Cramps, bloating, fatigue and more; your period arrives with these usual suspects in tow. But, it also brings along a change in your sex drive. A wild and crazy libido is pretty common among women just before their period, making you crave sex and get hornier than usual. This particular surge in sex appeal happens during ovulation, about halfway through your cycle, or two weeks after your period, due to a slight increase in testosterone. Because hormones seem to enjoy being confusing, some women experience heightened sexual arousal in the days before their period starts.
Why Do You Get Hornier During This Menstrual Phase?
“The hormonal interplay is responsible for varying libido during different phases of the menstrual cycle. The drive is at its peak just before, during and just after ovulation period.” – Gynaecologist & Obstetrician Dr Manjiri Mehta, Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai.
“Sexual desire is influenced by hormones estrogen and progesterone. So sexual desire is heightened at the time of ovulation and decreases after ovulation. Cervical position and lubrication during ovulation increase your desire. The sensitivity of breasts, touch and response is also dependent on the hormones. The experience of pain during arousal is also heightened during the mid-luteal phase. But every person’s experience is unique and different from the other”, says Gynaecologist & Obstetrician Dr Sushma Tomar of Fortis Hospital, Mumbai.
Research suggests one theory about pre-period horniness, that it has to do with the vaginal discharge your body releases during the luteal phase (as it sheds the uterine lining before your period begins). You’ll typically experience more discharge than usual during this time, so you may feel wetter more quickly when aroused.
If you want to know more about how your menstrual cycle and sex drive are connected, click here and get all the answers from experts.
Can Arousal & Stimulation Affect Menstruation?
Many experts believe that sexual arousal has ‘no major effect’ on your menstrual cycle. Yet, some women report that if they masturbate or have sex, they feel relief from pelvic congestion or menstrual cramps. There’s a chance that having sex before your period may bring on the bleeding faster and make your period easier to manage. The reason is that when you have an orgasm, blood rushes to your genital area. This can stimulate the onset of your period but only if it’s late. Vaginal penetration could potentially increase your cramps if your partner’s penis or a toy is hitting your cervix.
Is Pregnancy A Possibility With Pre-Period Sex?
Having sex before your period when you are aroused is great, but it doesn’t make all the risks disappear. Though it may not be a conception-friendly time, it’s best to stick to contraception.
You’re most likely to get pregnant in the days just before and after ovulation, right around the middle of your cycle. In the few days leading up to your period, your body sheds the excess uterine lining it produced. Since the egg is no longer available to be fertilized, you’re unlikely to get pregnant after ovulation is complete.
More sex equals a higher chance of getting pregnant. This is why it’s important to use protection if you’re not trying to get pregnant, period or not.
Dr Manjiri Mehta points out that, “Tracking of cyclical hormonal changes comes in handy, and helps you to organise your time and prioritize your work; it can also help in avoiding unwanted pregnancy.”
Does Birth Control Affect Your Libido?
The long-standing rumour is that birth control all but kills your sex drive. Since hormonal birth control works by stopping your uterus from ovulating, it also stops that little boost in testosterone. Oral contraceptives, in particular, can affect your libido throughout your menstrual cycle, because it also increases something called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
Since experts are still researching this query, it’s possible specific types of birth control affect specific types of sex drives.
Is It Just Hormones?
Feeling frisky during your period may also just come down to individual differences. Every woman has a different sex drive and the body reacts to a host of factors, not just hormones. Women might like sex more or a whole lot less during that time, depending on their physical comfort. For some women, the last thing they want is sex when they’re bleeding and crampy. Others may want a sexual activity for relief.
Some experts even suggest that your increased desire to have sex during your period could also be tied to a subconscious relief in knowing you’re not pregnant. It’s more of psychological freedom associated with period and pre-period sex since you’re also less likely to conceive when you’re menstruating.
Periods & Sex: How Safe Is It?
Can you have sex on your period? The short answer is yes. Having penetrative and non-penetrative intercourse while menstruating is totally fine, as long as you’re comfortable and in the mood.
Top 5 Benefits Of Having Sex During Periods
Having sex while you are on your menstruation can be advantageous in many respects.
- Cramp Relief: Contraction of the uterine wall causes menstrual cramps. Walls of our uterus contract to shed the endometrial lining. Orgasm eases this muscle tension to relieve us of the cramping pain. Also, the orgasms release endorphins, the hormones acclaimed for their analgesic effects.
- More Pleasure: Many women tend to feel more aroused during their periods. Usually, the testosterone and estrogen levels in the body are less on the first day of the cycle. They rise by day 3, stimulating us more than we usually are. However, some women may be more turned on two weeks before their periods, that is, during the ovulatory phase of the cycle.
- Shorter Periods: It is said that orgasms help push out the period blood and uterine lining faster, thus reducing the period span. Though there is no definite evidence for this.
- Relief From Migraine: Women suffering from migraines have to put up with headaches during their periods. Studies have shown that orgasms tend to mitigate the pain. Though not proven, some researchers attribute this to the endorphins released during orgasms.
- Natural Lubrication: If the dryness of the vagina bothers you a little too much during sex, the five days of the menstrual cycle may be easier for you. Blood acts as a natural lubricant. It is certainly better than availing market products like the KY gels.
“There is no need to avoid sex during your menses; sex during menses can help give relief from menstrual cramps. But, chances of spreading Sexually Transmitted Infections increases during menses”, states Dr SushmaTomar.
TC46’s 5 Period Sex Tips For Beginners
Watch this quick video explaining period sex, here.
- Clean up after: Washing your privates after sex is a hygienic practice
- Try period sex in the shower: No mess and no clean up necessary
- Take out the tampon/cup: These should not be worn during penetration
- Practise safe sex: You can get pregnant while on your period; worse, you can get an STD
- Have fun and be creative: Remember, penetration is only one of the many ways to make love and achieve climax
- Keep a journal on how your menstruation impacts your arousal and vice versa.
- There’s no clear scientific evidence for why some people get horny before their period, but it’s common and completely normal.
- But it’s also normal not to want sex at all during this time!
- Having sex before or during your period can sometimes bring on the bleeding faster and make your period shorter overall.
- Not to forget, several women claim that period sex alleviates their cramps.
- Though it’s unlikely you’ll get pregnant after you’ve ovulated, there’s always a risk. So don’t skip out on your trusted method of contraception.
- If your PMS is getting in the way of your sex drive, just get on top and try a sex position that helps you be in control.
Ultimately, it’s all about what feels best to you, whether it’s sex before, during or after your periods. If you and your partner are in the mood for a sexy time before your period starts, feel free to have fun.