Scholars and writers for many centuries have been speculating links between the lunar cycle and menses. Menstruation just like phases of the moon is a cyclical process. An average menstrual cycle lasts for 29 days same as the lunar cycle.(1)
The first person to observe a link between menstruation and the moon was Charles Darwin who observed a link between the lengths of the two.
In a study done in 1986, it was found that there is a link. 826 women were tested by the researchers. It was found that 28.3 percent of women began their periods around the new moon and one more study supported these findings.(2,3)
A study also found the females who began their period on the new moon had more chances of getting pregnant.(4)
A study was done in 2013 and 74 females were analyzed, but no synchrony was found between the lunar cycle and menstrual cycle.(5)
A recent study suggested that there may have been a link between the lunar cycle and menstrual cycle once which has now been disrupted by artificial light and modern lifestyle.(6) This study evaluated 8 females and 4 females among them synced with the moon intermittently. For the other 3 women, the period synchronization occurred more frequently with full moon or new moon.
Other Things Synchronizing with Moon
The relationship of the moon with the menstrual cycle is quite unclear there are a few other types of moon synchronicity that have been noted.
A study done in 2021 found that people had a distinctive pattern of sleep oscillation throughout the lunar cycle. Most of the people were found sleeping less and going to bed later at the time of full moon while during the new moon people were found sleeping for longer hours.(7)
A study done in 2017 found a link between the moon and mental health. It was found that two participants had a link between the moon cycle and the menstrual cycle.(8)
Another study done in 2017 found no link between the moon cycle and psychiatric episodes.(9)
Traditions Linking Full Moon and Menstrual Cycle
The scientific community is undecided on the moon and menstrual cycle synchrony, numerous cultures, and traditions believe there is a spiritual link.
Ancient Greek Culture
The word menstruation is derived from Latina and Greek words moon and mene.
The physician in ancient Greece believe that both menses and menstrual cycle are linked and a female during menstruation is spiritually and mentally powerful.(10)
In Ojibwe tradition, menstruation is referred to as moon time and the women take refuge at home to rest and reflect.
It is believed that females have great power during the new moon. As they bleed they slough off the accumulated experience and stress of being a woman.
Hindu Culture and Ayurveda
Traditionally women are believed to be healthier when their cycle is in sync with the lunar rhythms. According to Ayurveda in Sanskrit blood means rakta, which is believed to be governed by Chandra, the moon.
In the medieval yogic text, women were considered to be lunar while men as solar and it was therefore believed that the various stages of menstruation were affected by the lunar cycle.
Other Spiritual Traditions
Alicia Meek was a founder of Wild Moon Sacred Cycle. She practices Wicca and leads women to preserve and carry forward ancient feminine practices.
She believed 4 main phases of the lunar cycle relate to the menstrual cycle.
- New moon or menstrual
- Waxing moon or follicular
- Full moon or ovular phase
- Warning moon or pre-menstrual
Along with this getting periods at a particular time in the lunar cycle is believed to bring out certain characteristics of the female. Again there is no scientific evidence for this concept as well
While many scientific studies deny the idea of a link between the moon and the menstrual cycle there are countless people and cultures that have to believe in this link. However, it lacks strong evidence but in no way is hurtful. Finding a link between the menstrual cycle and the moon can just be a good way to connect the body to the natural world.