Take a deep breath everyone, because there鈥檚 some medical information out there that鈥檚 actually a huge bummer, sigh. As it turns out, science has proven that our periods haven鈥檛 been syncing up with our sisters, roommates, and best friends all these years. Periods, evidently, don鈥檛 sync up to other periods. What the heck?!

Period synchrony, the idea that two or more menstruating people鈥檚 periods will shift to occur at the same time each month after they spend enough time together, has been around for decades. The first study on this supposed phenomenon was published in 1971 by psychologist Martha McClintock. McClintock collected data on 135 women living together in college dorms, and she concluded that over time, their periods became closer together.

But alas, according to a new study conducted in partnership between the fertility tracking app Clue and Oxford University, period syncing just isn鈥檛 real. Clue collected data from 1,500 of their app users, narrowed down to 360 users who had periods with some overlap to other users of the app who were connected through some personal relationship. The data reveals not only that periods didn鈥檛 seem to sync up, but further that 鈥渃ycles are actually more likely to diverge (get out of sync) over time.鈥

A scientific paper all the way back in 2006 found that McClintock鈥檚 original study was, in fact, misleading in its conclusions. According to the paper, published in Human Nature, the level of synchrony between the women studies 鈥渨as at the level of chance.鈥 Welp.

Though this isn鈥檛 the first time the myth of period synchronicity has been debunked, it was news to me, and I have to say, I am left feeling pretty bummed out. I ran this new study by some menstruating friends of mine, including my older sister Jenn who was especially unwilling to accept the new data. When we were younger, both of us would have sworn we were synced with each other and/or our other sisters. Jenn says she has too much anecdotal evidence to the contrary of the study to fully buy its findings.

Katherine, a friend of mine, said that it makes her sad to learn that periods don鈥檛 sync. She adds that she has a hard time connecting with other women, but knowing that her uterus was reaching out to others and making a connection felt good. Another one of my friends, Kathy, said this information was a relief to her. Kathy noticed that she鈥檇 never synced with anyone, and it made her feel that she wasn鈥檛 fully able to bond or connect with other women. Because so many people talk about 鈥渟yncing up鈥 as a way that people with periods measure closeness, the whole concept made her feel left out.

I polled my network on social media on the subject and heard back from several women who were also not yet aware that there are studies out there that demonstrate periods don鈥檛 sync, and one of the most common sentiments they expressed was a sense of disbelief. Most of the women said they have a hard time believing that there鈥檚 no hormonal or otherwise physical interaction between different peoples鈥 menstrual cycles. Though I pretty much always defer to the scientific data, I find myself in a bit of denial too!

The idea that periods could somehow interact and cycle together makes the idea of monthly menstruation seem like less of a pain and more of a bonding experience. It鈥檚 also comforting to think that as menstruating people spend more time together, their cycles could unify to symbolize closeness between the people involved.

Though the data tells a different story than the women I talked to about period synchrony, it鈥檚 still clear that there鈥檚 some sort of period-based bond between menstruating people 鈥 even if it鈥檚 not backed by science.

Do you have thoughts about menstrual synchrony? Tell us about it on Twitter @BritandCo.

(Photos via Max Pixel + WikiMedia Commons + Pexels + Getty)