The science of menstruation in 10 minutes | Dr. Jen Gunter

From Big Think.

Humans don’t have pheromones, women’s periods do not sync up with one another, and there’s no scientific evidence that a menstrual cycle lasts 28 days. OB-GYN and health communicator Dr. Jen Gunter explains.

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There have been many misconceptions about women’s health in recent decades, resulting in a widespread lack of proper education on menstrual science. According to Gunter, this can be incredibly harmful, as it perpetuates myths, leads to misunderstandings about normal menstrual health, and prevents people from advocating for themselves effectively.

In just 10 minutes, Gunter explains ovulation, the reason for menstrual cramps, the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and the potential dangers of commonly used period-tracking apps. Finally, Gunter reiterates the need for better menstrual health education to combat ignorance and misinformation, which can have serious implications for women’s health and autonomy.

0:00 Medicine & myths
1:38 Which mammals menstruate?
1:58 What is a menstrual cycle?
2:38 The science of menstruation: the decidua
4:38 Evolution’s curse: period side effects
7:59 “Breeders”: Data dystopia

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About Jen Gunter:

Dr. Jen Gunter is an internationally bestselling author, obstetrician, and gynecologist with more than three decades of experience as a vulvar and vaginal diseases expert. Considered “the world’s most famous—and outspoken—gynecologist,” (The Guardian), her New York Times and USA Today bestselling books, The Vagina Bible and The Menopause Manifesto, have been translated into 25 languages. She is the host of Jensplaining, a CBC/Amazon Prime video series that highlights the impact of medical misinformation on women, and the recipient of the 2020 NAMS Media Award from The North American Menopause Society. Her 2020 TED Talk, “Why Can’t We Talk About Periods?” received more than two million views in its first six months, leading to the launch of her popular podcast on the TED Audio Collective, “Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter.” Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, she lives with her sons in San Francisco,CA.