A frequently moody, irritable, or depressed man… What is happening? Is he under constant stress from a series of unfortunate events? Is his health out of whack? Failures on the love front? If you’re a man over 50, you could very well be having a mid-life crisis. Blowing more and more candles out on your birthday cake with each passing year, questioning your major life decisions that seem to be irreversible now, and seeing the signs of aging in the mirror can all contribute to a certain degree of moodiness and even despair.
But don’t use a mid-life crisis as a fancy explanation for your potential health problems. Yes, it may be the case that you’re just going through a psychologic transition and redefining yourself as you age. But there may very well be another reason for your persisting dissatisfaction with life—and that is andropause. (Take back all your manhood?)
Commonly referred to as male menopause, andropause is characterized by a progressive drop in testosterone. In contrast to menopause in women, andropause creeps in gradually, hence, you can easily confuse it with a bout of depression or a mid-life crisis. As your primary sex hormone takes a nosedive, your mood follows suit. The less testosterone circulating in your body, the more vulnerable you become to heart problems and the more likely you are to fracture a bone due to decreasing bone density.
Preserving your manhood in old age
Newly developed health problems are never good news, but when it comes to problems in the bedroom, it’s really a blow below the belt. Mediocre performance or even inability to perform in bed is every man’s nightmare. To address their erectile problems, many men turn to medications formulated to recover erections. While these meds may do the job of sustaining the erection, they don’t really help in the libido department. This means that you are capable of having sex, but you no longer enjoy it as much as you used to.
Why does this happen? The main driver of libido, the spark that keeps the desire burning, is, yet again, testosterone. As the hormones levels dwindle, so does sexual desire. And your performance depends on desire just as much as it does on a good erection. So, if you want to reclaim your libido, rather than fixating on simply the mechanics of sex, you need to work towards maintaining and boosting your testosterone through diet and exercise. (Are you half the man you used to be?)
There’s another trick that can help you successfully transition into old age and even start enjoying your sex life again: it’s accepting what your body is going through and redefining your manhood gracefully. Sure, you can’t have sex of the same frequency and intensity that you had in your 20s and 30s, but let’s face it, you don’t have as much energy anyways. The sooner you accept this fact, the sooner you can start investing in a different kind of intimacy and discover the new kind of sex—different, perhaps less intense, but still enjoyable and rewarding nonetheless.
Related: 5 sure-fire ways to boost your libido