The questions are many.
If it really does exist, at what age will it begin to affect their sexual performance? What precautions can be taken to avoid its arrival and are there treatments to help reverse it? If it's real, how does it differ from female menopause? It's a no-brainer that men go through sexuality changes as they age, just as women do.
The erection-on-demand performance they enjoyed as teens is no longer the case at age forty.
Little by little as they age, men begin to notice changes in their sexual performance as the urge for sex also lessens.
As they age, it takes longer for men to get an erection to come on and the penis requires more direct stimulation to get and stay aroused.
The erection may also be angled, rather than straight and rigid and ejaculation may not be as forceful.
Also, the time it takes between erections gets longer.
Rather than physical, the decrease in a man's sexual performance could also be due to psychological factors like a mid-life crisis.
His waning sexual performance could be blamed on any number of external factors.
It could be due to lack of interest in an aging wife who isn't the babe she was ten years ago, the stress of work, demands of growing children, or financial difficulties, even worries about caring for aging parents.
So how do you differentiate between a mid-life crisis and male menopause? A mid-life crisis is more a problem of psycho-social adjustment, meaning it may have nothing to do with a man's sex life.
However, male menopause is distinctly physiological in nature, similar in many ways to female menopause.
Because frequently men can have both physical and psychological factors affecting them, the line between male menopause and mid-life crisis becomes hazy.
Although menopause is most often associated with women, men experience a different type of menopause or 'life change.
' Where women cease to menstruate and usually can no longer get pregnant, men can continue to father children.
Symptoms of menopause in both men and women are similar and can sometimes be just as overwhelming.
As reported in Andrology: The Science of Dysfunctions of the Male Reproductive System, approximately 40% of men between 40 and 60 will experience some degree of lethargy, depression, irritability, mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia, decreased sex drive, weakness, loss of both lean body mass and bone mass, making them susceptible to hip fractures, and difficulty in attaining and sustaining erections (impotence).
Testosterone (male sex hormone) stimulates sexual development in male infants, bone and muscle growth in adult males and also controls sex drive and male sexual performance.
The levels of testosterone diminish gradually after age 40.
In healthy males age 55, the amount of testosterone is significantly lower than 10 years earlier, and by 80 decreases to pre-puberty levels.
In 1944 what is now described as male menopause was reported in a key article written by two American doctors, Carl Heller and Gordon Myers.
Comparing symptoms with that of female menopause, they did a blind controlled trial showing the effectiveness of testosterone treatment.
But like many pioneering efforts their findings were vastly unreported due to men being unwilling to accept that they could have 'menopause,' while men with genuine symptoms and sexual dysfunctions were often told it was a mid-life crisis or just in their heads.
Around the same time testosterone therapy had come into disrepute in the public eye due to athletes misuse and abuse.
So the concept of male hormone replacement therapy for male menopause symptoms, impotence, or sexual performance problems wasn't very well received.
Added to that, the hype about side effects and the tie between prostate cancer and hormone replacement further negated its acceptance by many men.
Only after HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) became popular and produced desirable results for women, providing tangible improvement in symptoms and 'age reversal' in post-menopausal women, did men begin to take notice and jump on the bandwagon, not wanting to get left behind their female counterparts.