How to Prevent the Man Flu – It Might Be Real After All!

Let’s chat the “man flu”, shall we?

man flu

There are jokes aplenty but I think we’ve all seen real-life experience of the dreaded “man flu” as well. I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories, chuckled at the puns and even had our own experiences whereas women with the flu push on and get ‘er done – while men? “Call my Mom” and “the end is coming”, are some extremes heard when it comes to the topic.

I even recall my Mom mentioning the ‘man flu’ when I was just a young kid, during a time when they actually both had the flu. My Father was in bed, stating inability to even sit up; and my Mother was still running around getting everything done. 

man flu men verses females

So, are men just whiners, or does the flu actually hit them worse?

Up until recently the “man flu” was widely seen as a myth, but researchers have found new evidence that might explain why the men/boys in our lives always seem to have a harder time when flu season rolls around.

man flu funny

Apparently the male mantra of “living fast and dying young” means they fail to build up their immune system like women. Men tend to be more vulnerable to getting infected or less able to clear infection.

In fact, across a range of animal species, males tend to be the “weaker sex” in relation to immune defences, usually because of hormonal differences. This has been supported by more recent studies, which suggest estrogen has anti-viral qualities that provide women with greater protection against influenza meaning estrogen might be a key in fighting infection faster.

It might have something to do with estrogen’s ability to reduce the cell’s metabolic rate, which could slow down the ability of the virus to replicate itself. So while it’ll always be a common joke and a source of many laughs – there actually might be something more to the “man flu”. 

Regardless of whether you buy the “man flu” as a legitimate excuse, the safest thing to do is get your flu shot. In the battle of the sexes vaccinations don’t pick sides.

Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies across the country are making it easy for all by offering flu immunizations administered by an injection-certified pharmacist. In fact, you can just walk in and get your flu vaccine at any hour which is convenient for you.


What are your thoughts on the man flu?


Disclosure: I am compensated for my part in the #SDMFluFighters program, all opinions are my own.



  1. The steps I take to prevent the flu are to take a multi-vitamin daily, wash my hands frequently and to get plenty of rest.

  2. Man flu is brutal… lol… so annoying… haha… We try to wash our hands lots, drink lots of fluids, vitamins etc.

  3. ugh Man Flu!! We get our flu shots every year and try to eat well, sleep well and wash the hands all of the time

  4. To avoid getting the flu, I get a flu shot, wash my hands often, and steer clear of sick colleagues!

  5. *eye twitch* man flu.
    I’m trying to avoid the flu by staying away from sick people, washing my hands & taking daily vitamins.

  6. We wash our hands a lot and try to avoid sick people if possible! The flu is bad for anyone! We want to avoid it if possible!

  7. Last week our house was hit with two kid flus and one man flu! No fun at all – thank goodness I remained healthy to take care of everyone.

  8. I tend to do a bit of eye-rolling when in the presence of man flu (especially if i’m sick as well and somehow manage to keep going). I wash my hands frequently and double up on vitamin C during the cold and flu season.

  9. Last year I caught a bad cough & cold and suffered with it from Dec to May! I definitely don’t want to go through that again, so started taking Zinc, plus C, D, and a multi vitamin daily. I also ensure that my hands are washed thoroughly after shopping trips, stay hydrated, sleep 8 hours a night and try to stay away from sick people!

  10. I’ve had a flu shot. Every year, I tell the male half of my household to do the same…does he listen? No. Does he get sick? yes

  11. The entire house has had their flu shots. I hate dealing with the man flu and I am hoping that he doesn’t get sick..

  12. I get the flu shot hubby doesn’t. When he does get sick he is ONE huge baby. I tell him don’t cry to me should have gotten the flu shot

  13. Man Flu ! its awful ! sneezing , congestion , coughing , all that whining ! I have no idea how he even listens to himself ! lol

  14. I hate when the man flu hits, I would just like to leave when it hits, I can’t believe they can act like big babies!!

  15. We get our flu shots every year. My hubby is pretty good when it comes to the man-flu, he knows better than to complain but he still does his share of moaning.

