Male menopause: myth or  reality?

The cessation of hormone reproduction, the presence of hot flashes, stress, depression, vaginal atrophic change and skin transformation manifestations, known as menopause, which was regarded as a feminine natural situation more 100 years ago are now attributed to men under the term of male menopause.

According to researchers from Northwestern Memorial Hospital/National Health Service (NHS), approximately 5 million men in the U.S. are affected by the so-called male menopause. A recent World Health Organization (WHO) reported that male hormone testosterone drops about 10 percent every decade starting around age 30, which means that by age 50, 30 percent of men have testosterone levels low enough to cause symptoms and put them at risk.

Although some doctors are already attending men allegedly suffering from male menopause, among medical experts however, the issue of male menopause remains controversial. According to Michael B. Schachter, M.D. from the Center for Complimentary Medicine, a man often begins to experience changes in the body somewhere between age 40 and 50. Dr. Schachter says that the additional attitudinal changes that appear during this period prompt many men to become inquisitive about their accomplishment and the direction of their life. These symptoms which are close to those experienced by women have led some experts to call them male menopause or andropause.

Experts from Mayo Clinic argue that hormone changes in men, known as male menopause, are different from those in women. They argue that hormone changes are a natural part of aging. “Unlike the more dramatic reproductive hormone plunge that occurs in women during menopause, sex hormone changes in men occur gradually,” they say.

Dr. Michael Murray from Natural Medicine Health and author of more than 30 related health books says that the physiological phase during which men experience hormone changes share certain characteristics with menopause. “But while all women go through menopause, not all men experience andropause,” Dr. Murray says.

According to Charles A. Evans, M.D., MSC and PhD from Family Practice and Reproductive Physiology, male menopause has not been widely recognized, but increased medical research has been turned to the gradual hormone decline in males and the symptoms that go along with.

Many experts agree on the fact that men go though some physiological and mental manifestations that are close to those related to menopause such as decline in hormone reproduction, hot flashes, fatigue, weaknesses, depression, stress, sexual problems, mood swings and loss of muscle mass. However, they indicate that these manifestations occur in a period of many years and the consequences are not necessary clear. But for women, many experts say that ovulation and hormone reproduction plummet in a relatively short period of time.

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