A protester return throws tear gas towards the police who...Protestor throws a tear gas canister back towards police officers. | Photo by Stanton Sharpe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sarah Trad and Christina Lower were both caught by the edge of a cloud of tear gas when they attended a protest against police brutality early this month. They weren’t in the direct line of fire, but they both felt the effects of the gas, like tingling skin and watering eyes.

Trad started her period early, a few days later, and experienced more cramping than usual. After seeing social media posts about a possible link between early periods and tear gas, she texted Lower to ask if her period had come early, too.

It had — the night that Lower had been exposed to the gas. In fact, her period was about five days early, which was unusual. “I said, wow, that just seems like too much of a coincidence,” Lower says.

On social media, other people…

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