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Female menopause is very common and has been known about for a very long time, but it has been only recently discovered within the last ten years that men also go through very similar symptoms that are almost identical to a woman's as testosterone levels diminish and hormonal imbalance occurs.

The medical community has been debating the existence of male menopause for a considerable period of time. The questions is does it really exist?, If so, what effects does it have on men? What are the symptoms? Is it treatable? And what can a man do to prevent or postpone its arrival? And finally what is the similarity to a female menopause?

It would seem reasonable to assume that as a man ages, the body changes and medical evidence clearly proves that a man's sexuality changes with the advancing aging process. The instant, anytime, 'as many times as you want' erections that are more the rule rather than the exception at age 18, do not last forever.

With advancing age, the urge slows down, erections take time to come on, anytime is not a good time and the penis requires more direct stimulation in order to get aroused. And besides, the erections may not be as rigid and firm, and ejaculations become more feeble. The over all recovery period gets prolonged.

Male menopause, is a distinct physiological phenomenon that is in many way's very similar to, yet in some ways quite different from the female menopause. Menopause is a condition most often associated with women, It occurs in a women when she ceases to menstruate and can no longer become pregnant. Men experience a different type of 'menopause' of life change. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 60. Unlike women, men can continue to father children, but the production of the male sex hormone (testosterone) diminishes gradually after age 40.

Testosterone is the hormone that stimulates sexual development in the male infant, bone and muscle growth in adult males, and is responsible for sexual drive. It has been found that even in healthy men, by the age the 50's, the amount of testosterone secreted into the bloodstream is significantly lower than it is just ten - fifteen years earlier. In fact, by age 80, most male hormone levels decrease to pre-puberty levels.

The symptoms of male menopause are not as overwhelming as the ones women experience and male menopause does not affect all men. Approximately 40% of men between 40 and 60 years of age will experience some degree of lethargy, depression, increased irritability, mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia, decreased libido, weakness, loss of both lean body mass and bone mass (making them susceptible to hip fractures) and difficulty in attaining and sustaining erections.

Following are some of the symptoms
  • Decrease in sex drive
  • Lack of energy
  • Decrease in sexual strength and or endurance
  • Loss of erection during intercourse
  • Decreased enjoyment of life
  • Sad and or grumpy - moody
  • Erections difficult to maintain
  • Deterioration in sports ability
  • Falling asleep after dinner meal
  • Decreased work performance
  • General fatigue
  • Foggy headed feeling
  • Difficulty staying focused

For these individuals, such unanticipated physical and psychological changes can be a major cause for concern or even crisis. Without and understanding partner, these problems may result in a powerful combination of anxieties and doubts, which can lead to total impotence and sexual frustration.

Though all the causes of male menopause have not been fully researched, some factors that are known to contribute to this condition are hormone deficiencies, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, hypertension, prescription and non prescription medications, poor diet, lack of exercise, poor circulation, and psychological problems. A general decline in potency at mid-life can be expected in a significant proportion of the male population.

Sex Drive

To understand changes in sex drive, which is called libido in medical terminology, one must understand that every person, and every couple, has a different level of desire. Sexual desire often changes in response to outside forces, like stress. Plus, libido can decrease with certain medical conditions and by many medications. As with all relationship issues, working through issues about sexual desire takes close communication. In other words, good sex first begins outside the bedroom.

There are many ways to express sexual desire. Many women enjoy cuddling, hand holding, back rubs, and kissing, for example. These signs of affection can be very pleasurable. Other women want different kinds of sexual stimulation, which can include masturbation, oral sex, or intercourse. When both partners agree on the types of sexual activity that is desirable there is usually little conflict. However, when one person wants sexual activity that differs from their partner's wishes, relationship problems may develop. Sometimes one partner desires sexual activity more often than the other partner, and this also puts stress on the relationship.

We know that men and women can have differing sex drives. Men and women, for instance, both have a hormone called testosterone, but this is present in much higher amounts in men. Women have high amounts of hormones called estrogen and progesterone. Testosterone is known to cause facial and body hair and larger muscles, but it can also cause certain emotions, like aggression and increased sex drive. Young men, for example, have strong sex drives, most likely due to the increase in testosterone that occurs at puberty. Perhaps these hormones lead to many of the differences found between men and women, but it is probably uncommon that "hormone problems" are the cause of sexual problems. (More often, it is relationship issues that decrease sex drive).

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