PMS is a real bitch, as any woman can confirm. Between the mood swings, the bloating, the achy body parts, and the impending date with a cotton pony, PMS is enough to make a lady want to tap out for a few days each month. Recently, I noticed that some of these symptoms seem oddly familiar, but not for me. My husband seems to go through this “time of the month” as well.
Do men get PMS?
Turns out the answer is yes, sort of. My husband, though? I won’t dare mention PMS to him, because at the current moment, his feelings are rather delicate, and honest to god, I can’t tell if he needs a wad of chocolate shoved into his mouth or if he needs to just camp out on the couch in a bathrobe with a cold beer and watch old episodes of The Man Show.
Anyone who has ever lived with a man can tell you that male PMS is real, even if it doesn’t look exactly like what women go through. I mean, men don’t ovulate obviously, which means they do not bleed, but they sure as hell do get a hair across their ass roughly once a month.
Since the beginning of time, women have noted that men go through bursts of depression, irritability, and fatigue, the same symptoms of female PMS. Some have wondered if male testosterone levels dip in the same way that female estrogen can fluctuate during a monthly cycle.
But don’t take my word for it, I’ll let science do the talking for me.
Male PMS, also known as Irritable Male Syndrome, is represented by two camps: A few doctors who think it is legit, and scientific data that says this is not seen in the human male. In 2013, Cosmopolitan investigated this mysterious male condition. According to their expert, Yael Varnado, MD, male PMS “can be attributed to men experiencing a drop in testosterone, the hormone that gives them their mojo. Their IMS can happen at anytime, as testosterone levels fluctuate during the day, but they tend to be highest during the morning and drop as the day goes on.”
Where did he get this idea? Well, the concept of male PMS is credited to author Jed Diamond who is convinced that male menopause is a legit thing and that men do, in fact, suffer from it. He claims to have more than 40 years of clinical research on the topic under his belt. However, the medical community at large disagrees. Researchers Thomas Perls, MD, and David J. Handelsman, MD, argue in an editorial published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that male menopause is essentially a deceptive marketing scheme targeting middle-aged men with disposable incomes.
That doesn’t explain why men, my husband included, can get all depressed and moody and broody around the same time each month. At this point, I don’t care if there is no hard data to back up my claim. My husband still has it.
Male PMS notwithstanding, there is some pop culture traction to the idea that men have a regular cycle like women. If you head over to Google you will see that there are 32.7 million search results for the term “male PMS.” That’s a lot of interest in something that supposedly doesn’t have any medical or scientific basis. Am I right?
We’ve long treated men as though they are automatons with no oscillation in hormone-controlled moods, but what if we are wrong? What if we can finally solve the mystery of male PMS, give it a name, and create a whole genre of jokes and crazy products just for him? Oh, the possibilities. Maybe we can even invent a don’t-be-a dick pill that will help our beloved dudes chill the fuck out. After all, they may be man-struating, but they still aren’t the ones bleeding.
I’m just sayin’.