Does lupus occur in men?
As a man with lupus, the first thing you may discover is that many people are surprised when they learn you have the disease. A lot of misinformation exists about lupus—including the incorrect belief that lupus only occurs in women.
Lupus can develop in anyone, male or female, of any age, including children, teenagers, and adults.
While we do not yet fully understand what causes lupus, we do know that having lupus doesn’t diminish a man’s levels of testosterone, ability to perform sexually, or potential to become a father. However, certain medications, such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), can affect sperm counts. Before you begin taking any medications, talk with your doctor about how they may affect you.
The second discovery you may make is that it can be difficult to find information that is specifically for men with lupus. This is because the disease is the same—and is treated similarly—in both sexes.
of lupus cases occur in men.
Research suggests 4-22 percent of those with lupus are male. Men develop the same typical clinical manifestations of lupus as women, yet certain key symptoms may be different. Kidney and skin involvement, for example, may be more common among men with lupus. Active lupus can cause many symptoms, which will make it much harder to cope. So it is important that lupus be controlled as well as it can be.
We encourage you to reach out to other men who, like you, are learning to live and cope with lupus. You can connect with other men with lupus through the Lupus Foundation of America network of chapters and support groups.