Question about women's menstrual cycles synchronizing

I’ve read that women who are in close proximity to each other for extended periods often find that their menstrual cycles gradually become the same.

Do they fix to one person’s cycle, or do they gradually flow together until they meet somewhere in between?

For some reason I got it in my head that they would “normalize” to the alpha female’s, but I have no idea why I would think that.

The Master Speaketh:

Interestingly, this has happened to me and I’m still not sure. When it happened in our department at work (5 women and one poor man), I was on the pill, so I thought that the timing of my period couldn’t change.

Maybe I was the alpha female! I can’t remember if any of the others were on a period-regulating birth control.

It was really wierd, and disturbing to our male boss!

Actaully, some recent research has cast doubt on the synchronization theory. Seems there were some mistakes in the original studies that didn’t take into account natural variations in cycle length and overlap. I wish Cecil would revist his article with an update…

If only He would…

Research doubts notwitstanding, most women I know view this sort of thing as accepted fact. When a group of women work together, they end up on the same cycle. It might just be a statistical illusion (the overlap of cycles makes it look like everyone’s together), but the way these women put it, there’s always a time when everyone’s on and a time when nobody is.


Hmmm, I figured an update would have been in the orignal article (or at least linked to it). Can’t believe I didn’t remember that one…

If only they did…

(scroll down to the bottom right above Cecil’s signature)

Gosh dang it. (OK, now that I’ve exposed my poor scanning skills to the world I’ll stop making excuses. :slight_smile: )

D’oh! I should have checked the archives. I suppose my main interest was “does it synchronize to one person’s scheulde? If so, whose?” but it appears that since the entire phenomena is in doubt, I won’t get an answer anytime soon.

My wife’s friends (from before she was married, and moved yup here with me) have no doubt about the phenomenon – Pepper Mill used to have an extremely irregular period, and was the alpha female, at least as far as timing went. Everyone else apparently started being irregular, too, in synch with her. They finally regularized her cycle with birth control pills, taken for precisely that reason.

I’m sorry to be the party pooper in this thread, but personally I would not *want * to know if I was the alpha female at work and if everyone’s cycle had caught up to mine (or if I was catching up with someone else’s).

There are some things I refuse to discuss at work, and menstral cycles are one.