Woman's Menses & Mate's Mood Cycling
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Q:  Woman's Menses & Mate's Mood Cycling

I have been able to find any questions or studies on my question.  I have heard before and notice with friends that when two or more women spend a lot of time together their mentstrual cycles tend to start happening at the same time.  I was wondering if this could happen between bipolar and pms?  My husband is bipolar and I have noticed over the five years that when he is going through a deep depression and rage I am on my period.  Could there be a connection?

Dear Ms. C'--
Well now there's an interesting one. Presumably there's an evolutionary explanation for why women would start to cycle together. I've seen some interesting speculations about this but to my knowledge it's still mostly guessing; but you're right, this is a well-known phenomenon. But I'd have a hard time even guessing why a woman might synchronize to her mate's mood cycling -- except that hey, no point in trying to have sex when he's in a mood like that, too dangerous probably, might as well arrange to have menses around then.  But obviously that's just guessing (hopefully not too offensively). 

Then I suppose we could guess the other way around: maybe when you approach menses, somehow this triggers his deep depression and rage. Hmm, maybe better stop right there. Kind of points the finger at you, doesn't it, that particular speculation; and it's so stereotypical, someone is going to get mad at me for this one.  

In my defense, you'd be amazed at how little is known about hormones and mood (I can say that because I try to keep track of that research, at least a little; e.g. my webpage on the subject -- but don't bother to go there, it's too disappointing, how little we know about something that seems so basic).  So we don't even have a very good explanation for why there might be a connection between your menstrual cycle and your mood, let alone his!  

Of course, that doesn't mean there there isn't such a connection; only that I have no great ideas on how to explain such a possibility. Sorry. Thanks for asking, anyway. 

Dr. Phelps

Published April, 2006


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