Stress Test: Men & Women not Created Equal
18 year old Stephanie Harriman is like most young women--always on the go and sometimes stressed out.

"I think bad drivers are my pet peeve," Stephanie said while maneuvering through a Garland, TX parking lot. "I cannot stand it when they don't know how to drive."

Researchers at the University of California at Irvine found that men performed better than women on stress related memory tests--so they re-tested and noted the various stages of menstrual cycles and discovered that before and during their period--women's recall wasn't good--but after their cycle their stress memory was as good as the men.

Baylor-Garland Dr. Jane Sadler said the study explains a lot.

"These women are so overwhelmed and feel that they can't remember anything," Dr. Sadler said. "I have women who come in here that think that they have attention deficit disorder that they can't remember anything that someone told them. "

Dr. Sadler says high levels of estrogen apparently temporarily frazzle the female memory but high levels of progesterone help.

Remember Stephanie and how stressed she got while driving? Sometimes her memory goes south when she should be turning north.

"I've actually missed exits and I know those can be little things sometimes but when I know my way and I know the place I'm going to because I've been there a hundred times and then somebody does something to tick me off," Stephanie said. "It does jolt me for a second."

The same can happen when homework piles up. Dr. Sadler said stress and premenstrual tension is a combination to forget.

"So during the time before they have their period they are very likely to be overwhelmed by information and during that time maybe women may need to take a few breathers during the day."

Dr. Sadler said jotting down important notes is also a good idea. As for Stephanie--she can chalk it up to being a girl.

"I feel that towards the menstrual cycle it feels like everything just frustrates you a little harder and obviously that's not going to happen with the guys because they don't go through it."