Research ArticlePHYSIOLOGY

Women temporarily synchronize their menstrual cycles with the luminance and gravimetric cycles of the Moon

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Science Advances  27 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 5, eabe1358
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe1358

Abstract

Many species synchronize reproductive behavior with a particular phase of the lunar cycle to increase reproductive success. In humans, a lunar influence on reproductive behavior remains controversial, although the human menstrual cycle has a period close to that of the lunar cycle. Here, we analyzed long-term menstrual recordings of individual women with distinct methods for biological rhythm analysis. We show that women’s menstrual cycles with a period longer than 27 days were intermittently synchronous with the Moon’s luminance and/or gravimetric cycles. With age and upon exposure to artificial nocturnal light, menstrual cycles shortened and lost this synchrony. We hypothesize that in ancient times, human reproductive behavior was synchronous with the Moon but that our modern lifestyles have changed reproductive physiology and behavior.

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