No, you’re not just old and off sex…it’s the manopause 0 51

SEX life? What sex life?

When men hit their forties, they often feel exhausted, irritable and are the butt of grumpy old man jokes.

GettyWhen men hit their forties, they often feel exhausted, irritable and are the butt of grumpy old man jokes[/caption]

They are always tired, suffer broken sleep and even night sweats or a bulging waistline.

Most men simply put it down to ageing but The Sun on Sunday’s resident GP, Dr Jeff Foster, says it could well be the manopause — a serious medical issue where testosterone levels drop.

Dr Jeff said: “It is comparable to but more subtle than menopause, where oestrogen levels drop suddenly. Once men hit 30, they naturally lose around one per cent of their testosterone every year. It’s very gradual.

“It happens to everyone, though it may occur at different ages. You slowly grind down to become a grumpy, fat old man who doesn’t want as much sex as when they were 20.

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“Society tells men what is happening to them is normal for their age, but it’s not normal. It’s a medical problem and there is something you can do about it.”

Here, Dr Jeff reveals all you need to know if you or your partner are going through the manopause . . . 

THE SYMPTOMS

Similar to menopause, where dropping oestrogen levels affect women, testosterone reduction affects men.

The most common symptoms are feeling run down and more tired, with less get-up-and-go.

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Some men aren’t as motivated to get a job done, have a lack of interest and are less sharp. You will find they can’t remember things, such as people’s names. We call it “brain fog” for women.

Partners often complain their man is more grumpy and irritable, with less sex drive.

A classic sign is the loss of the morning erection, which is caused by a surge in testosterone. If it goes, something is wrong and in the long term may lead to erectile dysfunction.

You might suffer hot flushes or be working really hard at the gym but getting fatter.

Low testosterone can cause changes to blood pressure and cholesterol, an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and depression.

WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?

Women typically hit menopause in their forties or early fifties – and that is most common age for men too.

But there is no specific age. If you had high testosterone levels in puberty, exercised and ate well, your testosterone might not drop until you are 90.

If you were born with a lower level or had a medical problem, you might notice it in your 20s.

I have one patient in his 70s who was told he had dementia, but forgetfulness and memory problems were because he had low testosterone.

After treatment, his memory has returned. A lot of our patients have been referred by their partner and want to know if there is a medical issue or if he just no longer loves them. It can destroy relationships.

DO I NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Not everyone needs drugs. There are ways to improve testosterone.

Start by keeping a healthy BMI. Being overweight drives oestrogen, which suppresses testosterone.

If you are too thin, your body suppresses sex hormone production to conserve energy.

Diets high in protein and lower in carbs (but not taken out completely) tend to produce better testosterone levels.

Regular exercise is vital. Aim for three or four intense sessions a week that get your heart racing and tire you out, for 40-45 minutes.

You need at least six to seven hours’ sleep a night. Deep sleep triggers the testosterone surge in the morning.

Having sex may also help. Some studies show that if a man is abstinent for four weeks, testosterone levels rise, but after 12 weeks will drop.

DO OVER-THE-COUNTER PRODUCTS HELP?

No. Nor will supplements. There are no studies on humans which show these products work.

If they are claiming “evidence” it was probably tested on rats for a few hours. It’s a con.

WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?

If lifestyle changes don’t help, a simple blood test from your GP will show if your levels are low.

If your GP can’t help or you are just told everything is “normal”, find a men’s health specialist.

Low testosterone could also be caused by thyroid disease, type 2 diabetes or anaemia, so you need to rule those out.

Then you need testosterone therapy. It can be hard to get an NHS diagnosis. In medical school we get little training on testosterone.

WHAT TREATMENTS ARE THERE?

One that best suits you, fits your lifestyle and your blood test results.

Usually a gel, cream or injection. Tablets — that can be toxic to the liver — should no longer be offered in the UK.

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WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE?

Davina McCall made a brilliant menopause documentary that has helped millions of women and doctors, some of whom felt they didn’t know enough and read up on it.

The same thing now has to happen for men.

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My bitter ex told lies to my friends about my ‘small manhood’ after I dumped her 0 40

DEAR DEIDRE: MY ex is so bitter about being dumped that she is spreading nasty rumours around our friendship group – saying I’m rubbish in bed and have a small todger.

She never complained when we were together, but last week she told the girls in our group that being with me was “like kissing a soggy lettuce leaf” and that she “literally didn’t feel a thing when we were having sex” because I’m so small.

My ex is so bitter about being dumped that she is spreading nasty rumours around our friendship group – saying I’m rubbish in bed and have a small todger

I’m 25 and she’s 24. I think part of it is jealousy.

She knows a couple of the other girls fancy me and I think she’s trying to sabotage any chance I have with them.

Not that I’m even planning anything.

She’s so insecure and has a vicious tongue on her.

I’m tempted to let each of her so-called friends know what she really says about them in private.

Even her best friend gets a nasty critique every time she posts anything on Instagram.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

Send an email to deardeidre@the-sun.co.uk

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Her top is either too short, or her hair looks like wire, or her laugh is fake . . . it goes on and on.

I don’t regret splitting up with her but this last trick has really infuriated me.

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DEIDRE SAYS: Don’t let yourself stoop to her level.

You can make it clear she is lying without playing her game, which would only escalate tensions and reflect badly on you.

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You could maybe reply with: “Let’s just say she never complained when we were together and nor have any of my other exes.”

Your friends will soon see her behaviour for what it is – jealous insecurity.

My partner said he was on a work trip – but he was actually getting married and on his honeymoon 0 28

DEAR DEIDRE: MY partner said he was on a work trip two months ago, but he had actually got married and been on honeymoon.

Our relationship had become a bit predictable, but we still had regular sex and nice days out with our two young sons.

My partner lied about his work trip – he was really on his HONEYMOON

I’m 32 and he’s 37. Our sons are four and two.

When he returned from his “work trip” he blamed me for his cheating, saying I had let myself go and didn’t pay him enough attention.

He then told me he’d “traded up” for a better model. It didn’t stop there.

He said that his wife, who is 27, is absolutely stunning and makes him feel special.

Apparently this woman was a barmaid he’d met on a golf trip and they had been seeing each other for six months.

He told me all this, then marched upstairs and packed his games console and his clothes and drove off out of my life.

The thing is, we always talked about getting married but when we had kids there always seemed something better to spend our money on.

Mutual friends have told me he has moved into a new-build home on the other side of our small town and his wife has plenty of family money.

My sons are really missing him and I don’t even know how I feel.

Sometimes when he comes to visit the boys I beg him to come home.

But other times I’m so angry with him, I refuse to let him in.

Now he is accusing me of stopping him from seeing his children.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

Send an email to deardeidre@the-sun.co.uk

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Surely he can’t just show up when he likes?

I’m a mess and need to start getting a grip for the kids’ sake.

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DEIDRE SAYS: I’m so sorry your partner ended your relationship in such a cruel way.

This man sounds selfish and immature, and quite frankly the way he has treated you is emotionally abusive.

It won’t feel like it now, but you really are better off without him.

He is behaving like he still lives in your home, by just turning up unannounced.

Tell him firmly that you would encourage a good relationship between him and your sons but he can only collect them with prior arrangement.

Start to put down your boundaries.

I’m sending you my support pack When Parents Fall Out, which you could pass to him to help explain why you need to co-operate for the future wellbeing of your children.

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Give yourself time and be kind to yourself. He put you down constantly, now you can start to build up your confidence.

I’d recommend seeing a counsellor to help you with this betrayal and am sending you my Counselling support pack.

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