What Is Andropause

 It exists, points out Ishita
Sukhadwala. And help is at
hand for these who take time to
understand it........

 

As modern life has become a mosaic of complexities, demands, stresses and anx- ieties, it has begun to impact our internal mechanism in a way not dissimilar to the toll it takes on the external environment. This has resulted in new issues surfacing that require attention, and action. One such phenomenon is the male menopause, also known as andropause. Andropause is distinct from female menopause on several counts. For instance, it is not as prevalent as female menopause; it does not affect

all men; and its effect can be physiological and/or psychological (female menopause has a · definite physiological consequence). Universally, studies have shown that approximately 40 per cent of the male population in the 40s, 50s and 60s suffer from it. Symptoms include depression, increased irritability, mood swings, loss of libido, fatigue, insomnia, body ache, lack of concentration and problems with attain- ing and sustaining an erection. Anxiety and self-doubt as a result of these could crescendo into sexual frustration and total impotence if the man does not have an understanding partner. Physiologically, ‘ there is a cause and effect between testosterone (responsible for sexual desire) and andropause; a decline in the former can result in the latter. The question remains as to whether andropause is a recent phenomenon. No statistics or findings are available for pre- vious generations of men. Does this mean they did not experience it'? One theory is that the roles of men and women in the twentieth century have changed profound- ly enough to precipitate this behaviour. Men no longer have a clearly defined role of being breadwinners, as more women take to the workplace and there is a disin- tegration of the traditional nuclear family. This has a psychological effect on men who feel a loss of control, lack of worth and recognition or incompetence resulting in mid-life crisis. This could also be trig- gered by any critical changes such as separation or divorce, health crisis, chil- dren leaving home, becoming a grandfa- ther, experiencing erectile failure regularly and loss of a job. Within the Indian context, andropause is gradually getting the recognition it deserves. The first (and, to date, only) andropause clinic was opened at the Chennai Apollo Hospital in October 2004. The Indian Andropause Society (IAS) is also collating nationwide data through its members. Dr. D. Narayana

Reddy heads both. According to Dr. Reddy, the main objective of the IAS is "to strive for improving the quality of life of the aging Indian men .... Approximately 100 million men in India are above the age group of 45 and this figure is expected to double in the next decade." According to the Government of India census, life expectancy of an Indian male was 63 years in 2003; this is expected to increase to 84 years by 2010. Of course, this life expectancy varies greatly across class groups. This understandably results in a need to raise awareness of the Indian man’s emotional, psychological and physi- cal well-being. Lack of awareness means most men fail to recognise the cause of their symptoms and attribute them to age- ing. As a result, they either turn to self- help (due to lack of support groups) or ignore the condition and suffer. One of the most problematic issues sur- rounding andropause is the confusing emotions a woman experiences while her partner suffers. Dr. Reddy says that these women are "mostly unaware and per- plexed by the changes occurring in their spouses... It sets off a mutual blame game... Men may feel that nobody under- stands them. They may develop a victim mentality." It also puts additional strain on women if they are undergoing their own menopausal changes (a phenomenon also known as double menopause). There are remedies to slow down the _ onslaught of andropause. Apart from Testosterone Replacement Therapy and counselling, men can help themselves by monitoring their diet, medication and alco- hol consumption, giving up smoking and having an understanding partner. On the last point, there is some—good news. Once couples understand the behaviour, they feel a sense of relief that their condition is diagnosable and treatable. . As the ravages of time takes us through external and internal upheavals, some of which never experienced or researched in living memory, it is comforting to know that some phenomena are given the seri- ous consideration they merit. Male menopause may be a relatively recent behaviour but, like female menopause, it has a universal effect, which may not be apparent immediately. So, men and women need to walk hand in hand, to create a more understanding and supportive structure that can offer a secure blanket against the unfathomable.
Courtesy - GURLZ  



Article Written By Swagatam

Swagatam is a blogger at Expertscolumn.com

Last updated on 25-07-2016 93 0

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