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Does Your Menstrual Cycle Affect Your Sexual Arousal?

Woman with FEWE

We’ve partnered with our friend’s FEWE to uncover whether your menstrual cycle can affect your sexual arousal and libido. Let’s get into it.

Menstrual Cycles 101

Before we get into how your menstrual cycle affects your sexual arousal, it’s important to understand the key components of your menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is broken down into four phases and the average length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days; however, it’s common amongst many menstruators for it to last from 23 to 35 days.

Phase one | Menstruation

This phase is your actual period. The period gets a bad rep, but it’s not all bad. Your brain is hypersensitive during this time, which can heighten your emotional intuition. Your focus is also balanced during your flow, and you’re in the sweet spot between realistic expectations and idealism. Now is the time to set some goals and think ahead, as you’ll be able to do so with some clarity. Take this time to slow down and be gentle with yourself.⁠

Phase two | Follicular

With this phase comes an extra feeling of confidence, you're super energetic & sociable and your physical and emotional resilience is at its highest. Your skin is thriving, as the rise in oestrogen increases so does the collagen and hyaluronic acid production in your skin.⁠

Phase three | Ovulation

At this time of the month, you’re feeling superhuman, and your sex drive peaks to match. Even though you’re in the mood, you’re also feeling calm and reflective – this is your most powerful cycle phase, particularly as you’re able to get deeper and more restful sleep than at any other point in the month

Phase four | Luteal

This is a more challenging time of the month, as your mood switches to being lower and more anxious as you approach your period. Some people experience PMS symptoms at this point, which can include cramping, mood swings, and all-over aches.⁠ The key to managing this phase is focusing on rest while your mind and body reset and move toward your period. It’s time to pull out all of the stops with your self-care.

How Does My Menstrual Cycle Affect My Sexual Arousal?

Now that we’ve got a good understanding of the four phases within the menstrual cycle, it's now time to explore how the hormones within the four phases affect your sexual arousal.

The hormone fluctuations present within your menstrual cycle, predominantly oestrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels can all affect your libido and sexual arousal throughout the four phases of your menstrual cycle. Higher oestrogen levels in the body during your cycle promote vaginal lubrication and increases sexual desire. In turn, an increase in progesterone can reduce sexual desire. Understanding where you are in your cycle will help you identify why you may feel more turned on or sexually aroused and conversely why you may not be DTF. 

Phase one | Menstruation

During this phase, oestrogen and progesterone levels drop and some may experience cramps during this time. Despite this, period sex makes for the most natural lubricated sex of all, although some menstruators have some discomfort whilst on their period and sex is the last thing on your mind. Orgasms can ease cramping and can be very intense for some people.

Phase two | Follicular

In the days following your period, oestrogen gradually rises and the cervix produces thicker cervical fluid. Sexual arousal tends to increase leading up to ovulation. In the days leading up to and around ovulation, natural lubrication and cervical fluid are at their peak, becoming more liquidy and clear which can make sex more comfortable. 

Phase three | Ovulation

Menstruators are most fertile when they ovulate, and that spike in testosterone charges up our bodies to desire sex. After ovulation, as your oestrogen levels dip again and your progesterone levels increase, you may find yourself feeling less aroused and tired as your body transitions into your Luteal Phase.

Phase four | Luteal

During this phase, oestrogen levels start to decrease. Simultaneously, progesterone levels rise which can reduce your sexual arousal. This phase can be a challenging phase as your mood switches to lower and more anxious as you approach your period. This also affects your libido, hormonally and psychologically, as other things in your life will become more important.  If you experience PMS symptoms you may find this affects your energy, mood, and body image. 

How Can I Support My Sexual Wellness in Line With My Menstrual Cycle?

Firstly, the best thing you can do is to track your cycle and your sexual arousal to help you understand how you can increase your pleasure all month long.

We all have different things that turn us off and on, so it's essential you start to identify what gets you going and what doesn't. It could be as simple as making notes after said encounter and looking back throughout the month when you felt aroused and what triggered it.

It might be worth finding products to support your arousal. If you’re finding your PMS cramps are stopping you from getting in the mood, why not try FEWE’s Don’t Cramp My Style oral spray designed to relieve discomfort when cramps strike. Couple it with FEWE’s Calm Balm body stick which is formulated to dissipate discomfort whenever and wherever it strikes. If you’re experiencing vulva dryness during the third phase of your cycle, try FEWE’s I Touch Myself vulva serum which gently alleviates and calms symptoms of discomfort, irritation, and itchiness. 

Lastly, There is no ‘normal sex drive’, everyone is different and you know what is right for you. There will also be emotional and physical factors that affect your arousal, your sex life is yours and personal, so it's vital and super sexy to define what works for you and when.

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