Horrible neologism alert: "manopause" has entered the vernacular.
While it's too early to say whether this is yet another DOA bit of optimistic wordplay from the patentmeisters at the Daily Fail (from which we've rescued former columnist Marjorie St. John-Blythe), this one has me worried: especially since the phenomenon is actually apparently legit. Male menopause — or andropause, as it's actually known — is nothing new: as they age, men's hormone levels shift, too. But it's only recently that doctors have taken it seriously — and even now, it's hotly debated. Says the Mail,
This is a condition still mired in controversy - the World Health Organisation refuses to recognise it as a medical condition and many GPs remain sceptical about whether it actually exists. But a pioneering London clinic, the Centre for Men's Health, argues that not only is it all too real, but cases are on the rise. ‘Our latest research of more than 10,000 men reveals that 20 per cent of men over 50 have been affected by the male menopause,' says Dr Malcolm Carruthers, who runs the centre. ‘Testosterone deficiency syndrome is a common and serious condition that is not being diagnosed or treated. This is a condition that can wreck lives if left untreated, and also shorten lifespan because of its proven link to heart disease, obesity and diabetes.'
It can also, anecdotally, really effect quality of life: guys say they've suffered persistent fatique and loss of libido — symptoms not dissimilar to some of those associated with menopause. And as with women, the treatment generally involves hormone replacement therapy. But since this is a serious treatment, many doctors are understandably chary of pursuing it.
One thing is certain: if the condition's going to get more scrutiny, people need to stop snickering about it. And a good start would be eliminating "manopause" right. now. Oh, and can we preemptively excise the hideous phrase "The Change" from the discussion? Thanks.