You may or may not have joked that a guy was on his period when he behaved extremely irritable. Maybe you noticed that at certain times of the month he’s a little more sensitive than usual. But do guys really experience a period like females, minus the blood?
As it turns out, males do in fact experience a “time of the month.” Just like women, men experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms at certain times each and every month. A recent poll conducted by Vouchercloud revealed that “26 percent of men experienced conditions associated with the female menstrual cycle, including tiredness, cramps, and increased sensitivity”. Moreover, The Telegraph reported that 12 percent of its male respondents said that they were “more sensitive about personal weight” during that “time of the month.” Shockingly, “Five percent reported even suffering from ‘menstrual cramps.’” These symptoms are largely due to their hormonal shifts. In fact, one expert has dubbed the resulting symptoms Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS).
Symptoms of Irritable Male Syndrome Just like in women, the symptoms of irritable male syndrome can vary widely from male-to-male. But in addition to the aforementioned symptoms, males who do experience IMS often experience:
And Weight gain
This list sounds a lot like PMS symptoms, doesn’t it?
Causes of Male Hormonal Fluctuations
So what causes IMS? As far as research has uncovered so far, there are many factors that can trigger IMS symptoms in males. Too much stress, a change in diet, natural hormonal changes and brain chemical changes can all impact male testosterone levels which can lead to a male period. In fact, “Testosterone levels in younger men can vary four-fold in a typical day.” Unfortunately, what is much less understood “is how those levels vary day by day and week by week.” Some men report experiencing “’sympathy PMS,’ which is when guys experience similar feelings to the women in their lives who are dealing with the psychological and emotional feelings associated with PMS”.
How To Ease Male Period Symptoms
The key to easing irritable male syndrome symptoms is to help regulate male testosterone levels. IMS often results from low testosterone levels. Males can start increasing testosterone levels by improving their diet. Eliminating soy and soy products, which are high in phytoestrogens, can help keep estrogen levels low. Men can also try exercising more. Exercise can help increase dopamine levels which help improve mood. Exercise also can help them counter the effects of overeating as a result of hormone-induced cravings. If none of these measures work, it may be a good idea to have him seek a health care professional. They can determine if in fact the symptoms are caused by IMS and if so, provide treatment that can help increase their production of testosterone.
The next time the man in your life is extremely irritable and experiencing IMS, before you make fun of him, take a step back. Treat him how you would want to be treated while you are on your period. Be a little more patient, a little more understanding and let him have a chocolate bar or two. Then, if you’re concerned that his testosterone levels are low suggest that he see a doctor to have himself tested. This may help ease some of the symptoms he’s experiencing.