Is Male Menopause Fact or Fiction? — Health Check
While menopause is a fact of life for women, ads for testosterone replacement therapy drugs make it seem as though men suffer a similar fate in their old age. However — jokes aside — professionals, for the most part, believe there really is no inevitable male equivalent.
Bradley Anawalt, MD, an endocrinologist at the University of Washington in Seattle says, “There is clearly a segment of older men who will benefit from testosterone treatment, but this is not a universal truth and not all men should be on it.”
Men’s testosterone levels can indeed drop 1 percent every year after age 30, “It is not a seminal event and doesn’t occur in all men. Some men who are very healthy and virile do maintain their testosterone levels for longer periods of time.”
He also warns against buying the drugs on the internet after a self-diagnosis. “The best thing men can do is not start testosterone therapy unless they have been fully evaluated by an endocrinologist or knowledgeable internist,” he said.
All that aside, however, Jed Diamond, PhD, believes male menopause is quite real. “The term itself is not literally accurate — men don’t have a menstrual cycle so they don’t stop having one,” he says. “[But] hormonal, physical, and psychological changes do occur in men at midlife.”