A segment about the so-called ‘manopause’ on This Morning has sparked controversy online, with many pointing the finger at women as the reason men don’t feel able to come forward with their health concerns.
Discussing the possibility than men, like women going through the menopause, may also suffer from hormone fluctuations later in life, which could reasonably affect their mood, Ruth Langsford made numerous references to husband Eamonn Holmes’ bad temper at home, joking that he was definitely showing signs of the manopause.
However, when Dr Marion Gluk appeared to discuss her own thoughts on hormone therapy for men, the condition seemed a lot more plausible.
‘We know all about the midlife crisis,’ she told Ruth and Eamonn. ‘Why not just call it the menopause?’
‘As men get older, their hormone levels are in decline – their testosterone levels decline, and so do their adrenal glands. And with that, so do their muscles, their mood, energy, libido and vitality.’
‘It is a fact that testosterone levels decline over time, as to oestrogen levels in women, and it does have a significant impact on behaviour. It can start in the early 40’s, and life gets more demanding exactly at that time and you need the energy, you need the vitality.’
Also contributing to the discussion was journalist James Innes Smith, who, after suffering symptoms of what he called the manopause, conducted his own research by talking to friends and studying hormone therapy.
‘I was having the symptoms which I felt were quite similar to menopause,’ he explained. ‘So I started to explore it; I was having issues to do with anger, I was exhausted a lot of the time. My mood had changes, and I was quite irrational about a lot of things.’
‘The thing with men is they hate to talk about this stuff. It does affect your libido – your energy levels are so much lower and it’s just hard to get in the mood.’
‘My partner was very sensitive, and she was the one that suggested it might be something to do [with hormones] and not to dismiss anything.’
He continued: ‘It’s very easy to dismiss those symptoms as depression or as ‘grumpy old man syndrome’.
However, many This Morning viewers were quick to take to Twitter to express scepticism at the concept.
‘Am I meant to take this guy seriously? Equality I guess?’ wrote one bemused commenter.
‘Manopause? Do me a favour!’ said another. ‘Menopause is due to drastic hormonal changes in a womans body! Manopause is just ageing that men can’t accept!’
And a third added: ‘I’m sorry? Men facing ‘prejudice’ from women over manopause?? Welcome to our world for most of history!’
Some similarly dismissive comments were also discussed while the segment was still on air, with Eamon pointing out that he would never be able to criticize a similar health concern in women.
And James said that women laughing off this issue in men was precisely the reason men felt unable to come forward with their concerns.
Some other users on Twitter defended the manopause, with one writing: ‘It makes sense! It may upset the #Feminazis though…men aren’t supposed to get any empathy!’
Another agreed: ‘Appalled at the comments made my women in response to the Manopause on @thismorning. @EamonnHolmes was spot on with his reaction!’
Do you think you’ve spotted signs of the manopause in your other half? Let us know your thoughts on the debate in the comment section below!