There’s something endearing about having your period sync up with that of your roommate/best friend. It’s a sense of camaraderie as you brave the red storm together. Oh, and someone always has a tampon or pad on hand.
But a new study from Clue and the University of Oxford has found that the period sync, that cycle sisterhood we’ve all come to kind of love (as much as you can love being on your period…), may just be a myth.
The details via The Guardian:
(They) received 1500 responses, which were narrowed down to 360 pairs of women. Analysing three consecutive cycles in each pair, the research found the vast majority – 273 pairs – had a greater difference in period start dates at the end of the study than at the beginning.
Basically, what they found is that menstrual syncing isn’t a real phenomenon and actually, our cycles are more likely to diverge than come together over time. MIND BLOWN.
It’s easy to believe in the sync myth, especially when you’ve shared that knowing look with your roommate from across the room every month. The watery eyed stare that says, “Yeah, I feel ya. Today is the WORST.”
Much of the theory of the synchronized periods is based on the McClintock Effect, developed by Martha McClintock at Harvard in 1971. Her study, and subsequent paper Menstrual Synchrony and Suppression, found that “the evidence for synchronicity is quite strong, indicating that in humans there is some interpersonal physiological process which affects the menstrual cycle.”
While McClintock’s paper has been widely discredited and disproved by other studies (like this one), a lot of people choose to believe in the myth. There’s comfort in it, right? It helps you feel connected to other women during an especially trying time.
The truth is that connection is always there and sisterhood means support every day of the month, regardless of when you’re bleeding (or not).