Here’s The Real Reason Why Women’s Menstrual Cycles Sync Up


I’d like to start this essay off by writing PERIODS! PERIODS! PERIODS! in all caps in order to scare off any potential male readers who are, for some unsettling reason, interested in hearing about why women menstruate at the same time. Usually this can be accomplished by yelling (or metaphorically yelling in an essay) the sacred and terrifying word that sends men running faster than the phrase “No, nothing’s wrong. I’m fine. No, I’m FINE.”

Moving on. Of any female roommate I’ve ever had, we’ve spent approximately 34% of our friendship discussing the mystery that is Oh my God why did our periods sync up? How did that happen and how is that fair? This is so weird no wait it’s funny no just kidding I HATE you I literally cannot just kidding let’s take a shot and okay can I tell you – you’re like actually amazing. 

It’s been a question that has haunted me since I was fourteen. For the record, since you’re all on the edge of your seats looking for fun facts that have yet to be added to my Wikipedia page that doesn’t exist because I’m not important, I actually got my period at thirteen. However, I naively enjoyed it for the first year because I thought it was cool and womanish and I looked forward to pretend-complaining about UGH my CRAMPS.

I loved making a show of taking a couple Midols, or loudly asking if anyone had a tampon, even though I didn’t know how to use a tampon and didn’t plan on learning until I was thirty-seven. It was my way of telling my friends to hang on, my period just came which means my boobs will be arriving soon too! I’m now twenty-four, and I know they’ll be here any minute.

But after a year of this, I grew tired, and I started to hate my monthly arch nemesis with a fiery passion. My friends and I noticed that the more we spent time around each other, splitting one Mike’s Hard Lemonade between six of us and getting drunk, the more we would start to sync up. We thought it was a joke at first, until we learned that many an angry female has dealt with this problem.

I went onto college, where I majored in English and minored in how-to-get-chubby-while-studying-abroad, and my curiosity about period-syncing grew to an all-time high (meaning I thought about it once a month and then forgot about it.) It sucked, because every time you went home or visited a high school bestie and then came back, everything was all screwed up and you’d get your period two and a half weeks before you were supposed to. What was this lunacy, and why was it necessary?

I’ve been out of college now for two and a half years. And now that I’m older, wiser, and less drunk, I’ve discovered the answer: it’s because everything’s THE WORST. That is the answer.

For one week every month, we shed our uterus lining. In more scientific terms, it means we swallow ice cream pints whole, hate on Blue Ivy, and temporarily decide that we find Josh Groban attractive. Naturally, in order to make everything THE WORST, it is necessary to ruin even the one small thing we thought we had control over: thinking we can prepare for it. So, our bodies sync up with our friends or roommates or sisters enough to make us never know when it’s coming, and sometimes to make us think it’s not going to come at all so that we’ll go OMG WHERE THE FUCK IS IT I’M PREGNANT, regardless of whether or not we have recently (or ever) had sex.

It’s just a cruel part of our experience of womanhood. It forces us to become tribal and wolfpack-like. This syncing of the periods was followed by other instigators that led to wolfpack life: white wine was invented in 1996 by Kris Jenner in an unsuccessful attempt to spark inspiration and intellectuality in the minds of her offspring. Instead, it provided women with a bonding opportunity and allowed them to form friendships while going to obligatory bingo nights at Lisa’s house.

Following this, Zoomba came into existence to convince women that it’s possible to dance away all of the two or less pounds while trying to act like you’re having fun hanging out with your coworker.

The syncing of the periods is a part of life and it’s not going to go away. It exists because everything is the worst, and always will be. But don’t get downhearted – you can thank your roommate when she causes your period to come a week early instead of having it come on your vacation. Silver (uterus) lining people. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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