Menstruation Doesn't Alter Your Brain Functions, Study

Nikhita Sanotra
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According to a new study, menstruation doesn't actually affect a woman's brain. There were claims previously that menstruation reduces a woman's brain power to think clearly, but all that is in the past as the new study says that this is not true. The study was conducted in the University Hospital Zurich. Scientists studied three main cognitive functions in 88 women, and found that hormonal changes did not affect these functions.


The researchers tested working memory, attention and cognitive bias among these 88 women aged 18 to 40, and then retested it again on 68 women on a second menstrual cycle, but the result was the same. In the scientific journal, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience the researchers wrote,

"There is no consistent association between women's hormone levels, in particular, estrogen and progesterone, and attention, working memory and cognitive bias."

At University Hospital ZurichProfessor Brigitte Leeners led the study. He 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 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.”

The researchers, however, were criticised for having such a small study. Other researchers suggested that there should at least be 100 test subjects so that there is a variation in hormones for different women.

It is a common understanding that the pain due to periods can cause changes in brain function, and because this study busted that myth, many researchers are not convinced. Since they covered only three aspects of cognitive functions, and not the entire range of cognitive functions, the study could need another redoing with more test subjects and greater number of cognitive functions tested.

Ladies, take note!



Pic credits: Body and soul

Also read: Period Tracking Apps Gaining Popularity In India

Read more articles by Nikhita Sanotra


Menstruation hormones Brain Activity Brigitte Leeners Cognitive Functions Period study on women University Hospital Zurich