Libido Love: How Your Sex Drive Varies With Your Menstrual Cycle

Libido Love: How Your Sex Drive Varies With Your Menstrual Cycle

Written by Yoppie

11 Jun 2021

What is ‘sex drive’ and what controls it? 

Why do I sometimes feel like I’d rather scratch my eyes out than have sex?

And how come some days I’d give my last rolo for a romp?! 

What do I do when I’m not in the mood? 

What do I do when I’m reeeally up for it? 

What if my partner doesn’t want to have sex but I do? 

Is it hot in here?! Many things fluctuate throughout your cycle (hello food cravings!), and your sex drive is no exception. One minute you’re up for it, the next you’re in a pyjamas-and-TV mood, but once you learn how your body works each month, you may find your sex drive becomes a tad more predictable.

Let’s dive into all things sex drive; why it blows hot and cold, how to handle it, and even some tips if your partner’s libido is difficult to forecast… 

What is ‘sex drive’ and what controls it? 

You may have heard words like ‘libido’, ‘horny’, ‘urges’; it all just means you’re in the mood for sexual activity. It may seem like it comes out of nowhere, but sex drive actually increases and decreases due to a perfect storm of biological factors, like testosterone and estrogen levels, psychological factors like stress, and social factors like your intimate relationships. 

When all of these stars align you’re in for a good time. Research has found the ovulation phase of your cycle (when you’re most fertile) is also when you’re most horny. Our bodies are basically biologically programmed to procreate during the ovulation window so you may notice a shift in - ahem - randiness around then!  

Why do I sometimes feel like I’d rather scratch my eyes out than have sex?

… because you’re human. It’s OK if you don’t feel like it. Never feel guilty, and don’t let anyone else make you feel guilty either. Everyone experiences days when, no matter how much you plan ahead, you’re just not in the mood. There are lots of reasons why you may not be feeling it. Like, LOTS. Here are a few:

  • Menopause: when your sexual hormones drop, it causes a decrease in sex drive
  • Mental health: when you suffer from anxiety or depression, sex may be the furthest thing from your mind - several studies have shown this to be the case 
  • Age: studies have found there is a decline in libido after the age of 60 
  • Health: if you live with a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease, you may experience a reduction in sex drive due to things like fatigue 
  • Pregnancy: studies have shown that pregnant people see a reduction in their libido
  • Medication: certain medicines and treatments can cause sex drive to drop, like chemotherapy and antidepressants

And how come some days I’d give my last rolo for a romp?! 

Your body may also experience a boost in libido due to similar reasons, such as hormones, psychological factors, and proximity to Henry Cavill (no? just us?), so don’t be alarmed if you start to get a little overly amorous at certain times of the month. Remember, one person’s “normal” could be a desire for sex once a day, while another person’s base line may be a desire for sex once a month. Whatever yours is, it’s normal! 

What do I do when I’m not in the mood? 

If you’re not feeling it, that’s OK. Keep in mind that your sex drive will inevitably change as you age, so don’t worry if it decreases as you get older - totally normal. 

That said, if you have not yet experienced menopause (when sex drive naturally decreases) and you worry your sex drive has remained low for a while - i.e. you haven’t had sex, masturbated, or felt sexual desire for a prolonged period of time - then it’s worth having your GP check everything is fine health-wise, discuss any stress or depression you may be experiencing, or review any medications that may be affecting your libido. 

If you also experience symptoms like vaginal dryness, painful sex or an inability to orgasm, your GP could shed some light on this too and check there are no underlying health issues. 

What do I do when I’m reeeally up for it? 

Go for it! Have (safe) sex, break out the vibrator, whatever floats your boat. If you feel your libido is verging on ‘sexual compulsion’, you can discuss this with your GP. This means if your sex drive is negatively impacting other areas of life like relationships and work, or you can’t stop certain sexual behaviours. If you think your libido is higher than average, see your GP so they can check everything is A-OK in the hormone department. 

What if my partner doesn’t want to have sex but I do? 

It can be frustrating when you’re up for it but your partner isn’t, and it’s easy to assume it has something to do with you. Remember in most cases their libido will be due to the above reasons (hormones, stress, medication, etc.) and nothing to do with their attraction to you. 

The best thing to do is give them space when they need it so they feel safe and comfortable with you, communicate how you feel about the situation, and support them in getting any help from their GP that might improve their sex drive. If they are having a longer-term issue with their libido, it’s best to keep talking about it openly so they don’t resort to making unnecessary excuses, and you don’t start to feel resentful. Communication can solve a lot.  

Have you experienced a low or high sex drive? Ask away with questions in our private Facebook group or drop us a note on Insta @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, PMS supplements and more delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox. That frees up some headspace for thinking about...other stuff.

Section jump

Back to top

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

YOPPIE

Newsletter signup

Health & wellbeing news and more

Soil asociation logoCotton brand logoFSC logoOrganic textiles logoCruelty free logoPETA logo

© 2021 Yoppie is a registered trademark of YHPL Ltd

AMEX cardMaestro cardMaster cardVISA card