear off. However, you can do other things to at least take the ravages of “manopause” off your mind. You might take comfort in discussing your feelings with a therapist or your family doctor. If you’re one of those folks who feel more comfortable in a group setting, I’m sure there’s a bevy of support groups out there just waiting for you. If you prefer to remain anonymous there’s always some kinda 1-800 number you can call to get some advice.
Or, you can just go to mid-life crisis and fill in the gaps.