A recent study has revealed that monthly menstruation helps develop the female brain.


The study which was documented in Scientific Reports revealed that during ovulation (prior to menstruation), several symptoms such as heightened sense of smell, taste and higher sex drive are experienced by females.

Carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, during the course of the study, researchers found that estrogen levels rise during ovulation and so does hippocampus increase in volume.

Hippocampus is that small part of the brain that consists of grey and white matter that plays a role in memory and emotion.


Hippocampus is usually affected by estrogen when it comes to the junctions where other neurons are connected.

Estrogen increases the neurons connectivity in the hippocampus by 25 percent; this enhances communication between neurons.

Researchers observed 30 women across two full menstrual cycles and measured the levels of estrogen in their blood where they underwent MRI scans.


The MRI scans were used to measure the volume of the different regions within each woman’s brain which revealed growth in the gray and white matter in the brain as the estrogen levels rose.

The growth in the gray and white matter led to an increase of hippocampus volume; all the aforementioned changes all occurred parallel to ovulation.

Medical Daily reports that the study carried out on mice has already been proven that it is not just the brain structure but also different behaviours which underlie a type of monthly cycle.

It was also reported that women’s emotional well-being are chiefly linked with estrogen levels as estrogen affects parts of the brain that control emotions.


Other studies have also shown that a rise in estrogen levels during the menstrual cycle prevents women from impulsive decision-making.

Researchers are however on the lookout for how exactly the hippocampus influences behaviour; once science reveals it, females would understand better what motivates their actions, especially during our menstrual cycle.

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