Andropause, the climacteric man

March 4, 2012 23:30 0 comments

In a particularly male-dominated and conventional society, accepting male menopause is not easy. Caused by a drop in testosterone, it affects men’s physical, emotional and sexual lives.


Carmen Fernández Sánchez


Until recently, andropause was an unknown word. Nowadays, it is still largely unknown to most of society, even to those who suffer from it.

Although there are people who believe it is not an appropriate term, the word andropause is used to describe a man’s ageing process. It attempts to define a drop in testosterone along with a series of symptoms similar to those experienced by women during menopause.

The main difference is that when a woman reaches menopause her reproductive system shuts down and she is no longer able to conceive. Men however, retain their reproductive abilities throughout andropause.

Unlike menopause, the word andropause is not recognised by the World Health Organisation.

However, in 1944, two American doctors, Carl Heller and Gordon Myers, had already written an article about andropause and its symptoms. The article described “the climacteric man”, who was affected by hormonal changes influencing his physical, emotional and sexual life. Symptoms were varied, ranging from purely physical to psychological. Each individual is affected in different ways, and as a result it is difficult to detect.

While women stop having periods, the signs of the change in men are not so clear. Although some of them are far more common or obvious, and even more acute.

These signs can include: irritability, feeling the need to cry, insomnia, fatigue, reduced sexual virility, reduced strength and volume of ejaculation, sweat, constipation, pain, bone deterioration, dry hair and skin, blood flow problems, depression and memory loss.

The reasons

But, why does this happen? The answer is simple. Testosterone levels in men start to drop from the age of 30, while the levels of SHGB (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) start to increase. The function of SHGB is to trap most of the testosterone and that way, it is prevented from carrying out its function in the body’s tissues. All men suffer drops in their testosterone levels and approximately 30 percent of men over 50 are more likely to suffer steep drops.

There is currently no way of predicting who will develop andropause, nor at what age the symptoms will begin to show. Although in most cases they usually start between the ages of 40 and 50.

A simple blood test to check the levels of testosterone is all that is needed to detect andropause.

If the person shows signs of suffering andropause, it is possible to start a hormone replacement therapy, in the same way women suffering menopause can do.

Hormones are administered by means of injections, patches, gels and creams; and this is always done under the supervision of a specialist.

There is information about andropause available, and some publications are more specific than others. A good example is the book “The andropause mystery: unravelling truths about the male menopause” by physician Robert S. Tan, a specialist and pioneer in hormone replacement and its effects on the brain.

After thorough research on the subject, Robert S. Tan shares his analysis of the physical changes and psychological problems affecting men during this stage of their lives.

The truth is, in a particularly male-dominated and conventional society, accepting male menopause is not easy, it is far more difficult to assimilate it. Men in general deny the fact that they could ever go through their own menopause.

Because of this, there are support groups dedicated to help men comfortably face andropause, as well as associations such as Andropause Society, established in London in 2000.

It is a non-profit organisation which aims to study the drop of testosterone levels and its impact on men’s health and daily lives, as well as helping people go through it. Membership is free and is open to men and women.

There are a number of other groups all over the world like the Andropause Society. The important issue is to accept the existence of andropause, and to show understanding towards men going through it just as we already do for women.

(Translated BY David Buchanan (Google Docs) – Email: davidbv84@gmail.com)

Share it / Compartir:

Leave a Reply


*



The Prisma News

  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Living in Fractured Times

    Living in Fractured Times

    Eric Hobsbawm’s posthumous book, Fractured Times, is a scintillating collection of essays covering the cultural history of Europe through the Twentieth Century.   Steve Latham   The volume is panoramic in its scope: covering inter alia the role of arts festivals, the development of Jewish...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Screen A showcase of Latin American cinema and music

    A showcase of Latin American cinema and music

    Films and concerts from Latin America will be in the multicultural city of London from 9th of September to 9th of October.   In this month devoted to cinema and music, there will be film screenings, as part of the “Bolíwood” Festival (as in Bolivar, not Bollywood) and concerts, all with Latin...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus An Englishman for Scotland

    An Englishman for Scotland

    When we were up in Edinburgh for the Festival, we expected there to be lots of references to the independence issue.   Steve Latham   Suprisingly, most of the acts, stand-up comedians included, fought shy of the question. This does not seem to have been due to any self-censorship. Instead, the...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Migrants, Multiculture, Screen Ghosts, memories and traumas of Mexico

    Ghosts, memories and traumas of Mexico

    A symposium taking place on 12th September will analyse the form in which varieties of emotion, and personal and collective experiences, can be expressed visually, with particular reference to Mexico and the 20th and 21st centuries.   Under the title ‘Specular Ghosts: Memory and Trauma in Mexican...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Pages Nepomuceno, Gabo and the memories

    Nepomuceno, Gabo and the memories

    Eric Nepomuceno was a thirty-something Brazilian journalist with a budding career when he landed in Havana during the summer of 1978. Almost before he could brush off the dust from the road he attended a meeting that would be a turning point in his life.   Eric NepomucenoPhoto from orelhadolivro.com Francisco...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Culture, In Focus, Pages 100 years of  playing cyclops, 50 years of Rayuela

