Many cultures throughout human history have linked the lunar cycle with the female menstrual cycle. Due to their similarity in length and they both have 13 annual appearances. In this first installment of a mini series of blogs will establish the basics surrounding the Lunar Cycle and My Cycle.
The moon completes one orbit around the earth in 27 days as measured by the stars. The moons waxing and waning cycle takes 29 days to complete. The menstrual cycle is 28 days, and considered normal with a week or more variance in length (21 to 40 days).
The influence of the moon on the Earth is significant as demonstrated by the rising tides.
Many Emergency room doctors and nurses state that the Full Moon means a Full ER. Is that Urban Legend or Fact?
There have been many studies done by the National Institute of Health on this measuring the psychiatric patient count, emergency room patient count, increase in severity of illness or injury, and even monitoring operating rooms for excessive blood loss.
There are studies that show a slight up tick in cases during the beginning and end of the moon cycles, and ascribe the variations to in-cellular fluid changes in the nervous and endocrine systems influencing the functionality on a system level. Thus supporting the “40% of medical professionals that believe the moon phase influences human behavior.”
Other research is a stanch “NO” to Lunar phases correlating with increased Emergency Department patients, nor increased blood loss in surgery. One study states, “Scientific analysis of our data does not support the belief that moon phases, zodiac signs, or Friday the 13th influence surgical blood loss and emergency frequency.”
The scientific community is not in agreement.
What does this mean for the correlation between moon phases and menstruation?
It is established that “many marine organisms such as brown algae, fish, corals, turtles, and bristle worms, synchronize their behavior and reproduction with and rely on the moon for conducting reproduction with the lunar cycle”
The natural question is, “Why would the moon affect a turtle and a fish, and not affect a human?”
Western science has largely dismissed the moon’s influence on biology. But, a recent study of long term data published in Science Advances reported that over a woman’s life span some of her periods will sync with the lunar phase and gravitational cycles.
The study found that women under the age of 35 cycles would commence with the Full moon or the New moon approximately 25% of the time. While older women would sync with the Full moon or New moon approximately 10% of the time.
The data also showed that the older women’s menstrual onset would align with the perigee-apogee 17% of the time and 13% of the time in younger women.
Adding the percentages of lunar influence up younger women’s cycles coincide with lunar events 38% of the time, and older women 27% of the time.
Homework Ladies! Next time you have a difficult period take note of the moon phase and drop me an message. I would love to hear the feed back.
The study also noted that women who had no correlations with onset of menstruation and lunar activity where all “night owls”. Indicating that exposure to blue light at night is overriding the effects of the moon.
In Eastern philosophy the changing of one thing into another is known as the Law of Yin and Yang. These are symbiotic, dependent, opposites. There is no light without dark. There is not hot without cold. There is no inside without outside. Everything has the possibility of turning into the opposite. (Rose, 2018)
The lunar phases are a perfect example of Yin and Yang changing forms from the New Moon’s dark, dull, and empty to the Full Moon’s light, bright, and back again.
This is similar to the phases of a woman’s cycle: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase.
The first phase: menstruation
The sloughing off of lining of the uterus that the body prepared for a fertilized egg to implant. This would be similar to would be similar to the Waning Gibbous after a Full moon, when Yang starts to transform into Yin.
The second phase: or follicular phase (day 6 – pre ovulation). The dominate follicle (egg) increasing produces estrogen thickening the uterine lining and promoting production of cervical fluid.
This is similar to the New Moon and the highest concentration of Yin and physiologically evident through the increasing blood and tissue in the uterine lining. There is also Yang within Yin being represented by the developing dominant follicle.
The third phase: ovulation, the rupture of the egg from the ovary, releasing it to the fallopian tube where it can be fertilized. This is similar to waxing crescent moon and the beginning of yin dominance (just before ovulation) to yang dominance (just after ovulation)
The Forth phase: Luteal Phase (post-ovulation) the shell of the egg begins to release progesterone. This impacts the uterine lining and prepares it for implantation of new life. The progesterone also increases body temperature. This is when yang energy is at its peak and similar to a Full moon.
Even though the phases of the a woman’s cycle do not match up with the lunar cycle every month, both cycles follow the Law of Yin and Yang in Chinese Medicine.
It is interesting that the study done on menstruation and moon cycles found such a high percentage of of menstrual onset with the New and Full moons. It would be interesting to see how a woman’s cycle interacts with all of the phases of the moon over her life time.
I am glad for one thing. That not all women commence their cycle at once. Mood swings, cramps, and nausea are difficult enough to deal with as an individual. Now imagine what would happen if all women cycled with the onset of the Full moon every month. What would the emergency department look like then? There may be a Darwinian aspect to staggered cycles.
Please look for the next blog in this series on the 13 annual cycles.