Q&A: Does My Period Affect My Sex Drive?

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QUESTION: Has there been any research regarding increase of a woman's sex drive during her period? I have found that my drive increases during that time and just a few days before.

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sign that says sex drive

Photo: Rutty (Flickr)

It’s great to be in tune with your body in ways that help you to feel connected to its rhythms and notice changes in sex drive.

Yes, there has been research on the topic and while some women feel as you do (noticing enhanced sexual arousal and/or desire around the time of their period), other women feel increased sex drive at other times of their cycle.

This makes a lot of sense to me. After all, hormones certainly play a role in women’s sexuality including their experiences of desire and arousal but they’re not the whole picture.

For some women, having their period is an affirming experience of their femininity and what it means to be a woman.

For others, having a period is linked to shame or embarrassment or feeling “unclean” (which is too bad – see what my co-author and I have to say about women’s sexuality and the vagina in our book, Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva).

Then again, the mere act of inserting a tampon can feel sexy and arousing to some women.

Periods are complicated and have different meanings to different women. I think it’s great that you’re in tune with your body in ways that help you to feel connected to its rhythms and notice changes in sex drive.

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Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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