Is thinning hairsbreadth and a deficiency of libido a earthy portion of ageing for men, aliases is thing much sinister astatine work?
Pop-star Robbie Williams certainly thinks so, and is nan latest man to blasted a raft of wellness woes connected nan alleged 'manopause' or 'male menopause' — a comparison nan NHS brands 'unhelpful'.
Testosterone levels do undoubtedly plummet pinch age, experts acknowledge.
However, this happens gradually arsenic men get older, dissimilar nan abrupt clang marking nan extremity of fertility in women.
Symptoms synonymous pinch nan antheral balanced of nan menopause — sometimes called andropause — see weight gain, erectile dysfunction and insomnia.
Robbie Williams claims he's going done nan 'manopause' suffering wellness woes. The former Take That vocalist pictured soon aft leaving nan group successful 1996 (left) aged 22 and pictured now astatine 49
Testosterone levels highest successful young adulthood, astir property 20, but diminution by astir 1 per cent annually aft property 30
Robbie and his woman Ayda Field, 44, person admitted they hardly person activity anymore, pinch a deficiency of libido different commonly attributed denotation of nan manopause
Yet wellness chiefs and experts some opportunity these, and others, are typically 'nothing to do pinch hormones'.
Instead, nan accent of getting older — specified arsenic activity aliases narration issues and worries astir parents ageing — tin hamper libido.
Even nan dreaded 'midlife crisis' could beryllium to blame, according to nan NHS's ain page connected nan disputed topic.
Common 'male menopause' causes mightiness besides see a deficiency of sleep, a bad fare and drinking excessively overmuch alcohol, it says.
Former Take That vocalist Robbie told The Sun how he believed his wellness woes were, successful part, owed to nan condition.
'The hairsbreadth is thinning, nan testosterone has near nan building, nan serotonin is not really present and nan dopamine said goodbye a agelong clip ago,' he said.
'I've utilized up each of nan earthy bully stuff. I've sewage nan manopause.'
The 49-year-old besides claimed to beryllium suffering from a deficiency of power and admitted he and his wife Ayda Field, 44, now hardly person sex.
While injections of testosterone to boost his levels of nan hormone helped, Robbie said he was forced to extremity utilizing them.
'I was connected testosterone for a while but, because I'm an addict, that had to stop. I sewage these monolithic quadrate shoulders and started to look for illustration a doorman. It wasn't a bully look,' he said.
'But nan activity we had erstwhile I was connected testosterone was incredible; it was each nan time. We were insatiable.'
Much for illustration hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for women, men struggling pinch nan driblet successful testosterone tin beryllium offered artificial boosts to thief combat symptoms.
This is usually for men whose plunging levels don't look to beryllium manner related, suggesting they have late-onset hypogonadism, meaning their testes make excessively small of nan hormone.
Studies estimate that conscionable 2 to 6 per cent of men suffer from late-onset hypogonadism, whereas each women will suffer immoderate shape of nan menopause.
Testosterone levels statesman to emergence during puberty, erstwhile it causes boys to get deeper voices, bigger muscles and assemblage and facial hair. The hormone besides helps nan testes create sperm.
Levels highest astatine 20 earlier slow declining arsenic men age, pinch nan autumn becoming much pronounced erstwhile men scope their 30s — astatine astir 1 per cent each year.
But moreover then, nan consequential effects aren't overly clear.
Many men don't thin to acquisition immoderate symptoms until they scope their precocious 40s aliases early 50s.
And, dissimilar successful women, nan hormonal alteration does not render them infertile. Men are capable to support making sperm until their 80s and beyond, successful theory.
Menopause marks nan constituent erstwhile a female nary longer has periods, marking nan extremity of her fertile window.
Levels of nan hormones nan ovaries nutrient — chiefly oestrogen and progesterone — driblet off.
This usually happens erstwhile a female is betwixt nan ages of 45 and 55, pinch 51 being nan UK average, though it tin hap earlier.
Almost 9 successful 10 women going done 'the change' suffer symptoms for illustration anxiety, temper swings and debased self-esteem.
Like pinch women, nan 'male menopause' is utilized to picture nan play successful an big man’s life erstwhile his hormone levels crash, causing a big of symptoms that tin beryllium life-changing and debilitating — from erectile dysfunction to depression, worry and accelerated fat gain
Hot flushes, sleeping difficulties, bosom palpations, headaches and musculus and associated symptom are among a big of beingness effects women tin simultaneously experience.
Symptoms usually commencement months aliases years earlier nan menopause officially begins, arsenic periods commencement to go irregular. This is called nan perimenopause.
And erstwhile a women reaches nan menopause symptoms tin proceed for moreover much years.
The NHS warns these symptoms tin person a 'big impact' connected women's lives, including connected relationships, societal life, family life and work.
But nan wellness work is little generous erstwhile it comes to describing nan andropause.
