Let’s talk about ancient folklore for a second. For the average linear thinker, there is nothing more woo than the idea of a woman’s menstrual cycle purposely syncing up with the full moon. Now, before I get scientific on you, it might be of interest to mention that the average human menstrual cycle has a period of 29 days, the same as the lunar cycle. There have been many scientific studies in the past to prove this. Yet, these synchronicities have been treated as a mere coincidence, despite the fact that they affect nearly half of the world’s population. Discussions of our periods syncing with the full moon have yet to re-enter the chat of modern scientific study, well, until now.
A study published by Science Advances, Jan 29 issue decided to take this myth and move it into science, with a long-term investigation analysing the effects the lunar cycle had on human biology. The study analysed 22 women, who kept records of their menstrual cycles over a period of 15 years. The results showed that the women with cycles lasting longer than 27 days synchronized with the moon phase cycles and the moon’s gravitational pull. The synchrony was lost when the women aged and were exposed to artificial light.
This lead the researchers to hypothesise, “…..that in ancient times, human reproductive behaviour was synchronous with the Moon but that our modern lifestyles have changed reproductive physiology and behaviour.”
The theory suggests that the moon’s influence can be seen in the human body, and the moon’s gravitational pull can affect our endocrine system, which regulates hormones like estrogen and progesterone. This, in turn, can influence the timing of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Yet, these studies are far from conclusive, however. For one, they don’t take into account the many other factors that can influence a woman’s menstrual cycle, such as stress, diet or disrupted periods due to long-term contraceptives. Also, the studies only look at a limited number of women, so it’s not clear if the findings can be applied to a larger population.
Either way, the age-old tale of the moon and menstrual syncing is an interesting one, and a tale which has been around since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese all believed that the moon had an influence on a woman’s menstrual cycle. Even in Native American culture, women would take a moon time, or a period of rest during a full moon as a way of spiritually renewing and healing themselves. In this way, they believed they were honouring the power of the full moon. The ancient Egyptians on the other hand believed the moon cycles could predict a woman’s menstrual cycle and would even believe certain moon phases correspond with the phase of the cycle. The full moon for example would indicate the start of their period whilst the waning moon was believed to indicate the end.
Ultimately, the story has over time developed from myth to popular belief, despite our cynicism, and the mystery surrounding these ancient ancestral beliefs is still being questioned today. One thing that is yet to be explored is the clear phenomena surrounding the female anatomy and the moon and what this could mean about our bodies, our moods and the ways in which we operate. I wonder if there is a link there? What do you think, leave a comment below and let us know what you think about this new research and whether you have found yourself syncing with the full moon?