Does your menstrual cycle influence your sex drive?

Posted on 23 June 2023 by Natalia
Does your menstrual cycle influence your sex drive?
Ladies, we all know that our menstrual cycle plays a leading role in how we feel from day to day. Thanks to those ever-changing hormones, our well-being, health, mood, energy levels – and yes, even our libido – can be on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. It's like Mother Nature's own unpredictable spin on life's ups and downs.
Ever found yourself wondering why some days you're feeling like you could conquer the world, while other times you'd rather just snuggle up with a cuppa and Netflix? Or perhaps why sometimes you're in the mood for a little romantic rendezvous and other times, well... not so much? It's all down to the ebbs and flows of our biological rhythms.

In this piece, the LOVE Team is diving deep into the mysteries of the menstrual cycle and female desire. We'll shed some light on how it all works, and offer some top tips on navigating any challenges that might come your way – together with your partner. So, whether you're curious, concerned, or just looking for a bit of clarity, read on for the ultimate guide to your body's monthly signals.

The Ebb and Flow of Libido

We've all been there – one moment you're feeling frisky, and the next, not so much. Our sex drive, or as we like to call it, libido, is a curious thing and can change as often as the British weather. These shifts can be influenced by a myriad of factors, some biological and others, well, a bit more external.

Your surroundings: Ever noticed how a romantic getaway can light the spark, or how a stressful day at work can douse the flame? Our environment, from our daily routines to our holiday escapades, can play a big role in stoking or suppressing those passionate urges.

Your partner: There's nothing quite like a caring, attentive partner to get the heart racing. On the flip side, if they're a tad inattentive, or if you find yourselves in a constant tiff, it's no surprise if the flames of desire start to wane.

Your mood: Let's face it, our state of mind is a big player in the game of love. Feeling stressed or anxious? That might lower the temperature a bit. But when you're floating on a cloud of serenity or joy, the heat is definitely on.

Physical activity: Get moving, ladies! Regular exercise is not only great for the heart but can also give your libido a lovely little lift.

Hormonal contraception: These tiny little pills can sometimes throw our hormonal balance out of whack. If you've noticed a drop in your drive, have a chat with your GP. They might have a better-suited contraceptive option for you.

Aside from these factors, there's no overlooking the significant impact our menstrual cycle has on our female libido. Let's delve a bit deeper into how these hormonal fluctuations can play with your passionate pulses.
Ever feel like your body's playing its own game of snakes and ladders with your libido? Let's demystify the ever-changing landscape of desire as we journey through the menstrual cycle.

Period time

Your period marks the start of the menstrual cycle – that’s when the uterus is shedding its inner lining. It can often feel like a rather unwelcome guest for many women.
While on your period, the production of progesterone drops (but it'll rise again in the second half of the cycle). This might make it sound like your libido's taken a complete nosedive, but wait – there's more! At the same time, there's a cheeky surge of testosterone. This hormone, in both men and women, gives a little nudge to our sexual desires. So, even during your period, while the libido might not be sky-high, it's certainly not MIA.
But remember, every woman is her own kind of fabulous. Your desire during your period might stay steady or it could change, influenced by factors like health, fatigue, or just where your head's at that day.
LOVE Team Tip

Engaging in a bit of bedroom action releases endorphins, nature's own painkillers, which can actually ease menstrual cramps. Intrigued? Have a peek at our article, “Can you have sex on your period?

Pre-ovulation and ovulation

After waving goodbye to your period, we enter the pre-ovulation phase. Come around day 14, and it’s showtime for ovulation: a mature egg gets released and is all set for fertilisation. This is generally when your libido is hosting its own little party. The rise in oestrogen is like adding fuel to the fire. Nature's got the mood set for a potential pregnancy.

The luteal phase

Following ovulation, the luteal phase takes centre stage and continues right until your next period. Progesterone levels (that hormone prepping the uterus for a possible pregnancy) shoot up. Usually, sexual desire likes to chill out a bit during this phase.

This is also the time when the notorious PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) makes its appearance. Feelings of irritability, sadness, and anxiety often gatecrash, coupled with physical symptoms like tender breasts, headaches, and fatigue. It's no wonder many women might not fancy a romantic tangle during this phase.

There you have it, darlings. Our libido, swaying and shifting like a dance with the different stages of our cycle. Whatever you feel is perfectly normal. After all, every woman's rhythm is beautifully unique.