  16. I always thought guys in my life were just exaggerating when talking about their symptoms. Interesting.

  17. Ohhh … the dreaded man flu. Take flu meds right away on the first sign of symptoms (moaning, whining and when you hear I think I’m getting the flu). Get yearly flu shots.

  18. I got lucky and have a husband who has never suffered from Man Flu but my 16 year old son is starting to show signs of being a sufferer. If he isn’t feeling well, he makes sure to involve the whole family in his care.

  19. Man flu is brutal. I wash my hands alot, take multivitamins, eat healthy , and try to avoid sick people.

  20. The steps I’m taking to not get the flu is drinking lots of water, eating healthy and staying away from people with the flue or colds.

  21. I am washing my hands more and cleaning surfaces regularly plus taking my vitamins daily.

  22. We both get flu shots and very seldom get sick but if we do my husband is the uncomplaining one.

  23. To avoid getting the flu, I get a flu shot, I wash my hands, I try to eat healthy and get lots of sleep

  24. I have three girls, twins aged 5 and a 4 year old, all born within 14 months, and I would rather experience the first two years of that chaos again than deal with my sick husband! He doesn’t move, complains, grunts and groans, and demands 100% attention for however many days he is ill- it is AWFUL!

  25. I take vitamins and get my flu shot every year. Now that I’m a pensioner I think it’s needed. Last year one of my adult sons caught the flu – but not me despite us living in a small space together, he didn’t get his flu shot! He was terribly ill though and in fact I took him to the ER one night to make sure it was ‘only’ the flu. I have never seen anyone sweat like he did then shiver uncontrollably. I’d advise everyone to get their flu shot each year.

  26. I am trying to prevent getting sick this year by getting my flu shot. I washy hands often and I disinfect most surfaces in my home daily.

  27. So far this year we have been lucky, no man flu but I actually think that I am a bigger baby when it comes to getting sick than he is.

  28. I’ve been making sure we all eat healthy foods and take our vitamins, luckily no man-flu yet!

  29. I must admit I have not had the flu shot -I usually get it in Nov. Probably too late now. Will wash my hands and avoid sick people

  30. We get the flu shot annually and try to get good rest, eat reasonably well, get some exercise and fresh air and take our vitamins. We also wash our hands!

  31. When it’s the man flu, the earth stands still!! I just put up with it because he gets over it pretty quickly as I force feed him chicken soup and vitamins! 🙂

  32. To avoid getting the flu, I stay clear of people with the flue, disinfect door handles at home, drink plenty of fluids, eat well and get lots of sleep.

  33. I take steps by constantly washing my hands, getting lots of rest, having warm foods and staying warm.

  34. I am definitely taking steps to prevent the flu with a flu shot and continuing to take my vitamins.

  35. I have to admit, I’m more likely to have the man flu than my hubby. If my hubby has to work he’ll push through and get the job done. If he is home he won’t leave the bed through.

  36. Man colds are the worst , on us ladies ! lol The boys at my house all get spoiled when they do get sick though , I always feel so bad when someone feels sick !

  37. I’ve experienced it, my ex-husband got it almost every year. You’d think that the world was coming to an end. What a whiner he was.

  38. the man flu, my hubby is such a baby,it’s like his world is falling apart, and he needs help with everything. it’s actually quite tiresome.

  39. Good hand hygiene is key to preventing bugs… but sometimes it’s inevitable that sickness will hit!

  40. Lots of hand washing and take vitamins. My husband was the worst when he had a flu.

  41. When my husband gets the “Man Flu” it’s a nightmare for me. He turns into a huge suck, that won’t even get out of bed to put his snotty kleenex’s in the garbage.

  42. My man won’t even get out of bed to put his snotty kleenex’s in the garbage when he has the “Man Flu”

  43. I focus on the handwashing, the experts say that is one of the best ways to protect yourself.

  44. I actually get 0 experience with the man flu 🙂 All the guys around me have always been stronger than me both in avoiding the sickness and in surviving it.

  45. My husband is my experience dealing with man flu, I’ve helped him through afew! We always get our flu shots now to prevent the flu.

  46. We’re not even going to touch the man flu topic 😉 We wash our hands, get lots of sleep and eat well during flu season.

