Apparently many women are convinced that their periods kill their brainpower.
Or, so says Professor Brigitte Leeners, author of a new study on the topic:
“As a specialist in reproductive medicine and a psychotherapist, I deal with many women who have the impression that the menstrual cycle influences their well-being and cognitive performance.”
The new study shows, though, that there is no link between hormonal levels and mental capacity.
Professor Leeners explained:
“The hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle do not show any association with cognitive performance.
Although there might be individual exceptions, women’s cognitive performance is in general not disturbed by hormonal changes occurring with the menstrual cycle.”
The study followed 68 women across two menstrual cycles.
Their levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone were measured, along with their cognitive performance.
The researchers could find no link between the levels of these hormones and memory, attention or cognitive bias.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (Leeners et al., 2017).