Category Archives: Women’s Health

Is it Possible for Your Period to Sync Up With Your Best Friends?

Image result for calendar

Photo from DRC_Calendar

Nicole Kell

Most women have experienced having the same period schedule as their friends. You have probably heard that all the hours you spend together caused your menstrual cycle to sync up. However, there is no scientific evidence based on chemicals or hormones to support this theory. Obstetrician-gynecologist Lynn Simpson explains that proximity cannot change cycle timing or frequency of periods because they simply do not work that way. There is however, a mathematical explanation to why your period might match up with a roommate or close friend. Dr. Simpson explains, “Over time, a woman who has a three-week cycle and another who has a five-week cycle will eventually see their periods coincide and diverge again.” Women who live together for at least a year, are bound to have overlapping cycles a few times. It’s just coincidence of our cycle lengths.

There are other factors that affect menstrual cycles such as birth control pills, stress, chronic illness, and eating disorders. Birth control pills alter the levels of progesterone and estrogen that control and manipulate when a women will have her period, if at all. Stress over life or work caused by constant anxiety and worry can cause a woman’s period to be earlier or later than normal. Living with a chronic illness, having constant health problems and/or taking certain medications can also cause irregular menstrual cycles. Lastly, eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia or highly restrictive control over caloric intake can impact menstrual cycles.

Even though many women may experience a connection with their close friends or roommates, it seems to be simply a coincidence when their periods happen to sync up.

Do Women’s Periods Really Sync Up When They Spend Time Together?

Is it okay to delay your period with birth control pills?

Image result for birth control pills

Image from Healthline

Isabel Draper

The first oral contraceptive pill was approved by the FDA in 1960. Packs of pills with equal amounts of estrogen and progesterone (combined birth control pills) have a week of sugar pills.  Taking the placebo pills induces a period. Health authorities and doctors have traditionally advised women that they should take this week of sugar pills and have normal periods for their reproductive and overall health. The thought was that having a period regularly would reassure women that everything was normal as well as imitate the rhythm method (thereby making birth control more acceptable to the pope).

Women that wanted to have fewer periods started skipping these placebo pills and taking  the active pills from the next pack of pills. This practice is a form of menstrual suppression which is the adjustment of the menstrual cycle using hormonal contraceptives. Skipping placebo pills or ‘stacking packs’ is one of several way that women can suppress their periods.  The uterine lining is maintained when periods are skipped and breakthrough bleeding may occur as some of the lining sheds. Other potential side effects of taking the combined pill continuously or ‘stacking packs’ may include nausea or diarrhea. The chances of successfully suppressing one’s period without breakthrough bleeding or other side effects depends on both the method used and the patient.

When attempting to decide between continuous cycle pills, 28-day birth control pills, or another form of birth control for menstrual suppression,  women should consult their physician or nurse practitioner in order to create a birth control plan tailored to their needs.