Thursday, April 9, 2009

Men Have Periods Too!

Please read the entire thing, however, for those of you who are excited to hear that men have periods too and need to read that section right away to feel good about yourself then scroll down below to the part that says: BUT NEWS FLASH PEOPLE - - MEN HAVE PERIODS TOO! and you will find all the information to back it up!

I am so tired of guys belittling the idea of a woman's period during a fight and using that as a reason for why we are "irrational," "overreacting," or even "raging."

Ok, first off, let's talk about PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome. Before it was called Premenstrual Syndrome it was called Premenstrual Tension. Woah. That's a warranted name - - inTense. PMS (as defined by Wikipedia):
... Is a collection of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms related to a woman's menstrual cycle. While most women of child-bearing age (about 80 percent) have some Premenstrual symptoms,[1] women with PMS have symptoms of "sufficient severity to interfere with some aspects of life".[2] Such symptoms are usually predictable and occur regularly during the two weeks prior to menses. The symptoms may vanish after the menstrual flow starts, but may continue even after the flow has begun.

For some women with PMS, the symptoms are so severe that they are considered disabling. This form of PMS has its own psychiatric designation: premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Symptoms of PMS include but are not limited to:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Inability to finish thoughts
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Extreme tearfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Worsening of existing skin disorders, and respiratory (eg, allergies, infection) or eye (bulbar disturbances, conjunctivitis) problems

Ok, so perhaps a guy has a right to say, "Oh get over it, you're just PMSing." Ok, fine. But understand that the physical, psychological changes that occur in our body warrant our emotions and complaints. Honestly, the male perspective and lack of knowledge of the PMS is not too surprising considering that not much public attention was given to it prior to the 1980's (wikipedia):
... Growing public attention was given to PMS starting in the 1980’s. Up until this point, there was little research done surrounding PMS and it was not seen as a social problem. Through clinical trials and the work of feminists, viewing PMS in a social context had begun to take place.
So what causes PMS? According to the Mayo Clinic:
...Exactly what causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition. Cyclic changes in hormones seem to be an important cause, because signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome change with hormonal fluctuations and also disappear with pregnancy and menopause.

Chemical changes in the brain also may be involved. Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that is thought to play a crucial role in mood states could trigger the symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems

Not to mention there is also a large amount of blood loss which causes fatigue and leads to some emotional problems and major discomfort - - cramps!


Don't believe me? So I went and googled "Male periods," "Male Monthly Cycles," "Male Hormonal Cycles" and "Male Testosterone Cycles" and here are some of the resources I found:

According to this article on AltPenis, by Paul Aitken:

The idea that men experience a monthly cycle is not new. As early as the 17th century, the Italian physician Santorio Sanctorius, after carefully measuring the weight of his body, along with it's various excretions (Santorio was nothing if not thorough), discovered a monthly cycle in body weight of approximately two pounds. He noted that the peak of the cycle was accompanied by feelings of heaviness and lassitude.

In later centuries there were various attempts to establish the existence of a male cycle. The late decades of the 19th century were a particularly fruitful period for some reason, with a number of authors (Gall, Stephenson and Campbell, if you must know) finding evidence for monthly fluctuations in mood, energy and sex drive. Later in 1929, a study found that men have emotional cycles of about one-month to six-weeks in length (as my friend had suggested). During the low period of the cycle, men were reported to feel apathetic and indifferent. During the high period they reported more energy, a greater sense of well-being, and lower body weight.

There is a male period, but of course it's nothing like that of the female menstrual cycle in the sense that they don't have the physical attributes of a female period, but males experience hormonal shifts and imbalances during the month. A rise of testosterone which can lead to moodiness, increased sexual arousal, depression, etc. This is what we call the Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS). IMS is more similar to Menopause, but still proof that men have cycles. According to psychotherapist Jed Diamond in an article on IMS can be defined as:
a state of hypersensitivity, frustration, anxiety, and anger that occurs in males and is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and loss of male identity.

Diamond furthers that men are as hormonal as women:
... In fact, men have a number of hormonal cycles:

1) Men's testosterone, for instance, varies and goes up and down four or five times an hour.
2) There are daily cycles with testosterone being higher in the morning and lower at night.
3) Men have a monthly hormonal cycle that is unique to each man, but men can actually track their moods and recognize they are related to hormonal changes through the month.
4) We know that there are seasonal cycles with testosterone higher in November and lower in April.
5) We know about hormonal cycles with males during adolescence, but also the years between 40 and 55 have what we call male menopause or Andropause.
6) Finally, we know there are hormonal changes in men going through IMS, related to stress in a man's life.
Ha! And that's only touching the surface of this research! You see, it's not fair that men attempt to shut us up with some period excuse especially since both genders suffer from monthly hormonal cycles. Do we tell you that when you want dinner, sex or football that you must be going through your monthly? So how about a little EMPATHY on the man's part? Realize that just because we may be PMSing, doesn't disparage our feelings. Yes we may be more emotional or possibly irritable, but please don't throw that in our face and make us more upset and hurt. Instead, listen to what we have to say, and you can avoid so much anguish. During anytime of the month, a woman's feelings are warranted and it's cruel to associate and minimize them to something like our periods. But if you do decide to throw the period excuse in our face, you better pray it's not around that time of the month. : )


naujitii said...

