Is it weird to feel hornier than usual during my period?
Originally Published: September 19, 2003 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: October 20, 2009
I seem to feel more strongly sexed (hornier) than usual during my menses and so do some of my girlfriends. Is there a clinical explanation for that or are we just weird?
Thanks for answering,
the menses maiden
Your and your girlfriends' observations about the connection between your libido, or sex drive, and menstrual cycle are quite perceptive. Women of reproductive age report fluctuations in their sex drive throughout their menstrual cycle. This well-researched topic of interest has resulted in conflicting information, making it difficult to reach definitive conclusions.
The most well-known biological theory is that women feel their sex drive kick into highest gear during ovulation at mid-cycle, approximately 14 days before they get their next period. The surge in estrogen and the added testosterone bonus that accompany ovulation explain why some women experience heightened libido during this time. This change makes logical sense when viewed within the context of evolution. Ovulation is the most fertile phase for women, and increased interest in and responsiveness to sex during this time ensures greater probability of conception and procreation than at other times of the cycle.
Some theorize that women feel less sexual when they have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and during their periods because mood swings and menstrual cramps interfere with libido. However, some women feel increased sexual energy during their period. The possibility of pregnancy is reduced (but not eliminated) during menstruation, and this may free women to feel more sexual during this time. Also, there is more pelvic congestion during a woman's periods, so she is already experiencing this heaviness, which may trigger or translate to arousal. Furthermore, because of the menses, there is additional lubrication, making penetration more comfortable. Finally, orgasm is a known reliever of pelvic congestion and cramps.
Until the subject is better understood through more extensive research, the phase of a woman's menstrual cycle appears to be just one factor among many that can influence a woman's lust or desire to be sexual. Women can explore and enjoy their sexuality at any time during their menstrual cycle, going beyond the biological theories concerning procreation. Their own unique physiology, mental health, sexual experiences, and/or individual environmental and cultural factors play important roles in the level of their libido, as well.