Thursday, May 18, 2006

Menstrual Sychrony: My Random Topic of the Week

If you’ve never heard of it, you’ve still probably experienced it--maybe even without knowing.

I’m talking about menstrual synchrony. Menstrual synchrony is what happens when women who live together get their periods together. It happened to me during my sophomore year of college when I lived with five other girls in an apartment. After about 3-4 months of living together, most of us were cycling together. It was kinda weird and made for one hellish week of crazy bitchiness and ho ho eating.

I know this is an actual phenomenon because, aside from my own personal experience, I found numerous references to it on reputable, scientifically-researched websites, such as and

Apparently, researchers think menstrual synchrony occurs when pheromones, which act as “scent cues”, are released into a common space and cause women who live together or work together to begin to cycle together. Interestingly, it may be most common among those women who provide each other with emotional support.

Anyway, yesterday I started my period (yahoo!) and I was thinking about how generally sucky it is to endure the bleeding and the cramping and the ho ho eating when I happened to visit Mama? Mama Come Here! and I found out that she too is on her period.

Coincidence? We have been visiting each others blogs an awful lot lately...

So, it got me thinking. Could women who don’t necessarily live together, but that do provide each other emotional support begin cycling together? Wouldn’t mommy bloggers be a perfect case study? This could turn the entire “pheromones cause menstrual synchronization” theory on its ass. So in light of all this, I pose the following three random questions to you:

1) Are you on your period right now?

2) Do you think that this warrants further research?

3) Would anyone care for a ho ho?


Blogger Pattie said...

Yes, yes, and Yes! Wow, that's freaky! :)

10:04 AM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

No, Yes, and HELLZ YEAH. Hohos. Oh my I haven't had one of those in way too long.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Christina_the_wench said...

Pass them hohos, ladies. As of last night, I'm with ya!

Think they will pay us for the research with Twinkies??

10:11 AM  
Blogger Kel said...

Yup, I think it's a very interesting theory, and why stop at just the Ho Ho's? ^_~

10:23 AM  
Blogger Marla said...

a Ho Ho? A Ho Ho?

More like three-four Ho Hos please.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Babaloo said...

The same thing happened with my roomates and I in college... We would binge on Dominos, cookie dough and ice cream and then bitch at eachother for leaving dirty dishes!

Oh and 1) yes I'm on my period 2)Further research? sure, why not 3) Ho Ho's - oh god yeah.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

I experienced this in college. And at one of my old jobs. It's freaky.

I've been PMS-ing for about 10 weeks now, and think I'm finally about to get my period back, after nearly two years of pregnancy plus nursing. Last period? June 2004. Could i have extra ho-ho's please?

10:41 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

1) NO (pregnant)
2) YES
3) YES, and a coke, with Lays sour cream and onion potato chips.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I'm about a week off.....HOWEVER I just started reading you give it time. No Ho Ho's I'm on a diet.....hmmm ok maybe just 1!

11:20 AM  
Blogger jennster said...

lol- i will start in one week dammit! next month, wait for me. i'm like fucking clockwork though

11:31 AM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

I am not on my period. I think it definitely calls for more research. And can I have an Orea instead???

11:40 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I'm with Kel...yes, yes, and throw in two McD plain burgers and a small coke. I swear, the ONLY time I eat McDonald's (or fast food period) is when Aunt Flo comes to visit!

12:36 PM  
Blogger Piece of Work said...

This is very strange, not only because I AM on my period, but because I considered doing a similar post since I know that Y of Joy Unexpected just started hers the other day too.

I think I'd rather have a pint of HaganDaz coffee ice cream than a ho- ho, though.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous lidb said...

I'd like a whole *case* of them, please. (despite not currently enjoying a visit from Aunt Flo, sorry I can't join in on *that* fun w/ya'll - I already had my first tramautic encounter with the post-partum menstrual cramping/etc. a few weeks ago, which, contrary to what everyone in the entire world has told me, was just as uncomfortable as I remember from before labor.)

yeah! ho-hos for everybody!

2:21 PM  
Blogger Zephra said...

Missed it by a week

As long as I don't have to do any work

Do you rerally need to even ask that question?

4:45 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

I havent had a period for about 8 years and I have been pms-ing for the whole 8 years...haha...pass those hohos

4:47 PM  
Anonymous rhonda said...

I'll take a Ho Ho, but Aunt Flo isn't in sight for a few weeks!

4:58 PM  
Blogger rumtum77 said...