  47. the steps I take to prevent the flu are plenty of rest and fluids, take vitamins daily and dress properly for the weather

  48. I try to avoid the flu by staying away from people that have the flu as best as I can .

  49. We try really hard to not get sick, I also have oils diffusing, we take vitamins and supplements, hand wash frequently and stay home if we think something is brewing!

  50. I have never had the flu. I wash my hands regularly and never put my hands on or near my face and eyes.

  51. I have the kids wash their hands all the time especially when they come in from school!! Plus vitamins. We try our best to avoid the dreaded flu!

  52. Get my flu shot every year and “still” get the flu! Guess it must be low immunity

  53. We get a flu shot every year so my husband and I are fortunate that we have not had the flu in years, My husband used to get really ill with it but not lately. He has a cardiac condition so he has to be careful.

  54. We wash our hands frequently and we take our vitamins and we eat lots of fruits and vegetables to prevent the flu

  55. We vaccinated and wash our hands – there is a family rules that when you get home the first thing you do after removing your boots is wash your hands.

  56. We currently have the man flu in our household which has developed into bronchitis for one and an earache with pneumonia for another. ”’Tis the season to need lots of tissues Fa la la la la I need my bed”

  57. Its so important to keep your body healthy so it can fight all this yucky stuff so we have a jug of veggie juice that has ginger and tumeric in it that we all have a cup a day and having a diet that is healthful. Also washing your hands soooo important!

  58. Oh my gosh. I thank God my husband dose not get sick often. When he dose DRAMA. I was making my own tea ect. after breast cancer surgery. He gets the flue and he can not even gut up.

  59. My husband caught the Man Flu just as my daughters and I were getting over colds. He proceeded to tell me that his was a different cold than we had had because he felt worse.

  60. Oh I experienced the ‘man-flue’ with my ex. He was too sick to do anything….at all…..and I had the cold too but I had to look after him.

  61. I’m no Florence Nightingale, so when my hubby gets the man-flu, I have to take a lot of deep breaths and keep my comments to myself.


  63. I’m get so exhausted when the man flu hits the house. lol Serving drinks, making soups, turning up the heat turning down the heat. .

  64. To avoid getting the flu I got the flu shot, always wash my hands after touching common surfaces, keep my distance from people coughing and wipe down my desk weekly.

  65. We use alot of natural remedies all year and are quite healthy . The man flu , a deal breaker if a guy I date actually acts the way most men do lol

  66. When my Husband gets a sniffle watch out. I try to eat well by eating lots of fruits and veg

  67. I try to wash my hands often and I am constantly disinfecting all the surfaces in the house that get touched .

  68. Oh boy don’t get me started on the man flu. My husband is the biggest baby. AND Did you know 6, 8 and 9 year old boys ALSO get the man flu? Knock on wood, we’ve been okay this year so far, but they are all huge babies when they get sick lol

  69. My husband always gets his flu shot and hasn’t had the flu in many years. When he’s sick, he’s like an animal and goes and hides under the covers.

  70. The steps I take to prevent the flu are to wash my hands frequently, especially after blowing your nose especially before I eat. I also try to stay away from sick people and get plenty of rest.

  71. I may have posted a comment already however I did it on my iPhone and it may or may not have been completed…sorry if this a second post and yay if it’s a first…my Hubby has the Man Flu UGH…of course we all know what that means…he can’t move…he can’t do anything..omg how do men really think that they are sicker then anyone else..surely he see’s me and that yes I am coughing and sniffling too!! But no time for whining from me..he is doing enough for both us..teehee…all the hand sanitizer I use did not stop me from getting this cold though and I am little sad about being sick at Christmas but again no whining allowed from this Momma/GiGi/wife..I have work to do!!! Happy Holidays to all and to all Good Luck!

  72. I learned that the man flu starts in the teenage years…having 2 teens and a hubby sick at the same time is rough!

  73. I have 3 boys, 2 whom are adults! MAn flu is a real thing around here!! LOL
    I wash my hands as often as possible.

  74. ohh the man flu is the worst! lol..Thankfully,my 2 men don`t get sick often,,but when they do,,oh boy

  75. man flu sucks!! I get the flu shot but my husband doesn’t because of meds he is on….if he should get sick, I would probably have to go away for that week I am sorry to say….I just have no patience for that crap!! sorry I am so honest!

