Changes in sexual arousal during the menstrual cycle

How does sexual arousal change during the menstrual cycle?

In medicine, doctors categorize the menstrual cycle into four phases, each of which involves unique fluctuations in a woman's hormones. Significant changes occur in the production of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These changes in estrogen cause a number of fluctuations in mood, behavior, desire, energy levels, and motivation. Most importantly he also affects a woman's sexual arousal. With that in mind let's talk about how sexual arousal changes throughout the menstrual cycle.

How sexual arousal changes during the menstrual cycle

Sex drive and motivation vary greatly from person to person, and what's considered "normal" for one individual may differ for another. Additionally, numerous factors can influence arousal levels, including sleep patterns, stress levels, and relationship dynamics.

Despite these variations, sex hormones play a significant role in modulating arousal and desire. Let's take a look at what are the main sex hormones that come into play:

  • Estrogen: This hormone plays an important role in maintaining the health of vaginal tissues, promoting lubrication, and enhancing pleasure; an increase or decrease in estrogen production corresponds to the strength of sexual desire.
  • Progesterone: Known for inducing a calming effect and improving sleep quality, progesterone also alleviates symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). But a high level of progesterone can suppress your libido.
  • Testosterone: It, like estrogen, is secreted at its peak during mid-menstruation and also enhances libido and increases the intensity of orgasms.

Once we understand these 3 sex hormones it's time to look at how they change during the menstrual cycle.

Follicular phase

At the onset of the follicular phase, estrogen levels begin to increase. As estrogen continues to rise throughout this phase, energy levels and sexual desire typically experience an uptick, particularly in the days leading up to ovulation. Mentally, there's often a heightened state of arousal, while physically, the body produces more vaginal lubrication, and genital sensitivity increases.

Ovulation phase

During ovulation, sexual desire and arousal often peak due to a surge in estrogen levels. This spike in estrogen aligns with the body's preparation for potential conception. Masturbation and sexual activity during ovulation may be more satisfying, with orgasms potentially feeling more intense and pleasurable.

Luteal phase

During the luteal phase, estrogen levels continue to rise, albeit not as rapidly as during ovulation. Simultaneously, progesterone levels begin to increase. This combination often leads to a decrease in sex drive, as progesterone can affect lubrication (requiring additional lubrication during this phase) and may make achieving orgasm more challenging.

Additionally, PMS symptoms may manifest towards the end of the luteal phase, contributing to mood swings, cramps, and low energy, which can further diminish sexual desire.

Menstrual phase

During the menstrual phase, sex hormone levels are generally low, particularly in the first couple of days of menstruation. However, as progesterone decreases, estrogen and testosterone begin to rise again.

As a result, sexual desire and arousal may increase during this phase for some individuals. In fact, some women find themselves more aroused during menstruation compared to the ovulation phase. Sexual arousal and libido varies from person to person, and there's no shame in it if you find yourself more aroused during your period. And it's perfectly acceptable to engage in sexual activity or masturbation during your period, and there are many potential benefits to doing so.

Changes in sexual arousal during the menstrual cycle

5 Benefits of getting sexual satisfaction during menstruation

Some people think that sex during menstruation is unsafe, but it's not. Whether you have sex with a partner or masturbate, you have the opportunity to utilize those sex hormones that increase your desire. So what are the benefits of period sex?

Abundant natural lubrication

Instead of relying on fluctuations in sex hormones or reaching for a bottle of lube, your menstrual cycle provides ample natural lubrication for penetrative sex or masturbation.

Improved mood

Orgasm triggers the release of endorphins and oxytocin, commonly known as the "happy hormone" and the "love hormone" respectively. These hormones can elevate your mood and foster a deeper connection with yourself or your partner.

Natural pain relief

While period cramps can be unpleasant, an orgasm can serve as a natural pain reliever. Endorphins released during orgasm act as the body's own painkillers, alleviating discomfort associated with menstruation.

Reduced conception concerns

Feeling more aroused during your period may be attributed to a sense of peace of mind regarding contraception. The likelihood of pregnancy is typically lower during menstruation, contributing to a heightened arousal experience.

Potential for shorter periods

Though not scientifically confirmed, anecdotal evidence suggests that orgasms during menstruation could lead to shorter periods. The muscle contractions involved in orgasm mirror those during the expulsion of period blood, potentially facilitating a quicker menstrual cycle.

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