I've got all the testosterone I need, thanks

'Rather than merely ageing, I am, it seems, going through the male menopause'

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Apparently, I'm not growing older after all. Mother Nature slipped up somewhere, and at 50, rather than merely ageing, I am, it seems, going through the male menopause.

Apparently, I'm not growing older after all. Mother Nature slipped up somewhere, and at 50, rather than merely ageing, I am, it seems, going through the male menopause.

At least, according to Ilpo Huhtaniemi, professor of Reproductive Science at Aberdeen University. Now, here's a man with a strange bee in his bonnet. Professor Huhtaniemi is convinced that the male menopause, or andropause, as it is more correctly known, is a valid medical condition, and not just an excuse used by middle-aged men for failing to mount their wives more than once a fortnight.

Symptoms, he claims, include a reduced sex drive and heavy sweating. Note the word "include". What, I wonder, are the others? An inability to enjoy the music of boy bands? Walking into the spare bedroom and wondering what I'm doing there? Entering a room full of people, many of whom I have known for years, and having only one name come to mind: Alzheimer? If the answer to any of the above is "yes", then put my name down for treatment now. My reduced sex drive alone would place me at the head of the queue.

This might be due to the fact that dragging my weary bones down to the disco/singles' club/wine bar, with a view to going "on the pull", somehow fades in comparison to a quiet night in with a couple of bottles of red and a Harry Potter book. The only thing I pull these days are muscles. My back goes out more often than I do. And as for heavy sweating, well, stand aside while I reveal to you the horrors of my bottom sheet. Twice a week I take the Turin Shroud to the laundrette. I used to think that heavy sweating was my body's way of disposing of huge amounts of unwanted alcohol. But no. Apparently, I'm ill.

Thank heavens that help is at hand. Previous treatment for us heavily sweating chaps with no sex drive has included injections, pills and a testosterone patch. That'll be handy. I can place it next to one of those nicotine jobs; the ones that have done nothing so far except increase my desire to smoke.

I have to say, though, that I have had all the testosterone I need. Nor do I need a re-eruption of acne and a yodelling voice.

Professor Huhtaniemi, however, has managed to convince 100 middle-aged men that what they need is to be 15 again. Clinical trials begin soon. God knows what is going to happen if they work and his clients are let loose on the world.

Let me know if you see any of them. I could use a good laugh. I picture them on a dancefloor, shifting uneasily from foot to foot, with restored hair, taut skin, and a vanished beer belly, wondering why they've been doing the Twist for 45 minutes and still no sign of "Hi Ho Silver Lining". Meanwhile, schoolgirls snigger and middle-aged women, also awash with HRT, brush them aside in their relentless quest for younger totty.

The many symptoms of the female menopause include irritability, mood swings, black circles under the eyes and thinning hair. Well, there we are then. I've obviously been menopausal since I was about 18. Which leads me to wonder whether Professor Huhtaniemi's theory isn't perhaps rooted in envy. Something along the lines of, "anything women can suffer from, we can suffer from better".

In this he has an ally in Dr Malcolm Carruthers, author of The Male Menopause. "It's a form of discrimination against men," he argues. "Women go to a GP with menopausal problems and get sympathy, but if a man goes along he is told to pull himself together."

Which sounds like good advice to me. Though I'd prefer, "Go home and fall apart". Maybe that's because I like my body the way it is, rather than the way it used to be. I figure if I'm missing some hormones, then they've gone for a reason. This is not to say that I think I'm right. I might be mad. Or just menopausal.

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