These tips on how your period affects your libido and mood will give you new insights into your body! Here, Dr Rebecca Booth, author of The Venus Week, describes some health tips and benefits of getting your period – and how your menstrual cycle affects female libido and mood.
First, a quip from Gloria Steinem on men and menstruation:
“If men could menstruate … clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event: Men would brag about how long and how much…. Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free,” says Steinem. “Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammed Ali’s Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- ‘For Those Light Bachelor Days.’”
Dr. Rebecca Booth, author of The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of Your Cycle…at Any Age, encourages women to think in positive terms about their hormonal power. Here’s what she says about how your period affects your libido, hormones, and mood…
How Your Period Affects Your Libido and Mood
1. Some women enjoy intimacy during their period because testosterone rises relative to the two other cycling hormones and for many women this enhances an edgy libido. There is no reason not to enjoy your love life while on your period, but contrary to popular belief pregnancy can happen (the sperm can live for several days and may fertilize the developing egg) if there is no contraception. There is a slight increase in susceptibility to STDs during bleeding so, as always, safety is the best option.
2. Periods do not necessarily follow the moon but women in close quarters do tend to cycle in rhythm over time, and the average cycle length is similar to that of the lunar cycle. Cycle length varies widely among other mammals and primates; raising the question of the lunar significance to mammalian fertility.
3. Regular periods are the best sign of hormone balance. When my patients feel their hormones are “out of whack”, one of the first questions I ask is if they have regular periods. Assuming a patient is not pregnant, nursing or in menopause, a regular menstrual cycle indicates that things are working the way Mother Nature intended.
4. It is healthy to have a regular period when not on the pill, pregnant, nursing, or in menopause. The pill makes the uterine lining temporarily very thin and to some degree periods are optional for a woman on the pill, patch, ring or most other hormonal contraceptives.
5. The purpose of the period is a cleansing or sloughing of the old uterine lining to make way for that of the next cycle. The uterus contracts to gently push this lining out, and the remarkable contraction movements can actually be visualized on a pelvic ultrasound. Painful cramps can result if the uterus is strongly tilted back (retroverted), if the opening (the cervix) is narrow, or if the lining is very thick. The birth control pill causes a temporary thinning of the lining, making the periods less heavy and painful.
6. Puberty and the first period signal the rescue of a human egg cell. A woman’s egg cells are programmed to be spent or die at a steady rate beginning even before she is born. At puberty the signals from the brain begin to “ripen” an egg every cycle, rescuing it from cell death (known as apoptosis) for the potential of pregnancy. Over a lifetime a woman may have 300 to 500 periods as a result of this process before the eggs are “spent” and menopause ensues (around the average age of 52).
Stress can also affect libido and mood — to decrease stress, read 6 Tips for Reducing Anxiety and Stress.
In her book, The Venus Week, Dr. Rebecca Booth discusses the way a woman’s hormonal cycle really works and how knowledge can empower women (in and out of the bedroom!). The Venus Week is the one week of the month when estrogen (the “feel-good hormone”) and testosterone (the “hormone of desire”) are at their peak.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.