Our Guide To The Connection Between Your Menstrual & Moon Cycles

There's a long-standing belief in some circles and spiritualities that menstrual cycles and the phases of the moon somehow correlate, and this goes beyond any woo-woo beliefs. It's something that science has studied, but can science back it up? If people menstruate with the phases of the moon, wouldn't we all have our periods at the same time? Well, there's a lot more that goes into it than that.

If you've ever found yourself wondering what exactly is the connection between menstrual cycles and the moon, we're here to do the dirty work for you and find out exactly why this is a belief, and what credibility we can find behind it. There is no easy answer, but there are plenty of theories and ideas as to where this belief stems from, and science definitely has something to say about it. So, before you mark the next moon phase with a red dot on your calendar, let's take a look at the moon and menstruation.

What science has to say about menstrual and moon cycles

When it comes to science, Würzburg chronobiologist Charlotte Förster told SciTechDaily "We know many animal species in which the reproductive behavior is synchronized with the lunar cycle to increase reproductive success." So, there is some correlation, but even in studies that have found a link between some people's synched menses and the moonlight, there's nothing leading to the idea that all bleeding folk will menstruate with the change of the moon's phases. It's the 28-day menstrual cycle itself that made most people believe it was tied in with the movement of the tides, which are controlled by the moon as well (it's all about the moon's effect on gravity).

A study from 2013, listed on PubMed, showed no synchronicity with the moon after studying the menstrual cycles of over 70 cis women over an entire year. Though, as seen on PubMed, there have been other studies in the past that did find a link between menstruation and the lunar cycle. Why do some studies say there is a link and others say there isn't? It's difficult to know for sure, but the truth of the matter is that not all bodies are synched up together. Some may menstruate around the full moon, others around the new moon, and some may start their periods at other times in a month that don't seem to line up specifically with the beginning of any moon phase.

Could it have something to do with moonlight?

Dr. Marija Vlajic Wheeler, a data scientist at Clue, said "What you normally hear is that you ovulate around the full moon and get your period around the new moon." But, she pointed out, "Looking at the data, we saw that period start dates fall randomly throughout the month, regardless of the lunar phase." But could the studies that did find a correlation have something that's now missing in our day and age?

According to AAAS, Charlotte Förster said: "I think that many of these studies missed a synchronization to the lunar cycle, because there is a high variability between individual women and because all women respond to the lunar cycle only during a relative short time interval in their life, ranging from few months to several years." There is some belief that as menstruating people age, their cycle becomes less connected to the moon and that perhaps when we were living with less artificial light, our systems synched more to the natural light of the moon.

What it means when you do synch with the moon

While science can neither fully confirm nor deny the link between menstruation and moon phases, there are still ways you can align your cycle to that of specific moon phases, and some astrological reasons you may want to. While the two most commonly talked about menstrual cycles aligned with the moon are the red and white moon cycles, there are also the pink and purple cycles. The red moon cycle happens during the full moon, the white (which happens most often) falls during the new moon, pink is during the waxing phase, and purple is during the waning phase.

To get the most out of these moon phases in conjunction with your menstrual cycle, it is said that each one of them has different aspects. Astrological author Syd Robinson told Well+Good, "Since waxing and full moons are typically linked to outgoing, inspiring energies, you may find yourself more focused on lending your maternal spirit outward." Celebrity Serena Poon told Well+Good in the same piece, "Many people believe that if your period comes on the new moon each month, what is called a white moon cycle, that you are connected to the energies of Mother Earth, meaning that you are in a fertile, creative, and nurturing time of your life." Yoga teacher Rebecca Rankin added that "This can mean that you are in a time in your life that you are either nurturing a family or starting one, or in a caregiver role in some way in your life."