I just started reading your blog and, weirdly just started my period this morning.... strange. Although I'll pass on the ho ho's (not really into sweets) give me tortilla chips and a Corona!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

OK, so let me see if I have this right.

1) In addition to ho hos, we need an order of twinkies, cokes, sour cream and onion Lays, Oreos, McD burgers, Hagan Daaz, tortilla chips and some coronas. Mmmm. Sounds good. Did I miss anything?

2)Aunt Flo is currently visiting 8 out of 18 of us (including me). I'm not counting Stephanie in the sample size since she's pregnant. So....that comes to 44%. I think that's a pretty frickin high percentage. Are any of you researchers? I think this might be statistically significant. Hopefully, I'll get a few more comments for a slightly larger sample size :)

6:14 PM  
Blogger K. said...

Ok I will chime in to expand your pool. ;)

1) No, I am not. But I am still breastfeeding exclusively so Aunt Flo has been real finicky with me.

2) Absolutely.

3) Never had one, but it looks like the kind of sugary chocolate junk that I have been going for lately. So please, pass me one too.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I think that's what they would call a solid start...but I was thinkin (uh-oh)...figure 4 weeks in a month...each of us has a 1 in 4 chance of hitting a particular week. I think it would be cool to watch the trend going out from here...on day one, you have beaten the odds by almost 20%...not too shabby

6:56 PM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

Also no (but for pregnancy), yes, and I second MrsFortune...HELLYES! Although a twinkie sounds even lovelier!

7:33 PM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

I'm back. Very interesting...

Both MamaTulip and MidwesternMommy have also posted about this today. You are on to something woman!

7:39 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

No, but I've been craving a lot of chocolate lately.
Yes, this happened a lot while I was participating in high school sports.
And, Good God Yes. Have you got any Funny Bones in there too?

7:39 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

yeah, you missed me by a week too. Last week and last weekend in a particular I was feeling it ugh. Is PMS getting worse for you too? I am 36 and it's soooo not pretty, let me tell ya.

And for #2, I think research indeed is in order. Odd, so odd. I was just reading somebody else's blog who started their's too, can't remember whom though, it was a new blog for me. This is WIERD!

#3, YUM. Hoho's. Haven't had any for years. Will have to remember that 3 weeks from now!!!

P.s. Thanks for not thinking I am dorky. I AM dorky though, I know that I am. :)

7:40 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Wow, weird, today's post is all about PMS, menstrual synchrony (though I didn't know to call it that) and other stuff. I want onion rings, though.

I am a greasy PMSer, not a sugary PMSer or a Chocolaty PMSer.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

Pass the Ho Ho I got mine yesterday ... this is creepy!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

OK, not counting Mega Mom and Stephanie who are preggo (yea! congrats!), we're now at 9/24, but if I count Mama Tulip and Midwestern Mommy that would go up to 11/26 so we're somewhere between 38%-42%.

Shannon made a good point that there is about a 25% probability of being on the same cycle to begin with since there are approx. 4 weeks per month. So we're beating the odds by about 15-20% or so.

However, I still think we need a real researcher to design a study that would be statistically sound.

But since it's late, I guess for now I'll just eat my ho hos and call it a day.

11:00 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

No, Yes and Yes Please!

It is true. The roommates that I've had and the close female bonds at work always seem to sync up. I've heard that a dominant female leads the pack. Not sure if that is true but it sure sounds funny and wolf like. Shall we howl at the moon?

Which brings me to the observation that it seems that certain times of moon cycle seem to be popular for the menstrual cycle. Like we either ovulate or menstruate during the full moon. I wonder if Tampax could share any wisdom with us?

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely! All the girls in my office are on the same cycle and we don't even live together.

It's not that time of the month but can I still have a ho-ho?


6:18 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

No, yes and no thanks! I'm on the pill though, so my week never changes. I'll let you know in several months when I go off again to jump start my system getting ready for baby #2.

I don't really like sweet, chocolatey goodness when I'm Aunt Flo-ing. Usually for me it's salty stuff like pickles or chips. Doesn't help with the bloating, but I can't help what I want to eat anymore than a pregnant woman can help her cravings. Mine were orange juice and chili (not together) despite INTENSE heartburn.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Kendra said...

1) No, but it just ended yesterday.
2) Yes to the research.
3) Could have used those during my week.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Great Day said...

This is so ironic. I posted a small blurb about my PMSing this morning. It's totally true that when you live together you're on the same cycle. My mom would start, then me, then my sis. All within a day of each other. My poor dad called it the week of hell.

