Yet Another Study Says Period Synchronization Isn’t a Thing
Take a deep breath everyone, because there’s some medical information out there that’s actually a huge bummer, sigh. As it turns out, science has proven that our periods haven’t been syncing up with our sisters, roommates, and best friends all these years. Periods, evidently, don’t sync up to other periods. What the heck?!
Period synchrony, the idea that two or more menstruating people’s 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’t 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’t seem to sync up, but further that “cycles are actually more likely to diverge (get out of sync) over time.”
A scientific paper all the way back in 2006 found that McClintock’s 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 “was at the level of chance.” Welp.
Though this isn’t 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’t 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’d never synced with anyone, and it made her feel that she wasn’t fully able to bond or connect with other women. Because so many people talk about “syncing up” 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’t 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’s no hormonal or otherwise physical interaction between different peoples’ 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’s 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’s still clear that there’s some sort of period-based bond between menstruating people — even if it’s 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)
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)