Women’s menstrual cycles are not at all in sync with the changing phases of the moon, according to new research.
For decades alternative health gurus have argued that the moon cycles affect our sleep and therefore, can be used to predict when your period will come.
But this is a complete myth, according to new research by European scientists, presented on social media by New York-based fertility expert, Dr Steven Palter.
‘New research about to be published from over 300,000 menstrual cycles analyzed shows that the majority of people’s cycles start on a Thursday or a Friday,’ Dr Palter said in a clip posted to his TikTok channel, where he has 187,000 followers.
Dr Palter showed viewers an intriguing graph showing the bulk of cycles in the sample began on one of those two days.
Meanwhile, cycles were least likely to begin on a Tuesday.
He went on to explain that the scientists also analyzed if womens’ menstrual cycles were in any way related to the 28-day lunar cycle, as has long been suggested.
‘It actually was not related to the full moon at all,’ he said. ‘Fertility doctors think, it’s a full moon everyone’s day one – that wasn’t it.’
So how can it be that the first day of your period is related to the day of the week?
For most women, the menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and features four main stages – although this can vary hugely from woman to woman.
The hypothesis, Dr Palter explains, is that it’s related to your patterns of sleep, diet and stress.
And these are thought to be more extreme or dysregulated earlier in the week, compared to towards the end, as the weekend gets closer.
Previous studies have shown that elevated stress, which can also be triggered by lack of sleep, can causes levels of the hormone cortisol to rise, which interferes with reproductive hormones that determine when your period comes.
Dr Palter added that the pattern was strongest for women with normal length or longer cycles (28 days+), and was less applicable to those with shorter cycles.