Have you ever had a concussion? I’ve had three doozies so far–and I don’t even play sports. Well, now a study from the University of Rochester reveals that the week you’re on in your menstrual cycle can affect how quickly or slowly you recover from the head-banger.
In the study, the researchers found that women who suffered a concussion during the second half of their cycle (Week 3 and Week 4) had a poorer outcome and worse pain, a lower mood and other related problems one month after the injury than women who received a concussion during the first half of their cycle (Week 1 and Week 2) or who were taking hormone birth control.
The researchers theorize that a blow to the head during the second half of your cycle can abruptly shut down the body’s production of progesterone, triggering a quick withdrawal that can slow brain healing.
While you hopefully will never need to use this information, if you do get a big bounce to the head, be sure to check your menstrual cycle calendar. If you’re in the second half of your cycle, give your doctor a copy of this study to alert her that you may take a bit longer to heal. Then, be sure to baby your head and give yourself more time to recuperate.