I believe that the more we find out that we are similar, the better we would be.

AyreWolf said...

Us Male Corpuscles have some of the same physical things as well, including , cramps, water weight gain, Bloating and fatigue, just like women do. Course we are not feeding a baby, like a woman does so we do not bleed, but we get all the rest of it.
I experience this every 2 months, and yes I am applying for a Federalized grant to study the situation.

xpertshopper08 said...

i still think that men need to realize that part of the reason we get nasty is because we are in EXTREME PAIN.

Anonymous said...

I knew it! I've said for years men have periods. Now I have scientific evidence that men do indeed "manstrate" as I've always called it. :-)

James Lupine said...

Did you mean to choose such inflammatory language? Its completely unnecessary and would make most turn away before reading far even if you made logical sense. I'm not sure what a French man in the 17th century observing a SLIGHT weight change over a month cycle has anything to do with what you're talking about and editing out that reference would be the best thing possible for this badly put together blog post. It reads like you're incredibly angry when it should be informative, instead of coming across as intelligent- you're portrayed as an uptight feminist lacking any empathy screaming to be empathized. How about a little bit of what you're demanding in return, understanding- that not all men are the same and neither are women. Instead of constantly widening the divide and putting PMS on a pedestal, try accepting responsibility for your rash decisions or irrational choices, for we all make them regardless of hormones. You seem to use PMS as an excuse in this post just as much as you accuse men of doing the same thing! And your final sentence I hope is an attempt at humor but honestly, it just comes across as incredibly hypocritical.

A R K said...

Wow James, PMSing much? Chill. This is a 'just for fun' post.

Anonymous said...

wow looks like James is on HIS period...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone was on her period when she wrote this.

rose said...

i all heard abount this i am married he on it now he get mad alot

Anonymous said...

they don't have periods,menstraute or pms 'cause they all mean month blood and men don't

Anonymous said...

Well said James.

Laurie A. Couture said...

This article is very disrespectful to men. The article seems to excuse emotionally hurtful actions while not once claiming that if women have the right to be irritable towards men, then men have the same right and should deserve the same empathy that you are saying men should show women. This type of passive-aggressive tone used in this article is harmful to men and women. Yes, PMS feels terrible, but it is NOT an excuse for verbal abuse, emotional aggression or nastiness.

Mitch said...

Well, I find this interesting to know. But I'm sorry you were having a go at guys, and then you say its a 'just for fun' post, well it doesn't really seem like it haha

Anonymous said...

what men dont understand is that the womens womb (uterus) grows and thickens for if the women gets pregnant, so when the egg latches onto the side and no sperm fertilizes it, the uterus starts to peel off (causing the bleeding). to simplify, females are bleeding on the inside becuz their uterus is tearing and falling off. :(
so men think theyre equal just becuz they get really emotional? its not the same...

Kyndal said...

James loosen up! Pms hurts soooo bad! We are not being irrational it hurts! For about a week we are usually very uncomfortable. I cry sometimes and don't know why! Let us women pms in peace and if you want to say you are upset about your IMS I have some extra tissue for you! Lol

Ken_ZomgWtfBbq said...


Anonymous said...

I am going to weigh in on this because I think I may have something of a unique perspective. I am male, was born male, however, due to cancer I lost my testicles, both of them. I am now on hormone therapy, for the rest of my life. In between my schedualed injections I go from energetic, focused, feeling sexy, vital, and 'upbeat' to depressed, crying for no reason, needing a great deal of emotional reinforcement, gaining water weight, having muscle cramps, sleeplessness, headaches, tremendous mood shifts within a manner of minuets sometimes, swollen ankles/feet, and cravings. Sound familiar? The hormone cycle is different for everyone, of that I have no doubt. But to belittle one side or the other simply increases the divide between the two. I am very sorry that some of you have difficult menstrations. For my own part, when my beloved is going through a particularly difficult time, I massage her back, make sure she has a heating pad, and try to be extra tender and compassionate. It's a two way street.

Anonymous said...

Woman go through pain monthly, that sucks. I as a man just give my wife some money everyday she is on her period to go buy stuff. like chocolates, clothes, practically anything she wants. I really don't want her mood near me, so i adapted.

totodile292 said...

How is wikipedia a reliable source? Anyone could and post write their info on wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

hmmmmm looks like james may need some tissues for his issues ...seems as though some men have their "monthly" outve different holes !!! BOYAH !!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Ha so males get periods!!!but I agree they don't feel pain but at least if they belittle us they get a good kick down there!FEEL THE PAAIIINNNN!!!!!!!!