Mother nature isn’t particularly kind to us women, especially when it comes to our fertility. Cramping, bloating and headaches are all things us women have to deal with each and every month, like clockwork – great.
It can be a pretty grim, but according to a new study, our brains aren’t affected. The study, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, is paving the way we think about periods and how they affect our cognition. A team of researchers, working from the Medical School Hannover, examined three aspects of cognition across two menstrual cycles of 68 women.
They found that levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone in your system have no impact on your working memory, cognitive bias or multi-tasking skills. During the first cycle, some women experienced hormonal changes however, this wasn’t consistent in the following cycle.
Team leader, Professor Leeners, said: “As a specialist in reproductive medicine and a psychotherapist, I deal with many women who have the impression that the menstrual cycle influences their well-being and cognitive performance.”
The study wants to change the way we look at menstruation, by researching anecdotal evidence to answer questions women have had for decades. Stereotypes about women and menstruation have lingered for years and it’s about time that we’re finally given the facts.
“The hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle do not show any association with cognitive performance. Although there might be individual exceptions, women’s cognitive performance is in general not disturbed by hormonal changes occurring with the menstrual cycle,” said Professor Leeners.
It’s important to bear in mind that we’re all different and our hormonal reaction varies tremendously between women. Also, this study, while larger than usual, needs a bigger subsample of women with more tests is needed to provide a better and fuller picture.
One small step for women, one giant step for open conversations about periods.
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