MALE MENOPAUSE

If you think menopause is some­thing only women will ex­pe­ri­ence, you may be in for a shock.

Men's Health (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Yes, it’s real. Men do ex­pe­ri­ence what women do once they reach this age.

Guys, let’s talk about male menopause.

Yes, you read that right. You’re prob­a­bly scratch­ing your head, think­ing, “Isn’t menopause some­thing women get?” Not quite. Although it’s not a le­git di­ag­no­sis in the med­i­cal world, men can go through a ver­sion of menopause that’s sim­i­lar to what women ex­pe­ri­ence.

WHAT IS MALE MENOPAUSE?

“In tech­ni­cal terms, there is no male menopause, but there are spe­cific changes that oc­cur at the age of 50 and over that are rem­i­nis­cent of what women are go­ing through,” says Dr. Damian Sendler, PhD, an ex­pert in sex­ol­ogy.

“For women, the main con­trol comes from the oe­stro­gen lev­els, which de­creases steadily af­ter the age of 45, even­tu­ally com­ing to very low lev­els at 55,” he ex­plains. “The con­se­quences are hot flashes, sweat­ing, poor qual­ity of skin, vagi­nal dry­ness, and de­creased li­bido. Sim­i­lar symp­toms af­fect men, though not as dras­ti­cally as it af­fects women.”

WHAT ARE THE SYMP­TOMS OF MALE MENOPAUSE?

Un­for­tu­nately, “male menopause” can lead to dif­fi­cul­ties in bed and a some­what com­pro­mised ap­pear­ance.

“Men lose hair, have dif­fi­culty uri­nat­ing, and have higher risk of prostate can­cer, the qual­ity of skin de­creases, and men are more likely to ‘look tired’,” says Sendler. They also tend to ex­pe­ri­ence a de­crease in phys­i­cal strength and sex­ual per­for­mance.

WATCH OUT FOR AN EN­LARGED PROSTATE

When guys hit their mid-50s, their prostates tend to en­large, which can lead to a few un­pleas­ant male menopause symp­toms. The size of the prostate is reg­u­lated by an­dro­gens, specif­i­cally a con­ver­sion prod­uct of testos­terone called 5-DHT. “Through lit­tle-known mech­a­nisms, the fluc­tu­a­tions in the lev­els of DHT cause the prostate to start grow­ing in size af­ter about the age of 45,” he says.

And this can make it hard to con­trol your pee. “Men tend to be more leaky as they age, mean­ing that changes in prostate size cause them not be able to hold urine for ex­tended pe­riod of time,” he ex­plains.

CHANGES TO YOUR SEX LIFE

Sex­ual per­for­mance of­ten de­creases as well, due to chal­lenges with get­ting and main­tain­ing erec­tions. “There is de­crease in phys­i­cal strength and im­ping­ing on the ner­vous sys­tem re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing erec­tions,” Sendler says.

The heart can’t work as ef­fec­tively with age, ei­ther — which could also take a toll in the bed­room. “The heart is a pump that, just like any car en­gine, be­comes a less ef­fec­tive pump­ing unit,” he says. When the pump­ing mech­a­nism of the heart is weaker, there is less force to push in blood into spongy tis­sues of the pe­nis, and you need that proper blood flow to the pe­nis to get hard.

All of this can con­trib­ute to shorter sex ses­sions, and po­ten­tial prob­lems with ejac­u­la­tion.

HOW CAN I TREAT MALE MENOPAUSE?

Good news: You can usu­ally treat or min­i­mize the symp­toms of male menopause. “The most com­mon treat­ment is to de­crease the size of the prostate through use of med­i­ca­tions like 5-al­pha-re­duc­tase in­hibitors, which al­low the mus­cu­la­ture of the prostate to de­crease,” Sendler says.

Some men ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in the bed­room turn to erec­tion sup­ple­ments like Vi­a­gra, but be sure to con­sult with a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional be­fore you go down that road. Se­ri­ously.

You can also think about up­ping your phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. “I highly rec­om­mend phys­i­cal ex­er­cises to in­crease phys­i­cal strength and stamina, so that their sex­ual per­for­mance is main­tained,” Sendler says. This might mean walk­ing more, go­ing for a jog, or even try­ing a barre class. Hey, some kegel ex­er­cises can’t hurt, ei­ther.

”MALE MENOPAUSE” CAN LEAD TO DIF­FI­CUL­TIES IN BED AND A SOME­WHAT COM­PRO­MISED AP­PEAR­ANCE.

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