Recently, you might have caught interviews with icons like Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays and Robbie Williams sharing their experiences with andropause. “I was tired all the time, [and] could barely be bothered leaving the house. My libido was gone, and I was miserable,” Shaun revealed, while Robbie confessed to feeling “knackered.”
It’s remarkable to see high-profile figures discussing this condition, as it affects countless midlife men and their loved ones. But here’s the thing – andropause isn’t limited to rockstars.
Regrettably, this often overlooked condition has been under-researched, with estimates suggesting that 20-25% of men may experience symptoms of low testosterone. These numbers are based on those actively seeking help, so the real figures are likely even higher.
The truth is, as we age, testosterone levels naturally decline. Therefore, at some point in our lives, nearly every man will confront the effects of low testosterone—it’s merely a matter of when.
When andropause starts to make its presence felt in midlife, it can manifest in various ways – physically, cognitively, emotionally, and psychologically.
It’s a stage in life when men are often at the peak of their careers, yet they might experience physical setbacks such as increased fat gain, muscle loss, and diminished energy levels.
On a cognitive level, lower testosterone can translate into reduced focus, decreased confidence, and heightened anxiety. Libido may take a hit, with erectile dysfunction becoming more common. Collectively, these factors can severely impact one’s sense of self-worth.
Unsurprisingly, these struggles may lead to inappropriate coping behaviours, depression, withdrawal or addictions. It’s worth noting that midlife divorce rates are on the rise, often initiated by female partners. Tragically, middle-aged men are at a higher risk of dying by suicide compared to any other age group.
We urgently need to elevate the conversation around andropause to foster open discussions among men and with the women in their lives. Awareness and understanding represent the initial steps towards taking meaningful action.
The encouraging news is there’s a lot you can do to manage andropause.
From simple lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy, I’ll delve deeper into these solutions in upcoming posts.
I’m deeply committed to raising awareness about this topic. It’s a privilege to be shortlisted in the Workplace Wellbeing Awards for Men’s Health Advocate due to the work I’ve undertaken with organisations and private clients in this regard.
Men (and women), if you have questions about andropause, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Stay tuned because I’m going to explore this topic extensively and discuss simple yet impactful changes you can make to enhance your life during andropause.