Men and Periods?? Yup.

12 May Men and Periods?? Yup.

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You know those days that you just feel like punching someone in the face?


Well, I don’t know if I ever get to that complete extreme that I would actually do it for no big reason, but my mate said that to me a couple of nights ago after a huge rant about his day and, it got me thinking: perhaps he’s on his period?


But wait, ‘he’ and the use of the word ‘period’ can’t be found in the same sentence, can they? I mean, periods are only a female thing, right?




Before I answer that, keep in mind that I’m not saying that just because someone is in a bad mood that that means they are on their “period”, guys and/or gals. So, relax.


What the?


Now look, I know I do possibly too often like to take things back in time in my articles (example one, example two, and example three), but from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes total sense that we, these days, would still have instincts and tendencies that still course through our DNA.


Survival instincts and animal tendencies are no doubt, some of the core components that make up our species. And, despite what you personally may believe in where we came from or even how we came to be, you can’t deny the fact that we are all mammals.


So, with the fact that we are all mammals – like lions, deer, sheep, and the insanely intelligent dolphins that are certainly having a much better life out in the freedom of the ocean whilst not destroying our planet – the other fact that we have mating seasons tends to show up and make sense.




Of course “mating seasons” sounds quite odd at first – especially when the majority of men out there – I’m sure – would totally preach that “every season is mating season (bro)”. But, with this somewhat in-your-face fact that we are mammals, enter now the fact that just like the female species of humans that experience what we term a “period” or “menstrual cycles”, males actually do in fact go through the exact same thing (minus the other obvious in-your-face fact. Yep, that one).


But before you get all touchy and exclaim, ‘how dare you, Hayden! I have never lost my patience and/or experienced similar mood swings to what some females may go through during their menstrual cycle’, let me first detail what may be causing the possibility of this happening, whilst also providing you with the medical term for this occurrence.


Irritable male syndrome



Or, IMS (for those people that love acronyms) is the term given to the male equivalent of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) that can come about from being too overly stressed, having a less than ideal diet and exercise regime, or even from upset sleeping patterns.


While these can most certainly all interrelate, the underlying instigator of IMS is in fact the big over-ruler known as testosterone (T).



But before we get into T more in depth, let’s break down how to spot a typical IMS-er.


The common signs


Jed Diamond, PhD, author of The Irritable Male Syndrome, explains that there are three common and noticeable behaviour changes that occur when a male may be within or around his IMS time.


He says that the first one, aggression, appears when an individual seems to get a little too angry over something minor or even lash out. Do you know anyone like this? One second they’re totally chilled, and the next, they’re on edge?


Another one that he says that shows up is the scenario when someone tends to pull back from the world, suddenly not interacting with others how they usually do. Does that sound familiar to anyone?


And, one last common behaviour change is the irritated guy. You know the one. That guy that seems to keep everything in, despite them being visually and obviously on the edge of exploding.


Okay, with that covered, let’s get back to the T issue.


The when and how


So, due to the male species that live on this planet being rather diverse, of course it is somewhat difficult to pinpoint when and/or how IMS may hit. Though, it is said that IMS can be triggered by a daily, weekly, or monthly cycle of T levels, including – and mostly – fixating on a lack thereof it.


And while it’s hard to say when and or how IMS may ignite, there are ways to keep it, along with T, in check.




The answer to this may not exist, but if IMS can be triggered by a loss or lack of testosterone, there are things that you (or your partner) can stay on top and aware of.



Some of these include being aware of what state you/they are from a physiological level. This may sound difficult at first, but with the added knowledge that certain foods that we eat can alter T levels, along with there being a much higher chance of estrogen (the female-dominant hormone) existing within the amount of fat cells one might have [1], keeping the body in check internally by what one consumes, can be a simple way of going about keeping T levels high.

Oh, and in regards to what foods can decrease T levels to a large extent, one comes to mind that a lot of men tend to consume on a sometimes daily basis: beer [2, 3, 4, 5]. Sorry, guys.





Another approach can be being aware of one major trigger that can upset hormone levels. And that being: keeping stress levels down or minimal.

Whilst this may be hard to do, taking precautionary measures like giving yourself some timeout, or finding things that act as your “meditation” can be some methods for keeping you in check and ultimately, in control.



One last approach that may work for certain individuals, is the simple act of just being aware of yourself. Perhaps keeping check of when you feel like you’re exhibiting some weird IMS behaviours (like the ones mentioned above), and taking note of it in your phone.

While it may seem weird or lame to you at first, it might be a good little exercise to do so that you can notice similar moods showing up at similar times each month – yep, just like females can.


But, what about you?


If you think you may be in or around your typical mood swinging IMS phase, well you can actually take a quiz that may inform you of your suspicions. Hell, even your partner can check it out. You can do this by heading to Jed Diamonds website by clicking the link below. 

Take the quiz!


And, thanks for reading.



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Hayden Perno
Hayden Perno