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Ladies - Success in quit depending on time o?f the month

What do you think? I for one cannot recall when I quit in relation to my cycle but it may be true?

From BBC - today 21st April 2008

Sex hormones 'hit smoke success' -

A successful attempt to quit smoking may depend on where women are in their monthly cycle, say scientists.

Those trying before ovulation were more likely to reach for a cigarette again than those trying at other times, US scientists claimed. Writing in the journal Addiction, the researchers said differing levels of female sex hormones were to blame. Smoking charity Quit said that women should still try to stop, regardless of the timing. The links between different parts of the menstrual cycle and mood are well established, and there is even some evidence that women smokers tend to smoke more at some points. The addiction to nicotine is so powerful, however, that scientists are constantly looking for ways to increase the chances of kicking the habit.

Withdrawal effect

The researchers looked at a total of 200 women, who were asked to give up smoking either in the "follicular" stage of their cycle - the period leading up to ovulation, when an egg is produced by the ovary, or the "luteal" stage, the roughly two-week stage that completes the cycle. Each stage is marked by differences in the hormones produced by the body.

After 30 days, 86% of the women who starting trying to give up during their follicular phase had "relapsed", and smoked at least one cigarette.

This compared to 66% of the group who had started in their luteal phase.

While the precise reasons for this remained unclear, the scientists from the University of Minnesota suggested that the hormone differences linked to the different menstrual phases could affect the severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms felt by the quitters. Hormones might even play a role in the speed at which nicotine is removed from the bloodstream by the body, they said.

"More research is needed to understand these biological mechanisms," they wrote. "Our findings support an important role for ovarian hormones in nicotine addiction and smoking cessation."

A spokesman for the charity Quit said: "Women reading this report shouldn't panic about the findings, as there's lots of help available regardless of the time of the month."

5 Replies

I quit either at the tail end of my 'monthly' or a couple of days after...can't remember exactly but I do know it was around that time. Whether that is relevant to my quit I don't know although I have read an article about this before and only yesterday I was thinking about a similar thing. I was wondering whether, on the lead up to your monthly when you're feeling more stressed and ratty and less patient/tolerant, if this would affect your quit also. I think maybe it can do. I'm entering the horrid zone of my cycle at the mo (isn't it weird how you can just feel your body 'change'?) and I have to say, my thoughts on smoking were a tad bit negative yesterday. Whether that was a coincidence of not I don't know. Anyway, on the most part, I don't feel too different now as when I was pmt free. It just hits me every now again. Weird.


My thoughts exactly ;)

I do think however that men so have cycles but they cannot be on the same scale as ours.


DON'T give men any excuses or ideas!


Im just about to start my monthly"s. i wonder if thats why i relapsed this weekend ? or am i just trying to give myself an excuse as to why i gave in ? oh i dont know its all very confusing ..why cant these scientist speak in plain english ? i mean folicular ? what the hell is that ? and as for the other one they mentioned ... ermmm cant remember the name right now ! well ive never heard of any of those words.. well i have heard of folicular but i thought that was to do with hair !!! OH SHUT UP KAT im getting on my own nerves now !:mad:


Hi Kat

I relapsed after 2 weeks and yes it was bang on my cycle... I only had 1 puff but I was obsessed with having a cig all day, when I did it was disgusting hence I only had 1 puff. The next month was exactly the same, i craved really badly for 2 days but this time I didn't give in to it and now am on 5 weeks and feel proud of myself.

Keep going, just think you have only bliped once, most people do then get back on the bike of quit and carry on.

Take care, hope you have a better day today.



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