Most of us have experienced that “a-ha!” moment when a roommate or co-worker tells us that she’s on period and we happen to be menstruating, too. We hate to be the bearers of surprising (and slightly disappointing) news, but a new study has found that period syncing may not really be a thing. There’s something comforting about commiserating with our gal pals about the cramps, mood swings, and overall misery that accompanies our periods — so what gives?
Researchers at the University of Oxford conducted the largest period syncing study of its kind by analyzing three consecutive menstrual cycles of 360 pairs of roommates.
They found that 273 of the 360 pairs had a bigger difference in start date by month three than they had in month one — so period syncing is most likely a coincidence.
In simpler terms, we all have a different cycle length — and our own cycles change several times during our lifetime (and sometimes even several times a year). So, it’s inevitable that at some point during the course of our relationships with other women that our cycles will occasionally align — after all, there are only so many days per month.
But just because it’s pure coincidence, that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to commiserate with the women in our lives who have their periods at the same time as us. After all, it provides at least a little comfort to know that we’re not the only ones battling miserable cramps and all the other lovely things Aunt Flo brings.