Does Your Relationship Status Affect Your Period?
Menstrual cycles can vary greatly from woman to woman. For some women, their period comes on time like clockwork while for others their periods may come a few days earlier or later than expected. This randomness can be extremely frustrating for women, and it causes the ruin of many “good underwear”. It’s been well documented that many things can delay your monthly menses—from too much stress, to a sudden weight change and even dietary issues. But have you ever heard the old wives’ tale that being in a relationship keeps your monthly cycle regular?
Well, according to some experts, there’s some truth to this old wives’ tale. This is due to the delicate symphony of hormones in your body. Your hormones are fluctuating all the time throughout your menstrual cycle. According to experts, your hormone levels throughout your cycle can also be greatly influenced by your interactions with love interests.
How A Relationship Affects Your Menstrual Cycle
Winnifred Cutler, Ph.D., a reproductive biologist and president of the Athena Institute for Women’s Wellness in Chester Springs, PA, says that their recent study and research suggest a connection. The studies revealed “that women who kissed, had sex with, and slept next to a man at least once a week were more likely to have on-track periods than women whose sex lives were more sporadic. We found that women who are exposed regularly to male pheromones via intimate contact have higher estrogen levels and shift to more predictable cycles.” So the study suggests that being in a relationship can help make irregular periods more regular. Moreover, having an orgasm regularly could help speed up your periods as well.
What Happens to the Body as a Result of Orgasm
Although the mechanism behind this is not yet completely understood, experts do believe that having an orgasm regularly might help shorten the duration of your periods. If an egg is not fertilized during midcycle, then in the latter stages of your cycle your uterine lining will thin out because of the rise of prostaglandins levels. As your progesterone levels fall, your lining also starts to slowly shed. Estrogen levels will in turn rise. Your cervix, which usually sits high at the bottom of the uterus in a closed position, will start to drop and dilate slightly to prepare for your period. Because no studies have been performed on this as of yet, the little we do know is that when you orgasm, the body sends signals to your brain which signals the body to release certain chemicals which may have lasting benefits on your menstrual cycle.
During an orgasm your cervix opens to allow semen to pass through into the uterus. At the same time, your uterus contracts intensely, though these are way more fun uterine contractions, which can increase menstrual blood flow. This process suggests that it is "likely that menstrual blood in the uterus is squeezed out during orgasm," says Dee Fenner, M.D., director of gynecology in the department of ob-gyn at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. So it seems that the combination of chemicals and intense uterine contractions may make your flow heavier and faster immediately after an orgasm, causing your period to end much sooner than it would have had you not had an orgasm.
So as it turns out, that old wives’ tale could have some factual merit. Not that we’re advocating getting into a relationship just to regulate your period. But if you are in a stable relationship, it might be an interesting personal study to note if your usually wonky period is more regular and if regular sex is shortening your period. Love and sex in the name of science!