IMS: The Male PMS

Sure, they don’t bleed, but they’re still weirdly moody sometimes… Why and How? Read on to find out!

Moody Man

So this is strange: this post was inspired not by my love for the subject, but by the last fight I had with my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend).

I wrote this blog while sitting by myself in the dark. My boyfriend was relegated to the next room after having taken my agony to its extremities. While I was grumbling, a strange thought hit me, ‘Sure, I’m the one that’s menstruating, but he’s the one throwing tantrums!’ I should have been the one PMS-ing, but, on the contrary, he had been eating more, feeling restless, and showing all the other symptoms. 

“Men suck,” Bailey said, nodding supportively then frowning at Vaughn. “Why do you suck so much? Too much ball toxins?” 
“Sounds about right,” he muttered, rolling another strike. “Girls get PMS. Guys get ball toxins. Common knowledge.” 
― Bijou HunterDamaged and the Cobra

Couple having a disagreement at a cafe.
You may be at odds with him for no reason besides
his pesky testosterone levels!

I thought, ‘Maybe, I am absolutely wrong… But could it be true? Perhaps men, when they’re close to women, ‘sync’ with them, like best friends do?’

My curiosity caused me to google it. The results led me to a very interesting condition, called: “Sympathy PMS” or “Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS)”. 

The research is pretty sketchy, but I still had some information to work with. According to Cosmo, men can actually go through a “Sympathy Premenstrual Syndrome”, an experience similar to that of women. Some also suggested that we call it IMS – “Irritable Male Syndrome.” A dip in the testosterone levels of men is supposed to cause this irritability and restlessness.

A little more research and I was questioning myself: Perhaps I was being too harsh. I should have cut him some slack in his IMS period.

According to Jed Diamond, on Medicinenet.com, men are as susceptible to hormonal drives as women. In fact, they have multiple hormonal cycles a day. Their testosterone levels change every four to five hours, which can cause mood swings. 

“Never mess with a woman in PMS and a man on Testosterone.” 

Abhijit Naskar

This is about as much as we know about IMS right now. With time, there will hopefully be more research. But for now, it’s just important to be sensitive to the men in your life and go easy on them.  Especially when dealing with someone in his mid-40’s, which is when men hit a kind of hormonal ‘menopause’ – but that’s a conversation for another time.

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