Menstruation does not affect brain function: Study

Written by July 4, 2017 17:00

New Delhi: Ladies, take note! Menstruating does not affect your working memory, cognitive bias or ability to pay attention on different tasks at once, say scientists.

While people tend to assume that anyone who is menstruating is not working at top mental pitch, research found evidence to suggest that it is not actually the case.

“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,” said lead researcher Brigitte Leeners from University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland.

The researchers examined three aspects of cognition across two menstrual cycles, and found that the levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone in your system have no impact on your working memory, cognitive bias or ability to pay attention to two things at once.

“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,” Leeners said.
Researchers recruited 68 women to undergo detailed monitoring to investigate changes in three selected cognitive processes at different stages in the menstrual cycle.

While analysis of the results from the first cycle suggested that cognitive bias and attention were affected, these results were not replicated in the second cycle. The team looked for differences in performance between individuals and changes in individuals’ performance over time, and found none.

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