In The Mood? 5 Ways Your Hormones Impact Your Sex Drive

Alison Bough B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology, M.A. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, M.Sc. Health Psychology, explains why hormones have a huge impact on your sex drive…

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Alison Bough. Psychologist

Ever wonder why one day you want nothing other than your jammies, an episode of Corrie and a glass of wine but the next you suddenly find yourself mentally undressing the postman? The answer is hormones of course, and they can have a very powerful impact on your thoughts and behaviour…

Oestrogen is a powerful female hormone that gradually increases from day one to day 14 of your cycle. As your oestrogen levels rise so does your sexual temperature as your body gets your mind in the mood for some love and other indoor sports.

Testosterone is a more ‘masculine’ hormone that is also hanging around throughout your cycle but somewhere between the high-testosterone days of 13, 14 and 15 you may find yourself empathising with Shania and saying ‘Man! I feel like a woman!’, with research suggesting that these are some of the steamiest days in our cycle.

Ovulation The most significant spikes in female hormones occur just before, and during ovulation, causing some subtle and not-so-subtle changes in your sexual behaviour. At this time you may find yourself feeling uber confident and even subconsciously choosing sexier or more revealing outfits. Studies also show that, at this point in our cycles, us gals are more attracted to ‘manly men’ and ‘masculine smells’ (charming) than at other times. Because we are at our most fertile around ovulation all this confidence and sexiness comes as no coincidence and lends an evolutionary helping hand to the continuation of the human race – regardless of whether or not the postman is actually hot!

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Your Period It may be somewhat surprising but ovulation isn’t the only point in your cycle that you find yourself feeling somewhat hot to trot. A large percentage of women report feeling very in the mood during their periods. Although, it is a personal choice around this time – and not every woman feels like it – there is no medical reason to avoid having sex while you are on your period and research has shown that it can actually relieve painful cramps. Additionally, the release of the happy love hormone oxytocin can improve your mood and your orgasm (score!).

PMS Boo! Hiss! Yes it wouldn’t be a complete hormone cycle without THAT week before your period. Lets face it, the majority of us are more likely to be charging for the chocolate aisle in the supermarket than for the bedroom at this point. Woe betide the fella who suggests that you start working your way through the Fifty Shades inventory when you are feeling cranky, lethargic and bloated. Frankly you are more likely to tie him up, leave him there and get back to the family size fruit and nut. The good news is that this particular hormonal low is a temporary lull and that oestrogen will soon be on the rise so you can start the monthly rollercoaster ride (ahem!) all over again…

Alison Bough www.alisonbough.ie is a Psychologist and the Clinical Director of themindfulnesscentre.ie in Naas, Co. Kildare. She has a clinical and research background in Health Psychology, particularly in the area of women’s health. You can find her Tweeting @AlisonBough.

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