Periods, yes they may make you feel moody and eagerly wanting to eat every piece of chocolate in sight. But no, there is no such thing as “period brain”. A recent study that was published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience debunks the period brain myth. Yes, some people actually thought that menstruating would make a person less competent. The study examined the association between female hormones and cognitive functioning. Good news, periods do not hinder your ability to think! It was a myth all along. So next time someone wants to question your thinking when you have your period just let the science do the talking and show them this study.
How did they debunk the period brain myth?
The study was conducted in Europe and the researchers collected data from 88 menstruating women during the women’s first cycle and then the researchers followed up with 68 women during their second cycle to rule out false-positive findings. The researchers assessed 4 different aspects that included “working memory, attention, cognitive bias and hormone levels at four consecutive time-points across both cycles.” (Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience)
So what were the results?
They did not find any clear associations between hormones and cognitive functioning. “Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone did not relate to inter-individual differences in cognitive functioning.” (Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience) And Brigette Leeners, the study’s lead author confirmed the findings and said “We can draw the conclusion from our results that this is a myth — that women can function absolutely well, despite having a menstrual cycle,” Leeners said. (MIC)
Other period myths:
- Women who are menstruating are more likely to be attacked by a shark. This has never been proven or any documented cases. Go on hop in the water!
- Menstrual cycles are 28 days. That is the average menstrual cycle but menstrual cycles can be different depending on the person.
- Menstrual blood is different than regular blood. It’s the same thing!
Busting these types of period myths is critical in order to fight the taboo that surrounds menstruation. At Ellebox we exist to create conversation, and education surrounding menstrual health.