Updated: Jun 2
The gender and society gap in the discussion of hormonal health
It’s likely that most guys reading this are more familiar with the term menopause than andropause. That’s a sad reflection on society that even in this day and age, men’s health isn’t prioritised (or discussed) in the same way women’s health is. This is particularly true with regards to the topic of hormonal health.
The fact is that we all have hormones. They fundamentally make us men or women in the first place. Even before we are born, they create the pathway for determining our gender.
For now, let’s look at what we now know are the pivotal final stages in hormonal health for men and women and see how this helps us understand men’s health in more detail.
Understanding The Medical Terms
Andropause is also called the male menopause and more affectionately, the “manopause”. These terms are used to describe decreasing testosterone levels related to aging.
Menopause is defined as the time in females when there have been no menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified. It is the end of fertility and the end of the childbearing years.
Also called "the change”.
The Stigma of “Male Menopause”
Let’s start by breaking down the definition.
“Andras” in Greek means human male and “pause” in Greek a “cessation”.
This definition in itself doesn’t help the stigma attached with andropause. What man wants to think of themselves as a man no more? Attaching any labels to the ageing process is bad enough without insinuating that men are any less masculine as they age.
If you look to nature, gorillas only turn into Silverbacks when they are around 13. Which is 41 in human years – just when the andropause is starting!
This time should be the prime of men’s lives. But that isn’t always the case.
Therefore, it’s not surprising to know that few men want to discuss (or even acknowledge) a decline in their hormones, particularly with other men and definitely not publicly. This in turn, perpetuates the myth that its culturally taboo for men to talk about the very things that make them men in the first place and keeps this conversation on the low down rather than out in the open where it deserves to be.
Arguing The Facts – Andropause Myths V Reality
It also doesn’t help men that there is much controversy and argument in the medical profession as to whether or not the andropause actually exists.