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Why Your Sex Drive Changes Throughout Your Cycle and Life

You might have noticed that at different stages of your life, your sex drive changes. Well, there’s a reason behind it. Throughout various times of your life, your body is changing, hormones are fluctuating, and you experience lifestyle changes. And while every woman reacts differently to these factors, everyone feels some change. So let’s try to understand why you sometimes feel a passion for sex, and other times don’t.

General Period and Hormonal Years

During general period and hormonal years, sex drive fluctuates throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. This is because your estrogen, progestogen, and testosterone hormone levels change throughout your cycle. Many studies have proven that women will see an increase in sexual drive during ovulation, generally around day 14 of the menstrual cycle. One study at the University of Virginia showed women felt a greater sexual desire and satisfaction at this time (1). Another Dutch study found that women see increased blood flow to the vagina at this time, making it more easily aroused (1).

So you might be asking why during ovulation? It is thought that women feel greater sexual desire during the time they are most likely to get pregnant. Additionally, during other times of woman's cycle, specifically before or during a period, there can be cramping and other PMS symptoms, making sex less desirable.

Other factors such as stress or relationship status can affect a woman's sex drive. A lot goes into a women’s seuxal drive and each women’s drive will be different.

 

When You're Trying to Get Pregnant

Women and men often feel excited when first trying to conceive. However, after a few months of trying, “Sex goes from being something we want to do to something we have to do” according to Dr. Beverly Whipple of Rutgers University College of Nursing (2). While having sex around an ovulation schedule, the fun and spontaneous nature of sex can be lost for many men and women. As a result, sex drive can often decrease when trying to conceive. The best way to bring that sexual drive back is to mix things up with your partner. Try new things to spice up your sex life!

 

During Pregnancy

Every woman experiences a different pregnancy, especially when it comes to pregnancy symptoms and their sex drive. Each trimester may bring a different level of sex drive.  At the start of pregnancy, the sex hormones reach a new high. However, other symptoms like nausea and exhaustion may get in the way of an increased sex drive. As women enter the second and third trimester, their sexual drive may increase but could be hindered again by weight gain or other symptoms.

Like all other stages, there is much more too the story. During pregnancy, there will be an increase in blood flow to a woman’s sexual organs and increased tenderness in the breasts. This makes these areas more sensitive and more easily aroused. Additionally, women see a higher libido and vaginal lubrication during pregnancy.

It's hard to give an exact answer of how each womans sexual drive will change during pregnancy. The severity of a woman’s symptoms can play a big role in how interested she will be in sex. However, most women experience an increased sex drive at this time.

 

During Menopause

During menopause, a woman’s estrogen and progesterone hormone levels go down. In turn, there is less blood flow to the vagina.This hormonal change makes some women lose interest in having sex. Additionally, during menopause many women experience vaginal dryness, making sex painful and undesirable.

Other women going through menopause might feel the opposite. They may feel more relaxed at this time, have more free time or lose the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. These factors could lead to an increase in sex drive.

 

Sources:

 

  1. Castleman, Michael. “How the Menstrual Cycle Affects Women's Libido.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 15 Mar. 2015, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/201503/how-the-menstrual-cycle-affects-womens-libido.
  2. Pepper, Leslie. “How to Keep Sex Smokin' When Trying to Conceive.” BabyCenter, 18 Apr. 2015, www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-keep-sex-smokin-when-trying-to-conceive_10317251.bc.
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