Admittedly, I’ve been a little lackadaisical and uninspired with conception efforts and cycle tracking the last few months. I still want a baby badly, but after more than a year of obsessive tracking, peeing, temping and charting, it has become frustrating.
I was sitting in my backyard by our fire pit a few nights ago and noticed the moon was getting close to full. It got me thinking. Do I ovulate on the full moon? The next morning, I pulled up the moon calendars back to November and, sure enough, I have ovulated within a day of the full moon and started bleeding a day within the new (or no) moon. That’s odd, I thought. How have I not noticed this before? Is this normal? My cycle averages 29-31 days and the lunar month is 29.5 days long. I just didn’t bother to put two and two together.
My acupuncturist consulted the moon calendar each time he set a new appointment for me, but I didn’t make the correlation. I just thought certain moons had certain effects on a cycle, not ever realizing my cycle followed the moon cycle so closely. I knew the word “month” was originally “moonth” thanks to the History Channel and that the words shared an origin. I did not know that “menses” and “menstruation” were of the same root. Obviously, I should have picked up on all of this a lot sooner, and paid a little more attention to the in-your-face etymology.
Google time. It turns out that early women (think huts, loin cloths and monoliths) ovulated and bled according to the moon. The light energy of the full moon, to which they were readily exposed, triggered ovulation and, when the sky fell black with the new moon, menstruation began. These women, all living in close proximity, were completely in sync with the moon and each other. Even better, the full moon acted as a bat signal to the men for sex and procreation.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “Watch out. It’s a full moon. The crazies are out.” Yeah, crazy horny people that is. Perhaps, the sexual link to the moon in early times served as the foundation for what we think of now when we see a full moon. We think, “Watch out for the drunks, werewolves and freaks,” but maybe we should be thinking, “Let’s get it on!”
I found an interesting site that explained what each moon phase means, and I couldn’t believe how much it correlated to the menstrual cycle and the accompanying emotions. This site includes information on bleeding during different moons, so feel free to check out how your cycle matches up.
Here’s a break down. I’m adding personal notes parenthetically, the rest is word for word from this site
(Ovulation) The full moon represents fire, abundance, power and vitality. It’s time to claim one’s own power, make decisions, work changes, and bring something into being. (This is definitely the time of the month during which I’m most confident and productive.)
(Two Week Wait/Luteal Phase) The waning moon represents maturity and harvest. It’s time for persistence, for making reality out of the visions and impulses. (I spend quite a bit of time during this phase attempting to stay positive and convince myself good things are in the works.)
(Menstruation Begins) The new moon represents the dark and mysterious power of the deep. Existing structures have fulfilled their purposes, and need to be destructed, or reconstructed to make room for the new. (Wow. If that doesn’t describe your period, I don’t know what does.) The energy of new moon bleeding is inwards, self-nourishing. During this time, anxieties, memories, and experiences may rise up, eager to be dealt with. It’s a good time to take stock, and to draw conclusions from them. New moon menstruation is a strong time of healing and renewal. (Yes, yes and yes. Dealing with emotions, anxiety, and darkness? Check!)
(Follicular Phase) Waxing moon represents new beginnings and growth. New ideas are being planted. New processes are coming into play. New experiences and events are within reach. (I make new plans and decide to try new things regarding TTC. This seems to be the time of the month I’m most creative, too.)
Pretty cool, right? I was excited to see how closely I followed the moon cycle, but not all women do. Times have changed, we no longer live by the moonlight, and artificial light can cause women to follow different moon cycles. I found a website with tips on how to get back in sync with the moon cycles. One suggestion was to sleep in complete darkness (no TV, night lights, etc.) during the new moon.
I mentioned above that I compared my charts to moon calendars dating back to November. Since November, when I left my job and started my own company, I have spent much more time outdoors than usual. I work on my patio throughout the day and night, instead of sitting indoors. I’m not sure if this had an impact on regulating my cycle, but it’s intriguing nonetheless.
I found an interesting study regarding moon cycles, ovulation and the resulting gender of the children conceived. I’m including the abstract below, but you can find more information here
Effects of full moon and no moon on the birth of male and female offsprings were studied in Indian Couples of the age group 20 to 40 years. It was observed that 42 wives who were conceived within 24 hours of ovulation at full moon gave birth of 40 male and 2 female babies. On the other hand 40 women conceived on the day of ovulation 3 days prior to full moon gave birth of 13 male and 27 female babies. But only 5 women conceived on no moon, all of them gave birth of female babies. It was also observed that vaginal pH of the ovulated women during full moon was alkaline (pH 8.7 +/- 0.4) while pH was weak acidic in women ovulated 3 days prior to full moon and no moon (pH 6.4 +/- 0.5; 6.2 +/- 0.5). The basal body temperature (BBT) was increased 0.7 degrees F to 1.3 degrees F during the ovulation period when compared with women during the absence of ovulation. But there is an increase in temperature 0.5 degrees F more in women ovulated in full moon than no moon. Together, these results indicate that alkaline vaginal fluid medium and more rise of BBT during full moon favour conception of male [corrected] babies. This method gives the couple more chance of having male child if conception occurs in the day of ovulation in full moon and having female child if conception occurs in no moon.
This was a small study, but the findings were considered statistically significant. Some interesting take home inferences:
-Full moon ovulation resulted in a much higher rate of male births
-Ovulation three days before full moon resulted in more female births
-New moon ovulation resulted in all female births
-Only a small percentage of women ovulating on the new moon conceived at all
-The moon may have an impact on vaginal pH and body temperature
I could spend years researching the moon and tide effects on the body, but I won’t. It was fun to learn what I have included here and now I know to buckle down and get to business as the moon begins to grow. And to prepare myself when the sky gets dark. I don’t think any of this means I have a better chance of conceiving just because I ovulate with a full moon. I do, however, have a lunar reference if I run out of OPKs.
What do you guys think of this? How does your cycle match up with the moon? Have you heard of any other moon/menstruation/conception myths, studies or theories?
Time to run! It’s a full moon today, baby. Owwww owwww owwww! (That was supposed to be a wolf howling.)