First a note to my number 1 fan: my Mum. Mum, if you’re thinking of reading this, turn back now! Please.
I never would have expected my menstrual cycle to have such an impact on my experience of sex. I’ve never read in books that it might, but it’s something I’ve noticed and I wonder if you have too.
I have charted my hormone cycle for over 15 years and have noticed that not only does it change my energy levels, and moods but also my sexual experience. Here are a few facts you may not know about the female body which are true for almost all healthy fertile ovary-owners.
- We produce different amounts and qualities of cervical mucous through the month. It’s most abundant and thick during ovulation. It gets less thick either side of ovulation and can dry up completely just before, during and after menstruation. Depending on the individual.
- The cervix moves up and down the vaginal canal. It’s most deep during ovulation and least deep during menstruation. This means you can most easily feel it during and just before menstruation but can sometimes be out of reach during ovulation.
It’s these two key factors which I’ve noticed can change my experience of sex through the month.
Ovulation is obviously when the body want us to have sex. I find that this is when I like the deepest penetration as the cervix is highest and softest in the vaginal canal, but sometimes I’m so juicy it can actually make penetration feel a little numb. So although this can make me want sex, as I feel super sexy, it can take a while to have an orgasm internally. But once I get there they can keep coming back to back for a while.
I don’t usually want sex during menstruation so I’d say pre-menstruation is what I’d describe as the opposite end to ovulation. The cervix is lowest in the vagina which can make penetration painful. I personally don’t like the sensation of my cervix being hit by anything. Even if it’s not painful it’s almost always a shock to the system. During this time I feel least sexy and least social, but sometimes I get a random spike of lust just before my period begins.
This lusty moment can be awkward because I don’t want penetrative sex but clitoral stimulation. The catch is that it’s difficult for me to get juicy during this phase of the cycle. That’s where natural lubricants can make all the difference! For a long time I just thought well, it’s not natural to be having sex right now, and would just shy away from it. But it’s so nice to know that I can just use a little lubricant and carry on.
In the spaces between Ovulation, menstruation and pre-menstruation, I find that outside stimulation is what suits me best. I actually start to feel most stimulated from a simple shoulder and neck massage! I don’t see why sexual pleasure always has to centre around the genitals. I’ve got so many other parts of the body that nobody else touches and which are hungry for attention.
I’d love to know if other people also find their sexual experience changes over the course of a menstrual cycle so please do leave some comments or email me! email@example.com
Natasha Richardson is a herbalist and author of Your Period Handbook: natural solutions of stress free menstruation. She is the founder of Forage Botanicals a company which offers natural support for common period problems like PMS and pain.