  76. Hubs gets the man flu I’m always nagging him to wash his hands and keep hand sanitizer at his desk

  77. This is too funny! I actually have a cold right now (now is the time of year that I always seem to come down with one) and my hubby the other day said “You know you don’t want me to get it!” LOL Not sure if the man flu is real or imagined but none of us ever want to feel under the weather. What a great gift basket full of remedies!

  78. Sick in my house is always a competition, you are never allowed to say anything about EVER experiencing anything like what hubby is experiencing cause his is always much, much worse. Wash your hands!

  79. I am quite fortunate that my husband does not suffer from this condition … he is a trooper when he’s sick lol.
    We try and keep our hands very clean and off our faces and take our vitamins!

  80. no man here anymore so I dont have to deal with all the gross snot rags laying everywhere. I got my flu shot this year.

  81. One year i got sick the week i started holiday vacations, i started getting very sick! Rest and meds helped me

  82. we all got the flu shot, I of course, got a bad reaction to it, was sick for 24 hours, but, I just carried on 🙂

  83. I always seem to be the only person to get sick, so maybe I am immune to the man flu! But I always try to drink a lot of water and eat fruits and veggies. Other than that I don’t do much to avoid getting sick.

  84. I use Lysol spray to disinfect common places in the house that are touched often and disinfecting wipes for the fridge handle phones and controllers.I also take vitamins and I wash my hands frequently.

  85. Lots of Vitamin C is consumed to prevent the what seems to be a life threatening man flu.

  86. Wash hands often – especially before your touch your face and hands. Daily vitamins is how I prevent the flu!

  87. It’s so true. In the past I’ve experience my husband and his “man flu”…ugh. I was just as sick but he acted like he wasn’t going to make it. lol. We get our flu shot regularly in this house so it’s been years of this dreaded male infliction.

  88. The man flu could be avoided if they washed their hands frequently, ate nutritional foods and coughed into their sleeves. I’m doing all of this to prevent getting the flu

  89. wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, take vitamins and eat healthy. and get your flu shot most importantly!

  90. When my husband is coming down with the man flu I make sure he takes Cold FX which of course we buy at Shoppers Drug Mart.

  91. I find myself nagging lol wash your hands , drink lots of fluids take your vitamins

  92. Is rolling your eyes an acceptable answer to handling it? ;). We just power through it, with lots of hand washing and not sharing glasses etc.

  93. we wash hands sneeze in elbows.the man flu in our house i seem to get another child

  94. TO prevent the flu, I get the fu shot, eating healthy, constantly wash hands, and take vitamins!

  95. My hubby is the worst! You would swear he is going to die within minutes. I do everything I can to avoid getting the “man flu” in my house!

  96. Oh my god when he gets a cold or hurt the world revolves around him n I have to do everything for him

  97. I have them take probiotics, vitamins, smoothies, washing their hands, healthier eating etc.. My hubby seems to be the first one to get sick because he doesn’t always do all of the above and he definitely gets the “man flu”

  98. Hahahaha man flu, so true! I get the flu shot every year, I wash my hands, eat healthy for the most part get plenty of rest and exercise. Seems to be working for me.

  99. I am taking steps to prevent the Man flu by washing my hands frequently and cleaning as I go.

  100. For prevention I have lots of oranges in the house and use antibacterial wipes on the clicker and phones, door knobs and spray disenfectant on other surfaces.

  101. We had about a month of sickness before Christmas, so I’m determined to stay a healthy family for the rest of Winter if at all possible! Vitamins, sanitizing, avoiding sick people.. whatever we CAN do!

  102. Men do seem to be ‘big babies’ when they get sick……..but science says they actually do feel worse than women!

  103. My hubby and I both received the flu shot and we try to eat healthy and get 8 hours of sleep each night. So far, no man flu in our house.

