When our time of the month comes, we often feel cranky, sometimes losing our tempers for no apparent reason. However, a new study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology may give us something to really start PMS-ing about: according to its findings, we may be particularly susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during ovulation.

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In the study, researchers treated ovariectomized mice with the sex hormone estradiol followed by pulses of Candida albicans—a kind of fungal infection. They monitored how the mice would react to the unwanted fungus, and it turned out that the estradiol-treated mice turned out to be more vulnerable to fungal infection and had a lowered Th17 immune response.

Miguel Relloso PhD, a researcher involved in the work from the Laboratorio de Inmunobiología Molecular at the Hospital Gregorio Marañón and Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, believes that the reason for this reaction is because this is the time when the spermatozoa is supposed to reach an egg successfully. For that to happen, a lowered immune system is important to clear the way.

The idea of safe sex is not new to us, but this study is proof that even just one bout of recklessness can have serious consequences, so it's good to keep this in mind.


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(Photo by ktus16 via Flickr Creative Commons)

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