Manopause, also known as andropause or male menopause, is the term used to describe the changes in hormone production that men experience as they age. The effects can be profound. Hormone levels affect mental and physical health, and sex drive, too. While it sounds a lot like the menopause that middle-age women know all too well, manopause is more of a continuous process, potentially affecting a man for decades. In fact, for many men, "age related slowdown" can begin as early as their 30's. Let's take a look at a few of the facts every man needs to know.
5 Facts About Manopause
1. What Causes Manopause?
Testosterone encourages muscle growth, a strong libido, and mental focus. It also helps to burn fat and support energy levels. Many people attribute slow-downs in these areas to simple "aging" which is indirectly correct, as research suggests that circulating testosterone declines with age, around 1% a year, and tends to speed up the older a man gets.  Although the process is largely inevitable, diet, obesity and disease can accelerate the reduction in testosterone production, while other measures can seek to preserve it. 
2. When Does Manopause Begin?
For some men, testosterone levels can begin to decline as early as age 19. However, that's not common and noticeable symptoms typically appear around age 40; men 51-60 are most likely to be in full swing of manopause. It’s estimated 25% of men over 70 experience testosterone deficiency and 50% over 80 years old suffer from sexual and erectile dysfunction. 
3. The Symptoms of Manopause
Symptoms of manopause include fatigue, decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, strength reductions, cognitive decline and mood disorders. Low testosterone levels have been tied to elevated risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. However, out of all the symptoms, erectile dysfunction, or ED, gets the most attention. You’ve undoubtedly seen the commercials for the various pills. Do a little more research and you'll quickly stumble across ads for miracle creams and pumps. Why so many zany products full of false promises? Because the opportunists know that no man wants to suffer from sexual dysfunction or the stigma that surrounds it.
4. Testosterone Replacement isn't the Answer
The pharmaceutical industry promotes a variety of testosterone therapies, and when you listen to the testimonials, they must work, right? Slow down. Although symptoms may improve, there is a trade off and several points need to be considered before taking supplemental testosterone:
- Testosterone replacement is not part of a man’s natural body rhythms.
- Long-term safety has not been determined for hormone replacement therapy.
- It may be dangerous for men with prostate cancer.
- Long-term testosterone therapies may increase the risk of breast cancer in men.
Not to mention the recent reports of testosterone replacement being linked to heart damage. In my opinion, testosterone replacement is not the way to go.
5. There are Natural Remedies for Manopause
Around the world, for millennia, plants and herbs have been used to encourage male vitality. A few of these are Tribulus terrestris, Muira puama, ashwagandha, and Eurycoma longifolia Jack, commonly known as tongkat ali. Supplementing with these herbs is traditionally used to counteract the typical experiences that come along with manopause.
All in all, the best approach to managing age related changes is for every man to take inventory of his behavior and identify what encourages normal hormone production (a nutrient rich diet, supplements, regular exercise) and what discourages it (smoking, drinking, inadequate nutrition, living a sedentary life). It is essential to avoid behaviors that worsen manopause symptoms!
Manopause – Is It Happening to You?
- Mooradian AD, Korenman SG. Management of the cardinal features of andropause. Am J Ther. 2006 Mar-Apr;13(2):145-60.
- Cardarelli R, Singh M, Meyer J, Balyakina E, Perez O, King M. The Association of Free Testosterone Levels in Men and Lifestyle Factors and Chronic Disease Status: A North Texas Healthy Heart Study. J Prim Care Community Health. 2014 Jan 26.
- Stanley G Korenman. Manopause. West J Med. 2000 August; 173(2): 80.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.