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Can Men Menstruate? Debunking Myths

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In recent years, debates regarding gender identity and equality have diversified to include other aspects of human biology and experience. One such point of discussion is can men menstruate or not. 

Menstruation is a biological process primarily related to women or Assigned Females at Birth (AFAB) because of its association with reproductive anatomy and hormone cycles. 

In addition to cisgender women, transgender males and non-binary persons (those born with a uterus and vagina) might menstruate if they do not have undergone hormone therapy and surgical procedures that suppress menstruation. 

In this article, we’ll explore if men can menstruate and how transgender guys may stop having periods if they want.

Can Men Menstruate: Know How

No, men can’t menstruate. Menstruation is biologically related to persons who have a uterus and ovaries and are normally assigned as female at birth. 

However, transgender males and non-binary individuals who were assigned female at birth may still have a uterus and ovaries, due to which they may continue to menstruate. This is usually possible if they have not had surgical procedures such as Hysterectomy or Oophorectomy.

Many transgender males and non-binary individuals generally undergo the mentioned surgical procedures and acquire Amenorrhea (the lack of menstruation) soon after the treatment. 

Amenorrhea can either occur as early as one month after testosterone therapy or as late as one year. 

Additionally, individuals on hormone treatment may experience shorter and lighter periods before their menstruation ends completely.

Transgender Men and Menstruation

Transgender ManSource: pixelshot
Transgender Man

Menstruation can be a major cause of gender dysphoria in transgender males. Having a menstrual cycle might feel incompatible with one’s gender identity, creating psychological distress.

Transgender males may experience menstruation if they have not had medical procedures to interrupt their menstrual cycle, such as hormone therapy or surgery. 

Transgender males who have not had Hysterectomy ( surgical removal of the uterus) or Oophorectomy ( surgical removal of the ovaries) maintain the reproductive organs responsible for menstruation. 

Due to this, they may continue to experience menstruation. Additionally, when transgender men start testosterone therapy, it might take many months for the hormones to suppress menstruation completely. During this time, transgender men may still have menstruation

Gender-affirming testosterone therapy may eradicate menstruation in transgender males within a few months of beginning treatment. 

Puberty blockers (GnRHa treatment) can also prevent transgender males from getting periods by inhibiting the release of hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. However, menstruation can still occur in some transgender males who have not had or completed hormone treatment.

Suggestion:
Testosterone therapy frequently results in the cessation of menstruation in many transgender men; however, outcomes can vary. Always consult your doctor before considering Testosterone Replacement Therapy.

Irritable Male Syndrome: Men’s Menstruation

Although men don’t menstruate, hormonal fluctuations can cause them to experience symptoms comparable to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), sometimes known as the male period or Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS).

Some common symptoms of IMS include:

However, these symptoms are not primarily linked to menstruation in the same manner experienced by women during menstruation. 

The reasons for these symptoms are unknown; however, they may be known to be associated with hormonal variations, namely changes in Testosterone levels.

Other factors leading to low testosterone levels can also lead to IMS. These factors commonly include:

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Underlying medical health issues

IMS is not considered a medical disorder in the same context as PMS. As a result, no prescribed treatment is available for treating IMS symptoms.

Hence, if someone is experiencing mood swings, irritation, or other symptoms associated with the condition, they should speak with a healthcare practitioner to determine the root cause and seek appropriate treatment.

They may suggest testosterone replacement therapy, lifestyle adjustments such as a healthy diet and psychological counselling or therapy. 

Caution:
Prolonged exposure to hormone therapy can lead to complications, such as reduced bone density, heart issues, and Diabetes. Consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these problems.

Key Notes

Although menstruation is often associated with cisgender women, it is essential to note that transgender males and non-binary individuals can also menstruate, but not in the way cisgender women do. 

Menstruation is a biological process that occurs in people who are designated female at birth, independent of their gender identification. However, transgender males and non-binary people may experience symptoms like fatigue and mood swings due to hormone fluctuation that resemble the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome that women experience. 

Acknowledging and respecting transgender men’s menstrual experiences is crucial for encouraging inclusiveness, understanding and providing proper healthcare and support. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Irritable Male Syndrome last?

The length of IMS symptoms varies greatly depending on factors such as hormone levels, general well-being, stress levels, and lifestyle habits. Some men’s symptoms may be temporary and subside on their own, while for others, they can last for a long time. 

How does society assist transgender males who menstruate?

Society can help transgender males who menstruate by acknowledging and supporting their experiences, ensuring access to accessible healthcare, and raising awareness and education about gender diversity.

How do transgender males feel about menstruation?

Transgender men’s feelings regarding menstruation might differ. Some may experience Dysphoria (feeling of insecurity), while others may see it as a normal part of their body. 

What is the man’s cycle?

When we refer to a man’s ‘cycle,’ we mean his testosterone cycle. Every 24 hours, men go through a full testosterone cycle, with highs and lows in testosterone levels that alter their mood, behaviours, and actions.

Do transgender men require menstruation products?

Yes, transgender males who menstruate may need menstrual goods like pads, tampons, or menstrual cups based on their personal tastes and requirements.

Citations:
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Photo of author Janet Fudge
Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for CheapMedicineShop.com. With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for CheapMedicineShop.com, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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