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.
Understanding the medical term ANDROPAUSE.
Andropause is also called the male menopause and more affectionately known as the “man-o-pause”.
These terms are used to describe the “natural age-related decreasing testosterone levels related in men.”
Some men have described andropause as “puberty in reverse”. This helps set a picture both men and women can understand.
The Stigma of ANDROPAUSE.
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.
This is in spite of the body of evidence and the facts in front of us every day with men suffering with the very real symptoms and issues of testosterone deficiency and andropause - mainly in silence.
Thankfully the tides are turning with the medical profession coming to acknowledge the reality of andropause / testosterone deficiency syndrome.
Although in the UK we are somewhat behind in our attitudes than our American friends who have embraced this issue some time ago.
In fact, although the NHS accept that the symptoms of testosterone deficiency exist, they do not like the term andropause. This again isn’t a particularly helpful approach as if men have found the courage to go to their GP to discuss their symptoms in the first place, and are then dismissed out of hand, then this could have serious detriments to their health.
The Gender Gap In Societal Approaches to Men’s Hormonal Health.
Imagine telling women that peri menopause wasn’t real and that their symptoms of hormonal balance were just a natural sign of ageing! Maybe this is what happened twenty years ago but thankfully times move on and we should be optimistic that the same will be true when understanding, and talking about, andropause and TD.
The Andropause Society believe so strongly in the size of the issue that they are encouraging doctors to treat patients based on their hormonal health symptoms alone, even without any testing in recognition of the magnitude of the problem.
Thankfully there is a growing body of evidence to wholly support the andropause and many modern medical professionals are changing their approach to men’s hormonal health.