The WMBS Phenomenon


Below, Terry Farrah describes an experience many women have had -- let's call it the "we must be synchronizing!" phenomenon, or "WMBS" (pronounced "wombs" -- just for fun!). Terry says: 

"I'm a bioinformaticist - I use computers to study DNA sequences. I often find myself frustrated with the general public's sloppy scientific thinking. I know it's not their fault - folks get intimidated, feel discouraged when they don't excel in science in school, etc.

But menstrual synchrony is one area where I've been frustrated. Frequently I've had friends tell me that they synchronize with their friends, lovers, and roommates. I have never experienced the phenomenon myself. I've lived closely with many different women but I've always stayed on track - 24 days per cycle, plus or minus a day at most. Most women have longer cycles. If you have different length cycles, you can't synchronize! It's just impossible.

Once I lived with a close friend. She remarked one day that it seemed our cycles were synchronizing. "Really?" I said. "How long is your cycle?" "Twenty-eight days." "Does it ever vary from that? Would you ever have a cycle as short as twenty-four days?" "Oh, no, never that short." "Then we can't be synchronized." I explained to her that, if the length of her cycle never varied, and the length of mine never varied, then we couldn't be synchronized.

Still, she persisted in the belief that we were synchronizing! I assume she concluded this because it happened that for two cycles in a row, our bleeding days overlapped....Women can feel that, if they often overlap bleeding days with someone, they are synchronizing. But simple chance will have it that, between any two women, over time, more than one third of their cycles will have some overlap. They just notice it more when they live together and see one another's menstrual trappings.

The notion of menstrual synchrony is very appealing, and I would like it to be true, but I am inclined to believe it is not."

Thanks for the input Terry!

Click here to take a closer look at one of the statements Terry Farrah has made: "If you have different length cycles, you can't synchronize! It's just impossible."

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