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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 23:59 GMT
Call for men to get HRT
Depression can be a symptom of the andropause
Depression can be a symptom of andropause
Middle-aged men should receive hormone therapy to treat the andropause - the male equivalent of the menopause, say doctors.

The Andropause Society has been formed to raise awareness of the problem amongst doctors and their patients.

But there is debate amongst the medical profession over whether the male menopause actually exists.

Dr Malcolm Carruthers, chairman of the Andropause Society, said the condition should be recognised and treated and said it was "grossly unfair" that men were discriminated against.

The society, which already has around 100 members around the world, is launching with a conference in London on Wednesday.

Equal treatment

Dr Carruthers is campaigning for men to be treated in the same way as a woman going through the menopause would be.

"Female hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is well established and women get lots of care and attention,

"Men get told that it's just their age, or that they are depressed."

The male menopause is said to affect men between their 30s and 50s, and to include the same symptoms as the female version - night sweats, lack of energy, irritability and loss of libido.

It can affect their marriage and their job.

Male HRT is available, but not many doctors prescribe it.

It can happen to the most masculine of men. There's nothing wimpish about it

Dr Malcolm Carruthers
The Andropause Society

A Harley Street specialist in men's health, Dr Carruthers estimates the andropause affects around 50% of men in their fifties.

He tests possible suffers to check testosterone levels and gives them hormone replacement therapy if levels are low.

He said since women can access HRT, men should be able to as well.

"What's hormonal sauce for the goose should be hormonal sauce for the gander," he said.

Men are notoriously bad at accepting they have a health problem, and Dr Carruthers said that is partly why the andropause is not more widely recognised.

"It can happen to the most masculine of men. There's nothing wimpish about it."

Dr Carruthers added: "We have got an ageing male population and it important to treat these symptoms and keep them in good condition physically and mentally."

Personal crisis

Dr Ian Banks, chairman of the Men's Health Forum, said he was not convinced there was such a thing as a male menopause.

"There are an awful lot of reasons why men feel the way they do when they reach middle age."

He said the age coincided with when women were going through the menopause.

"It's about that time when men are going through their personal crisis," he said.

"There are a number of reasons why they feel the way they do. To blame it all on the effect of the level of testosterone is a bit simplistic."

But he said there was evidence some men did need testosterone therapy.

"In cases where there is a demonstrable lack, individuals should be replaced with testosterone."

See also:

01 Dec 00 | Health
29 Feb 00 | Health
15 May 00 | Health
17 Sep 99 | Scotland
15 May 00 | Health
06 Dec 00 | Health
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