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Is period syncing real?

Female PoC in a pink room wearing a purple bralette and pink shorts with pink blanket over shoulder sat next to a white female in a pink top and shorts to represent period syncing

Your period arrives, then in a conversation with a close friend you realise they also have their period. Cue a bonding moment where you both chant ‘our periods have synced!’

If this is a familiar situation, then you too might have wondered (or even googled) is period syncing real? It’s either a scientific fact or mythical idea that’s about as real as a unicorn.

The discussion started decades ago

Back in the 1970s, a study by psychologist Martha McClinock explored this topic. McClinock found that there was an increase in period synchronisation for roommates and close friends. Her research became a topic of debate sparking mainstream interest in this phenomenon.

Period syncing experiences

It’s likely you’ve experienced period syncing. Whether it’s with your housemate, close friend, sister, or colleague. From my own experience, the conversation usually goes this way, “I have really bad cramps today because of my period” to which my friend replies with excitement “I am on my period too!”.

Take a moment to think about it and recall those times it’s happened to you and a friend, or group of friends. Let’s not forget that it’s even more mind-blowing when you have synced with a whole gang of your gal pals.

Being ‘united in menstruation’ is a lovely idea. It’s like our uteruses are all having a secret conversation. They too have formed a friendship. Okay, that might be a bit sickly sweet for my liking. I do however appreciate the sisterhood – women that hang out together, bleed together.

The alpha uterus

The ‘alpha uterus’ might sound like the title of a cheesy B-movie horror but it is not. It is in fact a potential theory of what’s causing period syncing.

The alpha uterus is the leader of the pack and it controls all surrounding uteruses. You could own the alpha uterus or one of your friends might own it. Those who believe in this idea see the alpha uterus as the instigator. When the alpha uterus gives the signal, all surrounding uteruses kick into action.

So, what does science say about period syncing?

The scientific community remains divided by the idea of period syncing. On the opposing side, they argue there is not enough research to support the syncing theory. Research by H. Clyde. Wilson addressed several menstrual synchrony studies finding that results were not consistent. Whilst some studies showed signs of synchrony, some women in other studies did not sync. Wilson discusses the method used in the experiments to call out potential errors. Experts who do not believe are therefore waiting for more solid evidence.

To confuse matters, there are professionals who think period syncing is real. The pro-syncing camp have various reasons and most of it stems from real-life experiences. They either back the original study by McClinock or they believe this must be ‘a thing’ due to the number of cases.

What’s the truth?

If only this question was easy to answer. Apologies if you were looking for a yes or no answer but, it’s unfortunately not that straightforward. Period syncing is a complicated topic that might fascinate us for years to come.

I personally like the idea of period syncing. I love finding out that I’ve synced with a friend. On these occasions, we can have a good moan about period cramps and indulge our cravings. It’s always nice having someone to share that XL pizza with – delicious!

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