Is The Menstrual Cycle Connected To The Moon Cycle?

For many centuries now, different cultures have linked fertility, female energy and the menstrual cycle to the moon. People have lived, gardened and even cut their hair according to the lunar calendar. But are the menstrual and lunar cycle really related? Find out if the relationship is real and what we can learn from the lunar phases.

  • Woman sunset moon and stars

Words:ChristinaImages:PexelsUnsplashMarch 26, 2021

For many centuries now, different cultures have linked fertility, female energy and the menstrual cycle to the moon. People have lived, gardened and even cut their hair according to the lunar calendar and have based their religious ceremonies on the moon phases. To this day, Jewish and Islamic cultures use the lunar calendar to set their fasting and feasting days. The moon gives us a chronological structure – so why should it be unlikely that our menstrual cycle is also connected to it?

Convictions of these cultures often differ a lot from those of science and alternative health advocates. The descriptions range from signs of the universe and simple myths to a useful tool to better understand our menstrual cycle. Let us find out why people believe in the correlation between menstrual and lunar phases, what the truth is according to science and what we can learn from the moon cycle.

Why do people believe in this correlation?

For ages, people have associated the moon with fertility and female energy. No wonder that this thesis has been studied again and again recently because a few arguments clearly speak in favour of it:

  1. The words ‘menstruation’ and ‘menses’ come from Latin and Greek words meaning month (mensis) and moon (mene). Not the strongest scientific argument, but still interesting and expressive.
  2. Our emotions behave like water. They are in permanent motion. If you think of the sea and its tides, the fact that the moon determines ebb and flow is indisputable. However, it is likely that the moon can influence us and our feelings as well; especially since our bodies are 70% water. Why should our menstrual cycle not be related to the lunar cycle, too?
  3. One thing is already certain: The phases of the moon have an effect on many animals’ behaviour. For example, fiddler crabs are more active during the full and new moon because the tides are higher at that time. And gerbils avoid looking for food during a full moon because the bright light of the moon makes them more likely to be discovered and eaten by owls. Those effects could conceivably also apply to humans.
  4. There is the idea that moonlight has an impact on our biological processes. The effect of light on peoples’ bodies and reproductive systems has already been confirmed. And as far as we know, seasonal changes in light influence our hormone levels and feelings as well. Just think of the dark days in winter and the so-called winter depression.

These interesting facts seem to hint at a deeper relationship between the moon and us women.

But what does science say?

What is the truth about the connection?

Several studies have examined the possible relation between our menstrual cycle and the moon cycle. The overall result is that both cycles have equal length, as the global average of menstrual cycle length is 29 days and the lunar cycle lasts 29.5 days. But contrary to what used to be popular belief for centuries, these cycles are not synchronized. The most robust study is an analysis of over 7.5 million cycles in 1.5 million women. The data was collected by a specific app for women which allows us to track our periods. The sample only included women with a natural menstruation without any kind of birth control.

For the cycles evaluated, there was no evidence that the period predominantly starts around the new moon. This is a point in time that is often supposed to be a link between lunar and menstrual cycles. Still, for some women, the lunar and menstrual cycles will correlate more or less. This depends on two things: Firstly on how similar their average cycle length is to the lunar one and secondly on the range of their cycle length.

In general, we can find no proof that a cycle that coincidentally syncs with the moon is healthier or beneficial for us. However, alternative health disagrees with that and holds the view that there are many benefits to menstruating during the new moon and ovulating during the full moon. In this constellation, our cycle is ‘in the white moon’, as some would say.

This synchronised cycle is supposed to stand for creativity, fertility and maternity. On the other hand, when we bleed during the full moon and ovulate during the new moon, it is called a ‘red moon’ cycle. This symbolizes a kind of rebellion because our sexual energy is focused more on spiritual growth rather than procreation.

What we can learn from the moon cycle

The clearest and also the only evident similarity of the menstrual and the lunar cycle is the cycle length for both, which on average is 28 days. Even if no scientific connection between both cycles can be confirmed, we can learn a lot from the moon, its phases and their meanings because every moon phase can be matched with one of our menstrual phases. Let us use our knowledge about that to get in a better flow with our own cycle.

New moon = our monthly bleeding

During the new moon, the moon is not visible. This phase represents a time of retreat and new beginnings as well as our monthly bleeding. In this time our two brain halves communicate in a perfect way so that our emotions and our mind work together better than usual. This week is a good chance to set new goals and intentions.

Waxing moon = our follicular phase

The waxing moon is a time full of energy. The moon is gaining more power and it appears brighter and stronger. Compared to the menstrual cycle, this correlates with the follicular phase. Let us be curious, go out and try out new things because this phase is hormonally optimal for using that energy.

Full moon = our ovulation

The full moon serves as the climax of the lunar cycle. The moon is highly visible and its expression is the strongest at that point in the cycle. The equivalent in the menstrual cycle is the female ovulation. It is time to celebrate the first half of our cycle and to be thankful. We have to let go of things we do not need anymore. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their highest level now. During these days our charisma, communication skills and our persuasive powers are at their peak. We should enjoy this irresistible attraction.

Bonus: A super moon is a special form of the full moon because it is very close to the earth. This means that there is a maximum distance of 360.000 kilometres between the moon and the centre of the earth. Because of that, the moon appears much bigger and more powerful, which can influence and strengthen our emotions even more.

Waning moon = our luteal phase

The waning moon represents the return to the inner world. It is all about reflection and evaluation. Compared to the menstrual cycle, it is like the luteal phase. Our body adjusts itself to the menstrual period if the egg has not been fertilised. In this phase, we are likely to wrap things up and put them in order. We need to utilise that energy and restructure ourselves and our environment.

Rounding up our findings

Moon and tree

The moon affects the tides of the sea, can influence animals’ behaviour and has stood for fertility and female power for centuries. Although a correlation to the female cycle seems obvious, science has found that there is no link between our menstrual and the lunar cycle. Still, one fact is clear as day: The length of both cycles is similar, if not equal. The only difference is that we can see the change in the moon, but not in us – simply because we do not shine like the moon.

But we can learn from the lunar phases: During our menstrual cycle, our mood and emotions tend to change. The meanings of the moon phases can help us to recognize, reflect and communicate these changes and therefore be in a better flow.

moon cycle, menstrual cycle

Christina

About Christina

As a sporty and active woman, Christina finds her flow by being in nature and discovering it. Whether running, yoga or functional training in the park – this is how she keeps her inner balance. Her professional passion is communication. When she writes about topics that matter, she lives out her creativity and wants to add value with her words.

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