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Do Women's Periods Really Sync Up?

Health Posted by Laura Newcomer on September 28, 2012 0 inShare1 Any woman can relate, and any man within eyeshot has probably witnessed the followin scenario! A woman sufferin from mind"numbin cramps, hobblin o#er to the closest female cowor$er%s des$ for pharmaceutical relief, and bondin o#er their synced cycles& If women spend enough time around female friends or co-workers they!re "ound to get on the same schedule# right? $reatist e%amines the science "ehind the sync&

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Sync Up or Se% Up ' (he )eed-to-*now

'n 1()1, a study speculated that re ular contact with other women could affect female%s menstrual cycles& *esearchers found social interaction was $ey to matched cycles, and close friends and women who were in contact for a substantial portion of e#ery day +say, han in out or wor$in to ether, were more li$ely to sync up than women who merely li#ed in pro-imity to each other +e& &, on the same floor of a dorm, .1/ .2/& 0ollow"up studies su ested pheromones were responsible and that 1menstrual synchrony2 +the technical term for syncin , mi ht be 3ust the tip of the iceber ! 't%s possible periods and o#ulation could be socially re ulated throu hout a woman%s lifespan, from puberty to pre nancy and e#erywhere in between .4/ .5/&

+ut while many researchers uphold the syncing theory "oy has there "een a "acklash& 6he pro"syncin crowd has been critici7ed for poor research methods, and the e-istence of natural synchrony hasn%t been confirmed in non"human primate studies .8/ .9/ .)/ .8/ .(/& 'n fact, synced cycles mi ht not ma$e sense e#olutionarily& Syncin up in a hunter" atherer tribe, for e-ample, would mean that for a wee$ or so, no woman would be able to et pre nant : not ideal when you%re responsible for procreatin the human race .10/& Instead of ha,ing matched cycles women might unknowingly sync up phases of -se%ual recepti,ity. and the lack thereof ' meaning one woman is ready to get pregnant while another is /ust starting to menstruate gi,ing fertile women a more di,erse choice of mates .11/& +;f course, these are all #ery biolo ical ar uments, operatin on the presumption that e#ery woman%s oal in life is to et pre nant&,

0enstrual 0ystery ' (he 1nswer2De"ate

<nfortunately, there isn%t a definiti#e answer to the science of syncin , says 0rederic$ Naftolin, Professor of ;bstetrics and =ynecolo y and >irector of *eproducti#e ?iolo y *esearch at N@<& Synchroni7ation is possible : in non"human animals, anyway& Aanually matchin up cycles +typically with the hormone pro esterone, is $ey to many a ricultural areas that rely on artificial insemination of cows, oats, and buffalos, as synchrony allows for simultaneous impre nation of a herd .12/& ?ut e#idence for naturally"occurrin human synchrony hasn%t been confirmed #ia adeBuately controlled, randomi7ed trials& Still, some researchers stron ly maintain menstrual synchrony is real .14/ .15/& Anecdotal e#idence certainly seems to support the idea of syncin , says Aartha 6homas, Associate *esidency Pro ram >irector in the ;?C=@N department at @or$ HospitalCDellspan Health& And it%s hard to say how factors li$e stress, se-ual partners, and birth control play into the syncin ame : if synchrony does e-ist, it%s possible these factors o#erride it, ma$in matched cycles appear less common than they mi ht actually be .18/& ?ut this is mostly speculation, stresses 6homas& 0ost contemporary research holds that it!s unlikely women will actually sync up month after month after month, especially because the len th of indi#iduals% cycles can #ary so dramatically .19/& Dhat seems most li$ely is that women don%t actually synchroni7e, but rather ha#e the occasional synced period when their cycles% len ths randomly o#erlap& SurprisedE <s too& ?ut we%ll still share the Aidol, whether or not we%re sufferin too& Thanks to Dr. Frederick Naftolin and Dr. L. Martha Ann Thomas for their help with this article. Do o!r e"periences contradict the science on this one# Let !s know in comments below$ or get in to!ch with the a!thor on Twitter %La!raNewc.