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The Lowdown On the Myths And Science Behind Period Syncing [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 17, 2017 10:31 PM EDT

A new study on period syncing by researchers from the University of Oxford with a period-tracking app has revealed that the myth on converging menstrual cycles is not true as the menses of the participants did not produce the expected results.

The first study on period synching was published in 1971 by Martha McClintock and observed that the onsets of menstrual cycles of two or more women gradually came closer together when they start living together. Also known as the McClintock effect, it proposed that the menstrual synchrony happened because of pheromones but the original findings failed to be replicated and the original methodologies were said to be flawed.

A study by Dr. Alexandra Alvergne has added to the body of evidence that supports the idea that period syncing is a myth. She observed 360 pairs of women and tracked their menstrual cycles with the use of the app called Clue. In a span of three months, the research showed an overwhelming result that the menstrual cycles of the women in the study grew further apart than when they started the study. The results revealed only 79 pairs had their periods come closer together, CNET reported.

The myths on period syncing may have just been reinforced because of chance. It is known that a woman's menstrual cycle is on the average 28 days long so between two women, the start of their periods could just be 14 days apart. With women's periods lasting three to five days, it would be highly possible that their menstrual cycles will overlap. So when the menses of two women who are close friends overlap, they look at it as evidence that their menses have synchronized, Live Science reported.

Other studies have also disproven the myth include those of lesbian couples whose periods did not converge over the period of time they were together. Other studies that involved women who lived in dormitories and in sports teams have shown the opposite where their periods started diverging after some time.

So do women who live together really eventually synchronize their periods? Different studies have proven and debunked this seemingly old wives' tale over and over but what may hold true is that people would love to find ways to have more commonalities with friends and peers.


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