UK's Natural Therapies Website
e.g. yoga, naturopath
e.g. Town name or city

Visit us on Facebook

Hitwise Award Winner


eg. Town Name Or City Name

Is the Male Menopause a Myth?


While the female menopause is well documented and researched, some men have long maintained that they experience a similar phenomenon.  Though they are known to undergo physical and emotional changes associated with the ageing process; can these really be compared to the loss of reproductive function experienced by women? A lot of time and effort has been put into researching the subject, to determine if the male menopause is a fact or fallacy. 

Menopause in Women

In women the menopause refers to the hormonal changes that lead to the end of ovulation and menstruation.  Together with these physical changes, it is also a time of emotional distress; while lower levels of the hormone oestrogen often lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.   Signs that the menopause may be approaching vary from individual to individual, and can include a range of symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, inconsistent or heavy periods - or a cessation in menstruation altogether. The menopause can occur in women at any age from 35 to as late as 60 - lasting from anywhere between a few years to 5 or 6 years. Males do not have the same dramatic symptoms or verifiable physical indicators – which makes identifying the existence of the male menopause that much more difficult, though a decline in testosterone levels is generally associated with the term.  

Pause for Thought

A recent European study, which surveyed over 3000 men between the ages of 40 and 80, attempted to identify a link between low levels of the hormone testosterone and a male version of the menopause – and if a consistent set of symptoms could be recognised.

The study found that while a general loss of libido and general erectile dysfunction were consistently associated with low levels of testosterone, other symptoms associated with the male menopause; including disrupted sleep, anxiety and a decline in physical capacity, were not always present. While this is not irrefutable evidence, it sure does muddy the waters further.

Bedroom Matters

One approach to flagging hormone levels has been to top up the tank with some more of the good stuff, which has seen a boom in testosterone replacement treatment – sold as a cure for the male menopause.  However, the safety and suitability of this approach is questionable given that it does not address the whole range of symptoms associated with the male menopause, and is also believed to raise the risk of prostate cancer.  The spectacular success of Viagra, the drug used to treat erectile dysfunction, has also distracted some attention from testosterone as a cure all for ageing males.  

Inevitable Consequences?

Other health professionals point to the fact that the supposed symptoms of the male menopause may simply be the ravages of time – an inevitable consequence of the ageing process.  Age related testosterone loss is also not as dramatic or rapid in men, and is in sharp contrast to the often abrupt loss of oestrogen in women.  Paying attention to your diet and waistline, getting enough exercise and avoiding the pitfalls of smoking (at all) or drinking (too heavily), may be enough to put the spring back in your step.  As for the myth, the medical establishment needs to move on and research man flu...finding a cure for that would be progress indeed!  


  Printer Friendly Version

Related Modalities

  Men's Health