Blame your period on your brain fog? Researchers aren’t buying it

There are very few women out there who wouldn't claim that their menstrual cycle affects them physically, mentally and emotionally.

From cramps and exhaustion to mood swings and tearful episodes, the arrival of our period often signals a change in how we feel.

For many of us, our period appears to impact our cognitive function, with many women asserting that they experience a dip in concentrations levels during this time of the month.

"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,"  confirmed Professor Brigitte Leeners of the Medical School in Hannover and University Hospital in Zürich.

In order to investigate the claims, Professor Leeners and a team of researchers recruited 68 women to undergo monitoring of three selected cognitive processes at different stages in the menstrual cycle.

The study, which was published in the Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, established that the varying levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone which are produced during the menstrual cycle have no impact on memory or concentration.

Studying women over the course of two menstrual cycles, the researchers noted that while some changed occurred in the first cycle, they were not repeated in the second cycle, and the performance of each individual woman did not change.

Confirming the findings, Professor Leeners asserted: "The hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle do not show any association with cognitive performance."

Offering an explanation to women who do experience cognitive disfunction during their period, Professor Leeners said: "Although there might be individual exceptions, women's cognitive performance is in general not disturbed by hormonal changes occurring with the menstrual cycle."