    100 years of playing cyclops, 50 years of Rayuela

    “Would I find La Maga? Most of the time it was just a case of my putting in an appearance, going along the Rue de Seine to the arch leading into la Quaid de Conti, and I would see her slender form against the olive ashen which floats along the river as she crossed back and forth on the Pont des Art,...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Screen Mariano Bartolomeu: pointing a camera in many directions

    Mariano Bartolomeu: pointing a camera in many directions

    Between 1989 and 2008 he made a large number of short films influenced by European directors and European and North American writers. Now he feels it is time to develop his own voice more strongly.   Mariano Bartolomeu Graham Douglas   Like most Angolans his family has suffered from decades...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Critical Dialogues, In Focus Conga, Gregorio Santos and Máxima Acuna

    Conga, Gregorio Santos and Máxima Acuna

    The words are a battle cry, a plea to save the region’s environment and water supply and put an end to predatory and polluting mining practices.   Claudio Chipana   The people of the Cajamarca region in northern Peru are rallying against multinational mining company Yanacocha’s ‘Conga’...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Regeneration as degeneration

    Regeneration as degeneration

    During the Edinburgh Fringe, we stayed in a delightful apartment in Leith. Leith is the old port-town of Edinburgh.   Steve Latham   It was a pleasant place to base ourselves in during the Festival, while we travelled in daily on the city bus service. It had become run-down and derelict, but...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus What is peace?

    What is peace?

    A white cow is not a white dove, says Eduardo Embry, a Chilean poet based in the UK. A gracing pristine cow is heavy, and the meaning of peace is not to appease or to be appeased. By contrast, peace is not a given, but an ongoing process of understanding and doing together.   Mabel Encinas   Peace...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Visual Arts A giant man and a tiny woman in the Hunterian museum

    A giant man and a tiny woman in the Hunterian museum

    This Hunterian museum, which unites anatomical and pathological specimens to be studied by undergraduate and postgraduate students, also houses Charles Byrne and Caroline Crachami.   Photo By StoneColdCrazy Edith Tacusi Oblitas   Irishman Charles Byrne was 2 metre and 48 centimetres tall when he died...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus, Needle's Eye Reparations and genetics: Have they anything to say to each other?

    Reparations and genetics: Have they anything to say to each other?

    Genetic modification and reparations for slavery might seem on first appearances to be somewhat distant companions.   Nigel Pocock   How should we define ‘GM’? If we limit the definition to a laboratory, deliberately excluding the social context, then we are unlikely to make a connection...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus “F” is for Fringe

    “F” is for Fringe

    Photo by Kim Traynor Visiting the Edinburgh Fringe, we went to several stand-up comedians; and we learned that bad language and explicit sexual references are endemic. In particular, the F-word is ubiquitous.   Steve Latham   Maybe I am shocking because I am getting on in years, and it expresses...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Screen, United Kingdom London Spanish Film Festival celebrates its 10th year

    London Spanish Film Festival celebrates its 10th year

    The 10th edition of the festival will take place from the 25th of September to the 5th of October, bringing together Spanish and Catalan productions , comedy and cuisine.   Photo by London Spanish Film Festival London Spanish Film Festival is 10 years old this year, and to mark the occasion the...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Culture, In Focus, Screen Carpe Diem

    Carpe Diem

    (…) My wife has proposed a family suicide / both of us and our two daughters / when the mushroom cloud arrives (…) Affonso Romano de Sant´Anna.   Armando Orozco Tovar   We are surrounded by death, something that sounds like stating the obvious, a great truth. But what are we going to do...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Pages Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the flight of the prince

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the flight of the prince

    Seventy years after his plane was tragically shot down, we are still no closer to knowing which of the Nazi Luftwaffe pilots – Horst Rippert or Robert Heichele – ended the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.   Miguel Fernández Martínez   On the 31st of July 1944, at 8:45am, Saint-Exupéry...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Pages, Trade Unions, Workers ‘Private’ is ‘Public’: Health Care is our right

    ‘Private’ is ‘Public’: Health Care is our right

    “The Price of Experience: Writings on living with cancer” by Mike Marqusee demands an end to inequalities in health care and challenges the British government’s ideology which blames people for their ill health. It makes us think about how this “winners” and “losers”...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Revelation of “Boyhood”

    Revelation of “Boyhood”

    This is the latest film directed by Richard Linklater. Astonishingly, the movie was filmed over twelve years, taking thirty-nine days of shooting.   Richard LinklaterPhoto by Siebbi Steve Latham   Tracing the life of a young boy as he grows into a young man, the picture follows the central character’s...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Are we decadent?

    Are we decadent?

    “Decadence” is usually a term used by right-wing people to castigate individuals and societies with whom they disagree, and whose lifestyle they disapprove of.   Photo from http://goo.gl/9HxW4f Steve Latham   The arts are frequently said to be in decline, embodied in paradoxical trends:...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Screen Diego Quemada-Díez: “The happy end is a manipulation”

    Diego Quemada-Díez: “The happy end is a manipulation”

    The journey of three teenagers riding “the Beast”, the train that leads to the desired future in the United States, is full of risks and is destroying innocence, hope and grand dreams, metre by metre.   Diego Quemada-Díez Noelia Ceballos Terrén   From his first steps behind a camera 20...

    Read more →