Female menopause is a well defined condition and all the women experience this. Male menopause is called andropause and it is not well defined. Some doctors and scientists say that many men experience this, but not all. Others argue that there no such condition and this is the part of the mid-life crisis. Not all men experience mid-life crisis too. In this article I try to give you the important points regarding male menopause and mid-life crisis.

Andropause is characterized by the low production of testosterone, the male sex hormone. Loss of testosterone starts when a man is 35 years old. It may be around 1% to 1.5% per year. Mostly men experience andropause between the ages of 40 and 55. In post menopause there is no production of estrogen, the female sex hormone in women. On the contrary, the testosterone production is low with increasing age, but it is there even in one’s eighties and nineties. In these ages also a man has healthy sperm and this is the reason why andropause is not accepted as a medical condition.

The symptoms of andropause include:

• Irritability
• Reduced libido (reduced sexual desire)
• Impotence
• Tiredness
• Depression

Some men have other symptoms too and they include:

• Weight gain
• Night sweats
• Hair loss
• Dry skin
• Stiffness in the joints and muscles

Several of these symptoms can occur at the same time.

Interestingly, each of these symptoms is mostly treated alone and this makes the situation more serious. If the depression is only treated with antidepressant medicines the result is loss of libido. A good doctor considers all these symptoms and selects the treatments.

Approximately 10% of the middle aged men go through an age-related midlife crisis. Mid-life crisis is experienced by men from the ages mostly between 40 and 60 and it lasts about 3 to 10. Aging itself is one of the main causes of mid-life crisis. The other causes include:

• Physical changes with aging
• Workload or unemployment
• Relationship of family problems
• Children left home
• Sickness or death of parents

Mid-life crisis can change the life of a man drastically and the noticed changes include:

• Desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness – lifestyle change, an affair with a young woman
• Spends more time alone
• Thinks that he has missed many good things in life
• Thinks deeply the missed chances in life
• Wants to achieve a lot, but don’t know what
• Buys costly car or motorbike
• Goes for a world tour
• Leaves job and family

These thoughts can change one’s whole life. This can have negative impacts in their work place and in the family. They can abuse alcohol or illegal drugs. They can take a young girl friend or a sex partner. They spend more time in front of the mirror and give more money for cosmetics and perfumes. They try to cover their baldness and suddenly interested to have designer clothes from young fashion. They used to blame themselves for their failures in many things. They apply pressure on their children for better performance in arts, academics and sports. Above all, the worst is the depression with all its negative symptoms.

The possible therapy for andropause is a combined therapy with testosterone replacement therapy, psychotherapy, diet, exercises and use of herbs. Testosterone replacement therapy does not give always the expected relief and the side effects must also be considered. It can bring the prostate in problem and so your doctor must be careful to decide for the right treatment. Normally in short intervals testosterone concentration and PSA the marker for prostate cancer must be controlled in the blood if it is decided for the hormone therapy.

The supporters of testosterone replacement therapy argue that in the case of bone density loss, erectile dysfunction where other remedies don’t work and loss of height it is the treatment of choice.

The problems of mid-life crisis and andropause can go hand in hand and many symptoms are common. Of course, your doctor can help you, but your spouse is very important to master this difficult period. The spouse can help a lot and they include:

• Make him to do new activities and hobbies; take part in them
• Make him to think positive
• Watch for his mood swings and try to react correctly
• Tell him always that you love him
• Stress the need for relaxation
• Try to understand and know him more. This is important for the time after mid-life crisis
• Pay close attention to his mood and behavior
• Bring him with persons who take life easy
• Avoid “why” in many situations. This can increase the fear
• Never start with a question. Share with him that you want to support him
• Listen to him and try to understand his feelings, values and fears

Men who have andropause and mid-life crisis problems must avoid grape fruit as it can convert testosterone into estrogen, the female sex hormone.