Studying the link between the menstrual cycle and blood sugar

November 20, 2023—Menstrual cycle phases can influence individuals’ blood glucose levels—raising new possibilities for diabetes care, according to new research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The research was conducted as part of the Apple Women’s Health Study (AWHS), a collaboration between the tech company and researchers at Harvard Chan School. Using health data collected via participants’ iPhones and Apple Watches, the study aims to uncover new information about how demographic and lifestyle factors impact menstrual cycles and gynecologic conditions such as infertility, menopause, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

To learn more about the relationship between the menstrual cycle and blood glucose levels, researchers looked at data from 231 study participants who shared at least 100 days’ worth of data from continuous glucose monitors, across at least six consecutive menstrual cycles. The analysis, which included data from 1,982 menstrual cycles, showed that during the first half of…
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