Want to make new girlfriends? Turns out tell them that you’re on the same cycle as them that help with that.
There’s a lot of things that women relate to that men just can’t. And while you can try to explain to your male partner the womb-shattering pain you endure once a month, every month, for the majority of your life, they can never really “know how you feel”. So every 28 days or so, we regroup with our fellow sisters and wince in solidarity with one another to ease the cramping, sweating, the anger, tears, and the oily outbreaks. But is menstrual synchronisation an actual thing? Or is it a conjured-up make-believe name that we give to the magical power women possess that allow us to know when another female is menstruating?
In the early 70’s, Martha McClintock authored a paper titled “Menstrual Synchrony and Suppression” that was published in varying science journals. Her study was based around menstrual synchronisation and her test subjects were the group of girls she lived with during college who appeared to menstruate at the same time. Her findings suggest that women who live together tended to cycle together. ‘Syncing’, essentially, is when women – whether mother and daughter, best friends, roommates etc -synchronise their mensuration with one another and bleed at the same time. Since then, studies have expanded further and while small links have been made to syncing cycles (i.e the release of subtle pheromones, emotional closeness etc) scientists have agreed that the majority of synchronisation is, in fact, down to chance.
Weep not fellow blood sisters because I too fell into the despairing trap; believing that my best friend (soul mate if you will) and I shared a sacred and innate ability to change the trajectory of our unfertilised eggs so that we could share the experience together. Syncing cycles are something that I would like to continue to believe in, and they do make the process of menstruating a bit more “fun” (when is bleeding ever fun?) but studies have been very inconsistent. I bet male phantom pregnancy is a farce too…