  104. Every time I hear the phrase Man-Flu I think of my ex. Never ever did I manage to be sicker than he was. For years. Able to look back with amusement now! 😉

  105. I always wash my hands frequently, stay away from sick people and drink plenty of fluids!

  106. My experience with man flu: hubby gets flu means he’s in bed for a week and apparently can’t move without aching. I don’t remember ever being unable to do anything for a week because of a flu!

  107. We try to keep the Man Flu away by washing our hands, taking our vitamins, and getting plenty of sleep.

  108. Flu is no fun! So flu shots are a must. And when cold weather comes around, we stock up on vitamin C.

  109. We’re trying to wash our hands as often as possible, get enough sleep and eat healthy to prevent from catching the flu!

  110. I’m taking preventative measures by stay away from sick people, washing hands often and use my purell when I’m out and about

  111. We haven’t had the flu for a couple of years. I’m not quite sure why but we usually get the flu shot (not yet this year though). We do wash our hands a lot so maybe that helps.

  112. I got my flu shot and I do my best to wash my hands often and live a healthy lifestyle.

  113. we are currlently experiencing the ‘man flu’ in our home… we all got sick, we all got over it…except ‘daddy… it’s really knocking him on his but! …and he’s still sick – MUCH SICKER than the rest of us got! ….I truly feel from him …but there is a rule in our house “If it’s not something I can help you with, or theres nothing I can do for you ….I don’t want to hear any whining!” I know it sounds harsh, but the truth is, it hurts my heart to see him sickly and ‘Dying’ when theres nothing I can do … I dose him with meds, set him up with his favorite bankets…make sure he has fluids and eats …. and then generally leave him alone.

  114. Man flu..ohh yeah, I know all about that!! but God forbid we call them out on it, hehe. when winter starts we take vitamin C daily and lots of hand washing ( first thing when we get home) and sanitizer for on the go.

  115. I got my flu shot this year. We also wash our hands frequently and I wipe down common surfaces (door knobs, etc) regularly.

  116. I am a nurse, and I can tell you the Man flu does exist. I often get men in my ER whose symptoms are just viral, and they think they are ready for a hospital bed. I do not see that many women.

  117. I wash my hands often (and disinfect my office keyboard, phones, etc at the start of my workday)

  118. My man has never had the flu. We get our flu shots every year and we are very careful to wash our hands whenever we’ve been out

  119. I get man flu as a woman. I am so pathetic when I’m sick, it’s a good thing it doesn’t happen often! I take echinacea at the first sign of a bug and it seems to help.

  120. We take daily vitamins, eat lots of fruit & veggies and get plenty sleep and sunshine

  121. My husband and I both have a cold/flu right now. Worst bug we’ve had in years, but at least we get to go through it together? It would have been nice to have been prepared with some of those products in that basket…luckily a local pharmacy has a drive thru and we were able to pick up some meds (yes, we were too sick to go in store) Next Christmas, and in general, we are going to make sure we get lots of sleep, because I think staying up late several nights in a row did us in. I’m not sure who it’s hitting the hardest…we’re both pretty whimpy about being sick, especially over Christmas break!

  122. You may have the flu if you experience fever, chills, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or muscle aches. Please take the proper precautions if you notice any of these signs.

  123. Man flu is aweful! I get all of the men in my home to wash their hands as soon as they get in the door!

  124. We try taking LB multivitamins & LB vitamin C & LB echinacea to help prevent cold/flu Fingers crossed we don’t get sick ????????

  125. Having a serious man flu can be one of the worst things possible! Staying on top of getting sick is the best thing you can do and these are all the things you would need!

  126. Best way to avoid the flu if you have to be out and about (at work, at movie theatres, on public transit — worst places, EVER, to try to stay healthy): 1. Keep drinking water or weak tea (reduce caffeine intake, as it will dehydrate you), especially when people are coughing and sneezing all around you. 2: Come home and eat healthy, colourful meals (i.e. reduce sugar intake, as sugar is hard on the immune system) with a variety of fruits and vegetables. 3. Take Vitamin C/echinacea/astragalus to boost the immune system. 4. Get a good night’s sleep, as this is your body’s best weapon against cold and flu viruses. 5. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer after touching surfaces, when it’s not possible to wash your hands. If all else fails and if you do get sick, stay home if possible and nurse yourself back to health with rest, warm liquids, vitamins, and soup.

