Ovulation and the Cycles of the Moon

Feb 22, 2022 | 2 minutes Read

The potential correlation between a woman’s menstrual cycle and the moon is fascinating, if sadly lacking in scientific fact. Although much of the information on this topic tends to be the stuff of fairy tales, perhaps, for some women, there is a stronger link between the two. Just don’t get too caught up in believing claims around “ovulation cycle moon” which sound too farfetched to be true. They probably are.

In Latin, the word “menstruation” (or menses) and the word “moon” are linked. Perhaps it is an accident of nature or just pure coincidence that the moon takes almost 28 days to revolve around the earth, the same length of time most women have in their menstrual cycle. The study of anthropology has examined the tendency in traditional societies for women to ovulate when the moon is full and to have their period when the new moon has evolved.

A lack of light source at night and reliance on the moon as a primary source of illumination is thought to be an important factor in all of this. But none of it is clear cut or even proven. If you’re trying to conceive, running around the backyard when there is a full moon is unlikely to do much for your fertility. However, it may if your partner thinks you look particularly inviting and this leads to more earthly desires.

Some people follow the teachings of a Czech psychiatrist, Dr. Eugene Jonas. He developed a theory on peak fertility times. He felt the most fertile time for a woman was dependent on the relationship between the sun and the moon at the moment she was born. This means that according to Dr. Jonas’s teachings, you are at your most fertile time when the moon is at the same phase as when you emerged yourself.

Melatonin, the sleep hormone

What we do know is that the sleep hormone melatonin seems to be influenced by lunar light. It also seems likely that bright light, such as sunlight in the morning, helps to promote more regular menstrual cycles. Sunlight is also useful in producing adequate levels of vitamin D in the body and this helps to maintain fertility in women of childbearing age. It is thought that women who have sufficient sunlight each day have stronger and more regular menstrual cycles.

We do know that sunlight is necessary to maintain a strong and healthy immune system. In young children who are having difficulties regulating a day and night pattern of sleep, also known as a circadian rhythm, one recommendation is to expose them to small amounts of filtered sunlight each day.

Melatonin peaks in women when they are having a period and is at its lowest point when they have ovulated. Melatonin also helps luteinizing hormone to be produced in the luteal phase and works with progesterone in raising a woman’s temperature. It is also helpful in promoting the ovarian follicle to maturity and helps to do the same with sperm.

There is no harm in subscribing to the lunar ovulation philosophy. Getting in touch with your body’s cycles and being more attuned to nature is generally a good thing. But like anything else, taking it to the extreme and becoming obsessed while ignoring other, more scientific and evidence-based forms of information is not advisable.

How to get in touch with Mother Earth

  • Take the time to get outside and have some fresh air and sunlight each day.
  • Perform some gentle exercise.
  • Be aware of what’s happening around you and grab some moments just to enjoy nature.
  • Keep a watch on the lunar cycles, tide times, sunrise, and sunset times. They are all interconnected.
  • Make sure your eyes are protected from harsh sunlight with protective sunglasses. Remember that a little filtered sunlight through your retinas each day helps in the manufacture of melatonin.
  • Avoid sleeping during the day and only rest if you need to. Taking long naps can interfere with nighttime settling and push body rhythms out of their natural status.
  • Aim to sleep when your body is telling you to. Ignoring the signals your body gives and overriding them can be harmful if this is done frequently.
  • Open your curtains and move into some filtered light each day when you wake up. This does help to regulate the excretion of melatonin from the pineal gland. It will help you adopt a more regular day and night flow to your body and brain.
  • Make sure your room is dark, peaceful, and serene when you go to bed. Avoid having a computer, television, mobile phone, or other listening device close to you when you go to sleep.
  • Get up at a regular time each day and avoid sleeping in until mid-morning. Sleep gained before midnight is thought to be deeply restorative and helps the body to regenerate.
  • Avoid shift work if you can. Staying up all night and sleeping through the day is not only stressful, it reverses the body’s natural cycles of wakefulness and sleep. If you are trying to conceive, speak with your manager and see if you can be moved to day shifts for a few months in a row.
  • Time intercourse to happen when the moon is full. If this does coincide with the day on which you ovulate, then you will be maximizing your chances of conceiving.
  • Take your temperature each day and be aware of any variations. For interests’ sake look to see if your fertile period coincides with a full moon.

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.