Menstruation and the Mall

Women are more likely to engage in problematic shopping behaviors during certain times in their menstruation cycle, according to newly published research.


October 5, 2010
By Tom Jacobs

Ladies: Do you sometimes engage in compulsive shopping? Do you find yourself purchasing items on impulse or wildly exceeding your budget?

Newly published research suggests this troubling tendency can be curtailed, simply by changing the time you visit the mall.

Not the time of day. The time of the month.

Writing in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, British psychologists Karen Pine and Ben Fletcher report the shopping behavior of women is influenced by where they are in their menstrual cycle. According to their first-of-its-kind study, a pre-menopausal woman is more likely to make excessive or impulsive purchases the further she is into her cycle.

The researchers, who are with the University of Hertfordshire, conducted a study of 443 women between the ages of 18 and 50, who were recruited through “an editorial piece in a popular monthly women’s magazine.” After providing information on the length of their menstrual cycle and their last menses, the women filled out a survey regarding their buying habits over the previous week.

Specifically, they rated on a 1-to-5 scale (from strongly agree to strongly disagree) such statements as “In the last seven days, my spending has been out of control,” and “I have bought something I am unlikely to wear or use.”



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.