The Real Truth About The Man Cold

First of all, we need to drop the ‘man’ ahead of things like ‘cave’, ‘bag’ (it’s a purse, just own it), and above all, ‘cold’.


I’m a man and I’m going through this terrible plight right now. My head hurts, I can’t breathe through my nose, I have a chesty cough and I’m lethargic. Although that last one could be because I’m writing this at 6am before my baby wakes up. Uh oh! I thought I heard her stir on the monitor, but we’re good.


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So, the big question:

Is a cold worse for men?


Probably not, but that’s not what this is really about. Women often complain to their female friends, that their male partners are “suffering with a man-cold”, which is met with smiles, feigned expressions of sorrow, eye rolls and the occasional “oh poor baby”.


However, there has been some science! That’s right, science happened and it was written down and everything. This study by John Hopkins University says that us estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, reduced the replication of the influenza and protects them from the virus. It also was said that Estrogen seemed to have antiviral effects against the flu, HIV, Ebola and hepatitis.


Even further, in a study by researchers at Stanford University, showed that high levels of testosterone, the men’s equivalent of Estrogen, actually weakens our immune system’s response to the flu shot.


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At last, an argument against the unsympathetic brush-offs that we get when we mention we have a cold and would just love a little support through this troubling time.


I must, of course add the caveat that, of course women go through more than their fair share of suffering, and we have the highest of respect for you. But this is about me. I mean us, or whatever.


We don’t get many opportunities to feel like we need our partners to fill the ‘mum role’ for us as grown-ups. Sometimes it’s just nice to have the pressure off. Oh, and once in a while, can we be the little spoon?


If it’s not true, then is it so hard to just give us a few minutes to have a long soak in the bath, give us some cuddles and pat us reassuringly on the head.



Ok, fellow men, listen up. I know having a cold is hard and makes us feel like garbage. So take a moment, rub something that smells like menthol on your chest and drink plenty of water. This isn’t an excuse to be babies about it. We still have a job to do, so go do it.



This was first posted on The Huffington Post by me!



  1. Carina

    March 15, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    This is great! My husband will be happy to read that it’s supported by science. 😉

  2. Foirell

    March 15, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    This was a really good read and I like that its been backed up by research! Very dedicated to be up at 6 to write this too with a “man cold” kudos to you! Hope you feel better soon 🙂

    Foirell | citygirlrlell

    1. jamesrcsmith

      March 15, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Haha thanks so much! When you just have to write, a little cold won’t get in the way.

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