Believe it or not, men also have "that time of the month". At least a quarter of men in the UK reported experiencing what is called a "man period", based on responses on an online survey at vouchercloud.com.
The survey responses assessed lifestyle habits and behaviors of more than 2,400 people, with 50 percent of respondents being male and the other, women.
Among men respondents, 26 percent said that they believe they were experiencing a regularly monthly period. Among these men, 56 percent said they felt irritable, 51 percent reported feeling more tired than usual and 47 percent said that they experienced increased cravings for sweets like ice cream and chocolates.
Other symptoms felt were those commonly associated with menstruation like bloating (15 percent) and having cramps (5 percent).
"PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome) may well be a biological effect for women only, but clearly a lot of men have their own monthly ups and downs to handle too," said Chris Johnson, head of operations at Vouchercloud.
Some experts believe that hormones can be blamed for these periods in men, pretty much the same with women except for obviously not having the organs that facilitate menstruation.
"It is assumed that women are hormonal and men are moved more by logic," Jed Diamond, founder of men's health website MenAlive, wrote in his book, The Irritable Male. "But men have a number of hormonal cycles and these affect their level of energy, anger, sex drive and irritability."
Calling it the Irritable Men Syndrome, it was first observed in Scotland by the country's medical research council last 2001, while observing the mating cycle of the Soay sheep. Based on observations, the ram's testosterone levels would decrease after mating season, making them more irritable.
However, the validity of the condition is still under question alongside andropause, or the decrease in testosterone levels in men and the counterpart to women's menopause.
Interestingly enough, more women actually believe that men experience their own "periods", as 48 percent of the female respondents in the survey said they believed that the men they knew do experience these periods on a regular basis.
The online survey cannot substitute the full-featured scientific research, but there is already the particular data available, supporting the notion:
* Testosterone Levels Fluctuate Every Hour
In case you forgot some lessons from sex education classes, testosterone is the main sex hormone in men; they're also responsible for sexual characteristics like muscles and bone mass. Apparently, testosterone levels can wildly fluctuate every hour, which means men can be irrationally hormonal (like women on their periods) at any given hour - literally.
* Testosterone Levels Are Higher in the Morning
Men who feel more irritable and tired in the evening can attribute their mood swings to decreasing testosterone levels. According to research, men experience a "daily testosterone cycle." Thankfully, the testosterone levels in the evening aren't low enough that they won't be energetic or aroused enough to have sex.
* Men Have Monthly Hormonal Cycles Too
Similar to women, men have hormonal cycles, which can also be tracked. Unless guys would like to keep track of every changing mood they have, they won't actually notice the changing hormone levels on a monthly basis. Not only that, but these monthly hormonal cycles are also individual to every guy.
* Testosterone Levels Also Have Seasonal Peaks and Lows
Weird as it may sound, but testosterone levels also change depending on the season. Researchers discovered that testosterone levels are at their lowest around November, when winter is coming. On the other hand, testosterone levels are at their highest as spring nears, specifically in April.
* Testosterone Levels Decline with Andropause
Men's version of menopause - andropause - are often experienced by men between the ages of 40 and 55. During this time, testosterone levels also decrease, just like women's hormones when they're going through menopause!
* Environmental Stimulants Can Change Testosterone Levels
They might seem like "mundane environmental stimuli," but they can actually affect men's testosterone levels. Studies have shown that watching action movies, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and playing video games can all trigger an increase in testosterone levels.
The men periods reality theory, however, is not a totally new theory for the scientific community. In 1972, Estelle Ramey wrote about the data from a 16-year study done in Denmark tracking the daily testosterone fluctuations. The study did show cyclical patterns within each 30-day period. In the absence of any data on how this affected the men, Ramey combined this information with another study tracking the changes in men’s moods and energy levels over the course of a month—without any hormonal data.
Put the two together and you have something the Internet loves: a loose, unsubstantiated correlation promoted as fact.
The reality is, we do not really know why men’s hormones fluctuate. Traditional Chinese Medicine partially attributes the fluctuations in male energies to too much sexual activity (or more specifically—too much ejaculation) and depletion of jing through unhealthy habits. Ayurveda also looks at the male moon cycle as being affected by sexual activity, and equates seminal fluid as having the same energetic effect as women’s uterine blood; the belief is that ejaculation leaves men with the need to rest rebuild those energies. Western medicine? We still don’t know. The data doesn’t support the idea that too much sex messes with your testosterone levels on a long-range basis. We do know that when the highs and lows are too far out of the normal range, it has an adverse effect on men’s physical and emotional health.
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