Does microgravity effect menstruation?

PMS on the ISS is nothing an astronaut can't handle.

19th June 2018
Does microgravity effect menstruation? © NASA

Asked by: Harriet Wulff, Ireland

Microgravity, such as that experienced on the International Space Station, has no effect on the menstrual cycle. In the 1960s, some experts warned against sending women into space over fears that menstruation and PMS could affect their ability to work. There were also concerns that blood might flow back into the body, pooling in the abdomen and causing peritonitis. The fears were unfounded.

However, the issue of storing sanitary items, together with limited washing water, means that women in space tend to take oral contraceptive pills to prevent menstruation during their mission.

Read more:


SFQASubscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.