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Men’s and Women’s Hormonal Cycles Don’t Synch, Study Says

Men’s and Women’s Hormonal Cycles Don’t Synch, Study SaysYou’ve probably seen stories about the song and dance animals go through when they “court” and mate. A male might fight off other males who show interest in his female partner. And some have a higher sex drive when the female is fertile.

But do such patterns apply to humans? Do men’s testosterone levels synch with their partner’s menstrual cycles? New research suggests the answer is no.

For the study, researchers recruited 48 heterosexual couples who were living together in Sweden.

For 120 days, the men took daily saliva samples and put them in their home freezer for collection at the end of the study. The samples were taken in the morning, when men’s testosterone levels are at their highest. Testosterone levels were measured for each sample at a lab.

The men also noted any episodes of acne, which can indicate heightened hormonal activity.

Meanwhile, the women kept track of their menstrual cycles and ovulation.

The researchers found no increase or decrease in the men’s testosterone levels or acne episodes that related to their partner’s ovulation cycles.

The finding contrasts with previous research. The authors suggested further studies to learn more. It’s possible that hormones synchronize in shorter spurts than the durations measured, they said. They also considered that a man’s testosterone levels might synch with other women’s cycles and not with his partner’s.

The study was published in August 2018 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Ström, Jakob O., MD, PhD, et al.

“Male Testosterone Does Not Adapt to the Partner's Menstrual Cycle”

(Full-text. August 2018)