Also when our cousin moved in with us, she started at the same time and my BFF used to cycle the same as me. Weird! Don't like ho ho's I want milk and a steak!!

9:20 AM  
Blogger Jodi said...

OHMYGAWD. I already posted here once, but I gotta tell you all this. This AM in my Soc class an IDIOT young man, he's like 20 and married, said there is no such THING as PMS and that we just use it as an "excuse to be cranky". I couldn't believe it. I normally really like this kid, but now I think he's a idiot. I advised him to NEVER ever say that to his wife or he would be castrated. The teacher, who is a man, was even trying to cite him examples of why hormones do peak, but this kid was just arguing about it. i could not believe this guy. OHMYGAWD. I am still shaking my head in disbelief....

10:13 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

I just finished my period this morning, but it's true -- women who live together cycle together. I did when I lived with my mom and with my best friend.

And yes. I'd like a ho-ho.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

No period here - and I prefer ding dongs.

Did we win the lottery while I was gone?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

No, unfortunately, we didn't win the lotto while you were away. I'm pretty sure the numbers will come up this week though (since I'm not playing and all).

4:39 PM  
Blogger EmmaK said...

I'm not due for a couple of weeks, but you can't rely on my data. This is my first time visiting your site!

I'm come back if you give me one of your Ho Hos though.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Not yet (should be here by Monday), yes, and hell yeah! Or if not a Hoho, then maybe one of the new Strudel cakes that Hostess came out with. Yum.

Damn, I eat so many sweets when I'm PMS'ing.

The theory makes sense to me, and I think it warrants research.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Not to screw up the ongoing statistics, but no, mine was last week. Yes, and ALWAYS to the other two questions. BTW, this was hilarious and yet very intriguing! I'm so impressed with your random thoughts!

8:28 PM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...

I'm not on mine right now. I'm on the pill, so I'm controlling the whole thing right now. But I will say that I actually had a ho ho for breakfast. Maybe I'm sympathy menstruating????

I've had sychrony buds at work, though. Then, right before I got pregnant I sat around a lot of post-menopausal women at work and I used to blame them for my lack of periods. I would lovingly tell them to keep their menopause away from my young and perfectly ripe ovaries.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

I don't have my period back solid yet but I WILL take a Ho Ho, thank you :)

10:17 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Ha! That was good.

For the purposes of your survey, I have been in M.S. with college roommates, co-workers, and close friends. I must have a very adaptive cycle.

And I just finished my period, but I'll have a ho ho since it's my first time visiting and I wouldn't want to be rude and refuse.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me a chance to find yours.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Wendy Boucher said...

First off, thanks for poking around my blog yesterday!

As for your post -it's hilarious and I'm almost sad that I am not in my menses at the moment. Maybe I'm not supportive enough? Hmmm. I definitely think more research is required and I'll take some gluten free Ho Hos if you got 'em.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Marcie said...

Can't help with this one, don't get periods anymore. Can I still have a hoho?

9:12 AM  
Anonymous lildb said...

am I allowed to amend my earlier post? 'cause, yeah. I'm ready for my ho-hos, now. although, a few hours ago, prior to recognizing the symptoms (b/c my baby had a fever of 103 earlier and I wasn't very self-focused), I whined about needing to purloin some candy, specifically, butterfingers and ding-dongs. but I also would've settled for some of the faux-Hostess yumminess of America's number one snack cake (yeah, I said it), Little Debbie's.

there's just something about that partially-hydrogenated-oil-enriched-faux-creme. I can't get enough of it, man.

so, um, count me in, dudes. anyone mind if I undo the top button? 'cause, youch.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Well, it sounds like further research is definitely needed to see whether there is any truth to the hypothesis that menstrual sychrony can occur among women who DON'T live together, but do provide each other emotional support. I would design a study myself except that I have no idea how to actually do that. Plus, I'm kinda busy with my real job and plus all this blogging business takes up so much time...oh and mothering Little Guy is pretty time intensive too. So there's not much room in my day for anything else.

Maybe some bored women's health researcher will stumble upon my blog and decide to look into it some more. Or not.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I have noticed before that some of my blogger pals and I seemed to be synchronized in terms of PMS and periods. There is something to your theory.

I am about a week from my period, but I will take a ho-ho, thanks. And maybe something salty too?

8:04 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

HOLY SHIT, I started mine yesterday.

7:09 PM  

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