  127. I keep my man free of the man-flu but reminding my family to wash their hands, especially at this time of year!

  128. Hubby always gets his annual flu shot…thank God! We also wash our hands a lot, are never without hand sanitizer and we take vitamins.

  129. I just lived through a case of a my hubby’s man flu. I try to avoid getting sick by washing my hands often especially when in public.

  130. I try and prevent the flu by washing my hands often and eating healthy for a good immune system!!!

  131. The steps I take are vitamins and lots of sleep

    Room temperature in the house helps so bacteria does not grow

  132. That dreaded man MAN FLU , vitamin D is a life saver , also we get flu shots every year 🙂

  133. I hate it when my husband has the man-flu. I stock up on all the things he needs, but there is medication for his whining so I just have to deal with it.

  134. It is difficult to know how another is truly suffering isn’t it? I sure hope the flu doesn’t hit our home this winter; I know I should get the flu shot – I have no real excuse why I don’t – I just hope for the best, wash my hands a lot and stay away from sick people – wish us luck!

  135. I try and wash my hands, eat healthy, and use hand sanitizer to prevent man flu. Flu shots!

  136. To keep the flu from knocking me down i try to drink lots of fluids and stock up on vitamin C

  137. i see the Elf has been active at your house. One of my grandsons has been doing this for his partner’s little girl. He has a lot of followers as he does really wonderful things: for instance, one morning the child found the Christmas Tree wrapped from head to foot(a real tree); and, another time, the Elf “made” her about 200 tiny pancakes for her breakfast.

  138. Guys are such babies thats my exsperience with the man cold i will have the same and still be doing house work and they cant move lol

  139. I always get a flu shot every year, as well as my 3 kids. however we are all sick with colds right now. This giveaway looks awesome, thank you 🙂

  140. I try to limit sickness in our house by getting the kids to wash their hands as soon as they come in. Daddy doesn’t get sick often..thankfully lol

  141. I am actually suffering from the flu right now 🙁 It usually skips me and my husband usually gets it and I am so glad he doesn’t have it and I hope he doesn’t because the Man Flu is very real. He is worse than the kids when he is sick.

  142. The man-flu is brutal. My ex used to be such a whiny baby when he got sick. He expected someone to take care of him for days, complained like he was the only one who had ever been sick in the history of humankind, and never, ever stuck around to take of me when I eventually caught his germs!

  143. I get the “man flu” and it knows me on my ass for days every time. In fact, I’m fighting my way back from the 2nd one this season. Hate it! (And the assumption that everyone who struggles with an illness is to be laughed at.)

  144. No Man Flu here!!! We eat healthy, drink lots of water and take vitamin D everyday.

  145. I’m lucky that my husband doesnt get sick often! We wash our hands often to avoid the flu. We take vitamins as well.

  146. My husband has only just learned the term, and he asked me if I was familiar with it. hahaha. I told him of course and he has had it many times.

  147. Man flu hasn’t hit our house since last year. We’re trying to avoid it again by eating well, getting lots of rest & washing our hands.

  148. To avoid getting the flu, I get a flu shot, wash my hands often, and steer clear of sick colleagues

  149. Lots of fluids (water, honey lemon water, tea, chicken soup, etc.), and plenty of rest! Washing of hands is essential!

  150. Man flu…it’s the worst…they become little kids again! We take vitamins, wash hands frequently, and avoid sick people whenever possible.

  151. Oh dear…the man flu….that is a whole different type of sickness. Hubby gets sick and he acts like he cannot function for at least a week lol! He can’t get a drink, he can’t put his blanket over him, he can’t change the channel…and then the countless types of “sick” foods and drinks he has to have! He needs apple juice, in a glass with ice, and a straw, but it has to be a certain type of apple juice. And then we have to have orange juice as a backup, and more ice and straws lol. If I didn’t love him so much, I’d rip my hair out hahahaha!

    We’re avoiding the flu this year by making sure we take our vitamins and minerals, having hand sanitizer close by when we can’t wash our hands, and not being very close with people we know are sick!

  152. I make sure that he eats properly, and gets enough sleep. I sneak extra veggies into his meals

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