Once thought to only happen to women, physicians are now stating that men too can experience a form of menopause.
More men are going into doctors' offices complaining of sexual dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, depression and other vague symptoms. according to LiveScience .
The website WebMD also reported that male patients are receiving hormone therapy with testosterone and talking about some relief of what's being called male menopause.
The term, though, is subject to debate. WebMD said men do experience lower testosterone levels, along with other symptoms, but not everyone agrees they are related to the testosterone loss.
"I think the question that arises is how much of this is related to hormones and how much of it is the facts of life that we experience with age," said Dr. Thomas Walsh, an assistant professor and director of male reproductive and sexual medicine at the University of Washington's School of Medicine.
"There is still a lot of controversy, and I don't think we have all the answers yet," he said to LiveScience. "You have to take the data at hand and apply it to the individual."
He said up to four million men may have low testosterone, but only a minority receive treatment.
Testosterone loss is also less gradual in men, who can make sperm into their eighties or longer. LiveScience said, for a woman, menopause means the end of fertility. All women eventually go through menopause while testosterone does not decline for all men.
The preferred term for men is late-onset hypogonadism. Dr. Robert Brannigan, an associate professor of urology at the Northwestern University Feinburg School of Medicine, told LiveScience that he is seeing more men suffering from the condition.
He said there are questions such as does the increase have to do with increased prevalence of the condition or rather increased public awareness.
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