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Menstruation & The Moon

The Moon’s Effect on Menstruation, Conception and General Health by Carole Carlton

 If the Moon’s magnetic field is capable of affecting the tides, the tectonic plates and the weather then why should mankind and in deed all creatures that walk the Earth escape her pull?

It has long recognised by many that the Moon affects us all on both on a physical and psychological level, although the majority of us remain blissfully unaware of the lunar influence on our lives.

Anatomically human beings are 80-90% water and could therefore be subject to the magnetic pull of the Moon as she orbits the Earth. Dr L J Ravitz suggests that alterations in human physiology and behaviour could indeed be due to the Moon’s influence although not to the body directly, but to changes caused in the subtle energy field or aura that surrounds every living thing.

Other medics suggest that the Moon exerts Her influence on the intracellular fluid found in the hypothalamus gland which, in turn, controls the release of neuro-chemicals into the blood stream, thereby affecting our moods and emotions.


 Women have always had an affinity with the Moon due to the fact that a woman’s menstrual cycle mirrors the lunar phase of approximately 28 days and in many languages the words for Moon, month and menstruation are either identical or a close derivation of each other.

The North American Indians tell of an umbilical cord, which runs from the Moon to each woman, just like the cord, which runs between a mother and her child.

In cultures where the Moon was seen as feminine, the Moon’s phases of new to full and full to diminishing were mirrored by menstruation, conception and childbirth. Our female ancestors were acutely aware of the Moon’s cycle and as a result often found their menstrual cycle in synch with the Moon’s phases.
Some women today ovulate at the full Moon, when the orb resembles an egg and menstruate at the dark
Moon, as this cycle is linked with the desire to procreate. Other women may experience the opposite cycle where they ovulate at the dark Moon and menstruate at the Full Moon, often referred to as the ‘Wise woman’s cycle’. This occurs most often when perhaps the need to mother children has diminished and a woman’s desires turn to creative pursuits and self- expression.

Often, however our western society has, as a whole, lost touch with the Moon and her phases and as a result more and more women are experiencing irregular periods or conception difficulties.

In 1967 a US physicist called Edmond Dewan considered the idea that the Moon could have a marked effect on the regularity of a woman’s menstrual cycle.  He arranged to conduct an experiment on women volunteers who experienced irregular periods. He asked women to leave their bedroom light on all night for 3 consecutive nights, 14 days after their last period, as this would emulate the full Moon. The experiment was an outstanding success as most women who took part began to experience a regular menstrual cycle. 

In many cultures, the waning of the Moon was seen as a time to be feared and therefore women who were menstruating were also looked upon in the same light. Often they were seen as being both unclean yet powerful and were often banished from the company of the tribe to spend their menstrual days alone such as those of the Dogon tribe in Africa.

The Roman writer Pliny in his ‘Natural History’ said the following of a menstruating woman:

    ‘Her touch can blast vines, ivy and rue, dry up seeds, make fruit fall off the trees, fade purple cloth, blacken linen in the washtub, tarnish copper, make bees desert their hives and cause abortions in mares, but she can also rid a field of pests by walking round it naked before sunrise, calm a storm at sea by exposing her genitals, and cure boils, hydrophobia and barrenness.’

Even today in our so-called ‘enlightened times’ we do little to revere the potent creative power that is present in all women. Instead we refer to our periods as ‘the curse’ or grumble that it is again ‘that time of the month’ and often see this beautiful monthly occurrence as an inconvenience rather than the true gift it is.

Conception and Childbirth

 Not only was the Moon considered responsible for menstruation, it also became responsible for conception.

Following marriage, the Native America Indian women would stand over a pail of water which had stood in the Moonlight, in order to become pregnant, whilst in Europe married women would drink from a water source which had held the reflection of the full Moon.

In countries as far apart as Australia and Greenland, the curtains were drawn in all young girls’ bedrooms for fear of them becoming pregnant during the three nights of the full Moon. Even Shakespeare in hamlet has Ophelia being warned by Laertes about the potency of the Moon:

‘The chariest maid is prodigal enough
If she unmask her beauty to the moon.’

The Moon also became inextricably linked with childbirth and many of the Moon deities were also patrons of childbirth regardless of whether they were seen as male or female.

The Sumerian Moon Goddess, Inanna was referred to as the ‘opener of the womb of all women’ and Sumerian women would go to her temple give birth under the Goddesses protection.

Research carried out by US doctors Walter and Abraham Menaker during the 1960’s showed that more babies were born during the three days of the full Moon than at any other time and the fewest births occurred at the new Moon.

Plutarch tells us that the full Moon assists childbirth, as it releases more moisture, thereby easing pain. In the past many women referred to the full Moon as ‘the moistener’ or ‘the dew bringer’. In addition to the full Moon easing a mother’s labour, the child born at the full Moon was said to have a lucky life before him.

 In Cornwall it is believed that when a child is born on the wane, then the next child to be born will be of the opposite sex. If a child is born on the wax then the next child will be of the same sex.

General Health

Once we are firmly established upon this earthly plane, the Moon can also profoundly affect our general health and studies carried out at various hospitals illustrate how the full Moon has a marked effect upon the outcome of operations, and the increased need for medical treatment in both men and women.

At the full Moon there are more reports of heart attacks, epilepsy, bladder problems, asthma attacks, gout and more cases of haemorrhaging on the operating table. Dr
Edson Andrews, a US ear, nose and throat surgeon discovered during a study that there was an 82% increase in the number of his patients who needed emergency operations around the time of the full Moon.

When the full Moon is coupled with the Moon being at the Perigee (close to the earth) then the effects can be quite catastrophic! At the time of the full Moon and the perigee on June 24th 1994, a tremendous thunderstorm occurred over London, with over 50 more ground strikes of lightening recorded than in an average thunderstorm.

During the 30 hours that followed the storm ten times as many people as were normally seen for breathing problems registered for treatment and over half of those had never suffered from asthma before. The hospitals were full to capacity and began to run out of inhalers, drugs and staff to cope with the demand.

Whilst folklore undoubtedly has its part to play in Moon lore, the results of medical trials cannot be denied and next time you are considering becoming pregnant or tackling a major health issue, remember to give the Moon phase due consideration.

Copyright 2010 Carole Carlton.
All Carole's books are available to order from any good book shop, Amazon on line or direct from the author if you wish to have a signed copy. and

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