Need to Quit Smoking? Monitor Your Period

Keeping an eye on when you ovulate is one way to (possibly) avoid a pregnancy, but there’s another reason to pay close attention to your cycle.

Recent studies show that women who want to quit smoking should pay extra attention to when their body is ovulating.

The study, conducted by the University of Montreal, was made up 34 people – 19 of which were women.

MRI brain scans were conducted on the women twice: the days following her period and two weeks before (i.e. ovulation). After each session women were asked to look at photos, using a rating scale of 1 to 100 to assess how badly the photos made them want to smoke.

It’s always harder for women

Adrianna Mendrek is the team lead on the study. She drew some of her observations from previous studies.

“Female rats become addicted more quickly, and are willing to work harder for the same quantity of dose,” Mendrek says.

It’s one reason Mendrek believed sex hormones could be a huge influence when it comes to nicotine addiction and withdrawal.

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It’s all about the cravings

Through these scans researchers discovered that certain brain structures were highly active during a woman’s time of the month (or right after it), making her cravings a lot stronger. These same structures were less active two weeks prior to, when a woman’s cravings were not that prominent.

Notice how you just love eating ice cream or chips or cookies during your time of the month? It’s the same concept, except replace all that junk food with some nicotine. And scientists believe the levels of estrogen and progesterone play a huge part in this.

Women who attempted to quit smoking while they were ovulating had more success, than those who tried to quit at the end of their period.

What do you think? Do you crave a lot during your periods?

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