The Science Behind Why Our Periods Sync

Some time after puberty, you and your friends will encounter a few moments when your periods seem to magically sync.

One of you starts complaining about her period pains, to sympathetic ears. Another friend chimes in that her period just started. Soon, you’ll be exchanging ways to comfort yourselves like boiling ginger soup and eating chocolate.

Are you really just super-close BFFs with an amazing biological connection? Or is there a science behind this phenomenon?

A case of ‘menstrual synchrony.’

Yep, that’s the scientific name for the phenomenon of syncing periods with your girlfriends or female colleagues. The first ever study was published in 1971 and performed on a group of female dorm mates between the ages of 17 and 22, whose periods synced up. The study was conducted by a Harvard psychologist named Martha McClintock who proposed that women’s bodies subconsciously react to each other’s pheromones. Since then, many studies have stepped forward to continue McClintock’s work – mostly concluding that the closer the friendships, the more likely your periods will sync up. Of course, any of these phenomenons exist outside the world of women who take birth control.

How to utilize ‘menstrual synchrony’ to our advantage

So, now that we know our menstrual cycle tends to sync up, what purpose does it serve and how does it benefit women? Women really do feel overwhelmingly positive about their periods coordinating – it’s like drunk girls in a bathroom, only replaced with sober women on their periods. It’s a sign of solidarity among women, so mother nature may have given our body the task of bleeding, but she gave us sisters whom we can relate to.

Mostly, women get tired of their periods and the stigma behind it. It’s not our fault we’re in pain and cranky. It subconsciously comforts us when we’re with other women who share the same burden. Women, especially in rural areas, are forced to be ashamed of their periods, so having their menstruation in sync helps them unite and fight the taboo together.

We may have to suffer every month, but it’s not so bad when you have your besties to share the pain with you. Let’s focus on the fact that we’re all (bleeding) in this together. Girls who bleed together, stay together! Tag your period BFF in the comments below.

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