While acknowledging it arsenic a existent condition, nan NHS says calling nan andropause nan 'male menopause' isn't correct.
'This explanation is misleading because it suggests nan symptoms are nan consequence of a abrupt driblet successful testosterone successful mediate age, akin to what occurs successful nan female menopause. This is not true,' its proposal reads.
A testosterone deficiency tin origin nan aforesaid symptoms arsenic those attributed to nan andropause, however.
While hypogonadism is usually spotted astatine birth, wherever it produces small testes, men tin besides create nan information later successful life. It is spotted done humor tests designed to measurement testosterone levels.
Men who are obese aliases person type 2 diabetes are peculiarly astatine consequence of processing nan information successful mid-life.
Dr Amr Raheem, an andrologist from backstage session International Andrology London, said position presently being utilized to picture debased testosterone or hypogonadism were inaccurate and successful immoderate cases really harmful.
'Equating andropause pinch position for illustration "male menopause" aliases "manopause" is misleading and tin perpetuate misconceptions,' he told MailOnline.
'Menopause is simply a well-defined play marking nan extremity of a woman’s reproductive years, accompanied by a accelerated diminution successful oestrogen levels.
'On nan different hand, nan diminution successful testosterone successful men is overmuch much gradual, occurring complete respective years, and not each men acquisition important decreases successful testosterone levels.'
He added that not only are specified comparisons inaccurate but could really put men disconnected seeking thief pinch symptoms owed to emotion emasculated.
'Terms for illustration "andropause" aliases "male menopause" whitethorn inadvertently lend to feelings of emasculation aliases vulnerability, perchance starring immoderate men to debar discussing their symptoms aliases seeking aesculapian assistance,' he said.
'Clear, accurate, and respectful connection helps destigmatize wellness issues, encouraging men to travel forward, talk their symptoms openly, and activity nan basal aesculapian support.'
Dr Raheem besides warned that while it was captious to raise consciousness astir hypogonadism and debased testosterone, galore of its expected symptoms could beryllium traced to other conditions.
'There is so a consequence of overemphasizing nan information aliases misattributing various symptoms exclusively to debased testosterone,' he said.
Menopause marks nan constituent erstwhile a female hasn't had a play for 12 months successful a row. It is simply a normal portion of ageing and occurs because nan ovaries extremity producing eggs, meaning a female tin nary longer get pregnant naturally. As a result, levels of nan hormones nan ovaries nutrient — oestrogen (shown successful graphic), progesterone — drop
'Symptoms specified arsenic weight gain, depression, insomnia, and erectile dysfunction are so associated pinch debased testosterone, but they tin besides beryllium suggestive of a myriad of different conditions, including metabolic syndrome, chronic stress, mediocre manner choices, and different chronic illnesses,' he said.
'Particularly successful nan lawsuit of erectile dysfunction, it tin beryllium an early informing motion of cardiovascular disease, a superior wellness information that requires contiguous attraction and management.'
Dr Raheem added: 'It is imperative for individuals experiencing these symptoms not to self-diagnose aliases property them solely to debased testosterone.
'Instead, they should activity a broad information by a healthcare professional.'
Endocrinologist Dr Naveed Younis, a medic specialising successful problems pinch nan body's hormones astatine Spire Regency Hospital successful Macclesfield, besides said nan word 'male menopause’ was misleading.
'Men do not acquisition a abrupt driblet successful hormones arsenic women going done menopause do,' he said.
'Instead, testosterone levels gradually decrease, and this is clinically referred to arsenic andropause aliases androgen deficiency successful nan ageing male.'
Dr Younis added that while immoderate men do suffer from andropause symptoms galore of these could besides beryllium caused by different manner factors aliases beryllium exacerbated by them.
'Lifestyle and psychological factors, specified arsenic anxiety, depression, stress, deficiency of exercise, weight gain, mediocre slumber and drinking excessively overmuch alcohol, tin besides origin aliases lend to galore of these symptoms,' he said.
Earlier this period The Daily Mail revealed that dozens of UK councils, universities, constabulary forces and occurrence services person developed 'male menopause ' policies.
Critics described nan protocols arsenic a 'further erosion of women's rights'.
Many urge offering typical curen to thief middle-aged men header pinch everything from mediocre slumber to temper swings.
Guidelines see letting sufferers activity from location aliases commencement precocious contempt the 'male menopause' not being a clinically recognised condition.
Some recommendations included letting firefighters switch shifts aliases 'work from location connected an advertisement hoc ground if they've had a unsmooth night'.
Caroline Ffiske, from run group Conservatives For Women, said nan woke policies undid 'years of fighting for menopause recognition'.
'It's perfectly ludicrous to return nan female menopause and widen that conception to men,' she said.
'Women can't person thing of their own. They can't person their ain spaces, they can't person their ain words and now they can't moreover person their ain nickname of their bodily differences.
'It's absurd and insulting to women that we now person to conflict for our illnesses and conditions and further erosion of women's rights.'