PMS on Men: Irritable Male Syndrome


Not only women experience being moody, irritable, angry, stressed out, grumpy during monthly period, this can also happen to men. Irritable male syndrome (IMS) is defined as a state of hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration, and anger that occurs in males and is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and loss of male identity. Men don’t actually have the lovely bonafide PMS related to preparing the uterus and egg for fertilization. This 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. 


Basically, IMS is related to diminished levels of testosterone in blood. As female hormones make women the female they are, so testosterone makes men the male they are. Therefore, reduced levels of testosterone will alter a man’s behavior.

Note these about the hormones of IMS:

  • Men’s testosterone, varies and goes up and down four or five times an hour.
  • There are daily cycles with testosterone being higher in the morning and lower at night.
  • Elevated levels of stress hormones like cortisol may also play a role in the origin of this condition.

However, normal variation does not cause symptoms. Some external factor usually precipitates symptoms. The most significant factor is stress.

Others include:

  • Certain medications can interfere with the production and/or function of testosterone.
  • Illnesses
  • Poor diet
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Surgery
  • Lack of sleep


Symptoms of this syndrome in males that are caused by a drop in the male testosterone hormone include:
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anger
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Lack of libido
  • Hot flashes
  • Head and back aches
  • Sarcastic
  • Tense
  • Argumentative
  • Frustrated
  • Demanding
  • Sad
  • Impatient
  • Hostile
  • Unloving
  • Withdrawn
  • Defensive
Treatment and Management
  • Treating irritable male syndrome can involve the use of topical creams like androgels which are male progesterone creams.
  • Taking supplements and other foods that are rich in calcium and magnesium are often advised by doctors in treating irritable male syndrome. Saw palmetto can also be used in terms of hormonal imbalances and other problems of the prostrate.
  • Bioidentical hormone therapy is also another treatment option that can be tried out by patients with IMS. This therapy involves replenishing hormones that have been lost with bioidentical hormones. These are natural hormones that have the same molecular components to some hormones that cause IMS like progesterone, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and estradiol. The therapy is usually integrated with proper nutrition and an exercise program.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating the right kinds of foods, regular exercise, avoiding stress, and having enough sleep can help in treating IMS.
If you believe you suffer from IMS and none of the above strategies has helped, see a doctor.