Being of an age where us men must support/suffer the consequences of the female menopause -  I was recently told of the male version: The Kenopause.

A slick term, no doubt allied to the recent Barbie blockbuster flick, I wondered if there was such a thing, and stumbled across the NHS website which states: The male menopause, aka the ‘andropause’ is developed by ‘some’ men.

Thankfully having got off relatively lightly over the years, bar being verbally ripped limb from limb a couple of times at work by females in the zone, I have read with interest the latest rumblings as to how women believe it should be assigned as a medical issue and, thus, be given paid time off work if required.

I digress: The male menopause emanates through the following symptoms, in the late 40’s and early 50’s, (of which I am a prime target) via mood swings and irritability (check), loss of muscle mass (ditto), developing man boobs or a large belly (hell, yeah), a general lack of enthusiasm or energy (yup), insomnia and short-term memory loss (as above).

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brett Ellis wonders if he is going through the male menopauseBrett Ellis wonders if he is going through the male menopause

Having consulted Dr Google, and the NHS website, I am now fully convinced that I am a ‘sufferer’ as I hit all the yardsticks as laid out. More ‘seriously’ the above symptoms can lead to further, wide reaching issues such as stress, depression, anxiety and, ahem, low sex drive.

But is the above not just ‘aging’? and do we need to stick a label on it and mark ourselves out as victims of this cruel process?

Yes, I’m grouchy much of the time, managing to tread a fine line between irritability and going off like Michael Douglas in ‘falling down’, which is self-control that surely only comes with age.

I work out most days, yet the man boobs are now just a mainstay but, maybe this has something to do with relaxing with a bi-nightly jar of cold ale in which to celebrate the achievement of having reached the sunset of another day with breath coursing through my lungs.

Every action and reaction must have a cause and a ‘blame’ and beyond that blame we then all feel the need to come up with a fix. Sometimes, just sometimes, things just ‘are’ and that’s how karma has dealt its hand and, well, that’s all there is to it.

Yes, the Kenopause is a thing, and I am a sufferer, but no, I expect no sympathy and neither am I getting any.

I will continue to make peculiar sounds as I rise from inert and breath in, as I wish the pesky man boobs would find a more willing recipient as I wish I had appreciated my youth a little bit more than maybe I did at the time before it all went south…

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher