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A Quarter of British Men Think They Get PMS Too, According to a New Survey

A British poll found that 26 percent of males experience the same monthly symptoms associated with menstruation.

Photo via Flickr user Rochelle Hartman

Read: A Guide to Periods for Men

For as long as menstruation has existed—which is to say, forever—it has been used as evidence of female weakness. It's not just the bleeding, though that's gross enough (how could women function with that bloody, dripping mess between their legs?). Menstruation has also been a sign of instability: Women couldn't possibly be responsible for making important decisions with all those hormones swimming from their uteri up to their delicate little heads. Before the first American women were launched into space, for example, NASA had serious conversations about what could happen if a hormonal, moody, bleeding woman got behind an aerospace control board.


But while menstruation might be a "lady thing," men have hormonal cycles too. And according to a new survey, reported Thursday by the Telegraph, at least a quarter of men actually feel the same symptoms as women with PMS.

The poll asked 2,412 people in the UK—half men, half women—whether they periodically experienced symptoms like irritability, tiredness, and intense cravings. Twenty-six percent of men admitted to having one or more of these feelings. Some men even said they felt bloated during certain points in the month; others felt "easily upset" and "constantly hungry." As you may recall, these are the very symptoms that have led some people to believe a woman should never be president.

The condition is known as "Irritable Man Syndrome," a term coinedd by researcher Jed Diamond in the early 2000s. Diamond lists irritability, sadness, overeating, and acting "demanding" among the symptoms of IMS, which occur as men's hormones ebb and flow. (You can take a handy quiz on his website to determine if you, too, are a man suffering from IMS.)

Not everyone agrees with Diamond about whether or not IMS is a real thing, but other studies have found evidence that men's hormone levels rise and fall throughout the year, or possibly even throughout a 30-day cycle, like women.

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