It would appear, judging from the number of hits on my previous 2 blogs on the subject of male menopause, that there is no interest in the subject. True or false?
Hopefully we can at least come to some agreement. There is an andropause. It may result in symptoms and behavioral changes. But these are not the consequence of hormonal changes, as occur in women.
FOR THOSE WOMEN WITH A MAN IN THEIR LIFE, WHAT CAN THEY DO TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP?
If maintaining a long-term and solid relationship is what she wants, then there is indeed much that the woman can do.
In my book THE UTIAN STRATEGY – Is this my problem or is this your problem? (Available in print or an eBook from online booksellers) I would clearly recognize the problem to be his. But as I describe management of such problems in that book, I emphasize that in family situations the best solution can be to take joint ownership. This would be one such situation.
I think the first step is to recognize a developing situation. The next is to have an open and honest discussion – communication is key to success. Explain that you are both going through a major phase of transition in life. Share aspects of the action plan, the GET UP AND GO Lifestyle, described in my book CHANGE YOUR MENOPAUSE, and which I will elaborate on some time in the future. Finally, work together, stimulate each other, be supportive at the bad times, avoid hostility, and together develop an enthusiasm for mutual growth and enjoyment of the second half of your lives.
WHAT CAN A MAN DO FOR HIMSELF?
He may need help, but recognition of what is going on in his life is half way to the solution. Beyond recognition there is action. Action is encouraged by problem recognition and awareness that there are many constructive ways to move forward into a successful, productive, and enjoyable older age.
Men are not good consumers of health care. Often they are taken, kicking and screaming against their wills, by their wives/partners to a clinician for a health check up. But given the higher prevalence of many serious diseases in men, starting at a younger age than in women, a health check up is mandatory.
A low testosterone level may be identified in a minority of men. Here, replacement therapy with testosterone may result in improved libido, greater vigor, increased muscle mass, and reduced fat mass. There may be a small increase in the risk of prostate cancer. This is an area for discussion between the man and his clinician.
After that the actions to take include healthy living, a new focus of productive activity, combined outings, shared projects, and so on.
There is no male menopause as a hormonal event. But men in their middle years are vulnerable to a number of emotional issues based on their psycho-socio-cultural background. Recognition of this is crucial to actively and successfully managing the second half of life.
Couples can work together in achieving these goals through direct communication and assertive actions.
I hope that one of the outcomes of my educational efforts will be to encourage such communication and recognition that aging is a natural phenomenon, and that working together you can discover things each of you can do to excite and enhance each other’s life and the life you share. Instead of being reactive to each other, the key to success is to become restorative together.
Work at it, and enjoy the weekend
Wulf Utian MD PhD DSc
Author; CHANGE YOUR MENOPAUSE – Why one size does not fit all. http://www.amazon.com/Change-Your-Menopause-size-does/dp/0982845723/