Any woman can relate, and any man within eyeshot has probably witnessed the following scenario: A woman suffering from mind-numbing cramps, hobbling over to the closest female coworker’s desk for pharmaceutical relief, and bonding over their synced cycles. If women spend enough time around female friends or coworkers, they’re bound to get on the same schedule, right? Greatist examines the science behind the sync.
Sync Up or Sex Up—The Need-to-Know
In 1971 a study speculated that regular contact with other women could affect menstrual cycles. Researchers found social interaction was key to matched cycles, and close friends and women who were in contact for a substantial portion of every day (say, hanging out or working together) were more likely to sync up than women who merely lived in proximity to each other (e.g., on the same floor of a dorm).1
Follow-up studies suggested pheromones were responsible and that “menstrual synchrony” (the technical term for syncing) might be just the tip of the iceberg: It’s possible periods and ovulation could be socially regulated throughout a woman’s lifespan, from puberty to pregnancy and everywhere in between.2
But while many researchers uphold the syncing theory, there’s also back…