Can The Menstrual Cycle Reshape Woman’s Brain?

During a woman’s menstrual cycle, she undergoes fluctuations and flow of hormones that prepare the body for pregnancy. Researchers suggest that this hormonal symphony not only affects the reproductive organs but also reshapes the brain. Studies demonstrate that women’s brains shift monthly due to their menstrual cycles. A significant link is observed between changing ovarian hormones during the menstrual cycle and structural modifications in women’s brains particularly in areas critical for cognitive function. Let’s find out how the Menstrual cycle can reshape a woman’s brain!

Also read- From Arousal to Orgasm: The Science of Sexual Satisfaction (

Menstrual Cycle Reshape Women's Brain

Structural Changes in the Brain During Menstruation

  1. The complicated hormonal variations that control the menstrual cycle influence not only the reproductive organs but also the brain. Further, findings indicate that the volume or thickness of specific areas changes in tandem with hormone levels.
  2. Research focused on parts of the brain known as the limbic system, which governs emotions, memory, and behaviour. The findings suggest that structural changes in the brain during menstruation extend beyond the areas normally connected with the menstrual cycle.
  3. According to the researchers, these findings are the first to show that changes in white matter microstructure and cortical thickness occur simultaneously throughout the whole brain. Thus coinciding with menstrual cycle hormonal fluctuations.

The Hormonal Surge in the Brain During Menstruation

Research on the hormone effect on the brain has mostly focused on brain communication during cognitive activities rather than anatomical changes in the brain itself. Hormonal changes have been shown to impact the architecture of white matter. This is critical for conveying information across grey matter areas. These changes have been reported during a variety of life phases, including puberty, oral contraceptive usage, gender-affirming hormone therapy, and postmenopausal oestrogen therapy.

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The findings demonstrated that grey and white matter volumes fluctuate in the brain when hormone levels fluctuate.  This happens with the volume of cerebrospinal fluid as well. Prior to ovulation, when 17β-estradiol and luteinizing hormone levels increase, white matter alterations indicate quicker information transmission. Thicker grey matter is connected with follicle-stimulating hormone, which rises before ovulation and aids in the stimulation of ovarian follicles. In contrast, when progesterone levels rise after ovulation, the tissue volume increases and cerebrospinal fluid volume decreases.

Menstrual cycle can reshape Woman’s Brain: A case study

  • A recent research of 30 women found that variations in oestrogen levels can also influence the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotions.
  • The researchers examined 30 women and assessed the amounts of oestrogen in their blood. The ladies also had their brains scanned using an MRI, which allowed the researchers to quantify the volume of each woman’s brain area.
  • The study discovered that when oestrogen levels increased, the hippocampus expanded in size. The study discovered that when oestrogen levels grew, both the grey and white matter in the brain expanded in size. This causes the hippocampus to develop.
  • There is considerable debate about how these changes in hippocampal volume can affect women’s daily lives. However, experts believe that these brain alterations do affect women’s behaviour.

Every month, women experience hormonal variations that influence the “switching” that occurs between their infertile and fertile periods. In conclusion, this article addresses that even today, the idea that a woman’s biology may confuse her intellect is widespread in popular culture. Whenever a lady appears gloomy, she is asked whether it is ‘that time of the month’. If she feels sexual, she may be ovulating. But it’s not just the menstruation the women are undergoing but also the hormones that have a significant impact on women’s minds and conduct.

Keep reading for more!

Team MBD

Read more-Changes in Brain Size during the Menstrual Cycle – PMC (

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