What You’ve Been Getting Totally Wrong About Your Period

Getting your period is super fun, right? Ha, JK. You get cramps, blood comes pouring out of you, and all you want to do is lay in bed and watch Mean Girls for the 78th time. Maybe your period makes you feel extra grumpy, sad, nostalgic, or just really moody. Maybe you feel like it makes you more anxious or even a little bit depressed. Well, uh, you might be wrong. There is, apparently, a common period trait that might not actually be true, according to a new study. Blaming your crappy mental state on their period? That might not be backed by science.

According to the study, published in Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience, the hormones that are released during your period don’t actually have a consistent effect on your cognition. What that means is that your period doesn’t have an effect on your memory, cognitive bias, or your ability to pay attention to multiple things at once, even if you THINK it does. You might have heard that PMS can include a feeling of scattered thoughts, but that could be BS. So… you can’t really blame your period if you keep “forgetting” to clean your room.

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What’s the deal? Well, let’s explain the study: A medical team at a hospital in Zurich recruited 68 women to monitor their brains during three of their cycles. They studied the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in the body, and found that these hormones have no impact on your working memory. Some hormonal changes did happen during one cycle, but wasn’t repeated during the next, which just proves that there is no consistent effect that a period can have on the brain.

According to Professor Leener, who conducted the study, the “hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle do not show any association with cognitive performance.” In other words, your period isn’t going to make you act differently when it comes to how you think. Of course, there are some exceptions, as with anything else. Leener adds,”although there might be individual exceptions, women’s cognitive performance is in general not disturbed by hormonal changes occurring with the menstrual cycle.”

And, of course, it’s important to remember that this study was very small and only included a select group of women. More work has to be done on something like this to really say whether it’s 100 percent true or not.

Obviously, if you’re experiencing intense pain from your cramps, your brain isn’t going to be working at its full potential. There are still some ways that your period can mess with your brain and emotions, this new study just proves that your period probably doesn’t ruin your ability to create and store new memories. So, you can remember how wonderful each and every period is. Nice!

What do you think of this study? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Nina Braca, on Twitter or Instagram

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