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5 Ways To Amplify The Most Sexual Phase Of Your Menstrual Cycle

Jolene Brighten, N.D.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
By Jolene Brighten, N.D.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Dr. Jolene Brighten is a women’s health expert currently based in Portland, Oregon. She received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at the National University of Natural Medicine and is the best-selling author of Beyond the Pill.
Satisfied Woman in Bed
Image by Alexey Kuzma / Stocksy
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If you've ever wondered, Why am I so into that person one day and the next it's, well, meh, you've observed the power of your hormones during the "sexual phase" of your cycle. Here's what to know about this phase and how to use it to your advantage to have more pleasurable sex.

An introduction to the sexual phase

So what exactly is the sexual phase, and when does it occur? Let's go over some key points in the menstrual cycle: The period is an obvious phase that can last anywhere from three to seven days in a normal cycle. As you leave the period, you enter the mid-follicular phase. This is when you may notice an increase in cervical fluid, energy, and mood. As you near the end of your follicular phase, your estrogen and testosterone levels are at their highest levels during your cycle. Both of these hormones contribute to increased sexual desire, the tendency to fantasize more, and the ability to self-lubricate more easily.

About three days prior to ovulation, estrogen levels ramp up and spike once the egg is matured and ready for ovulation. In response to the surge of estrogen1, the brain releases luteinizing hormone, which triggers ovulation. It will take about one to two days for the egg to be released and for the corpus luteum to form—the temporary endocrine structure in the ovary that releases progesterone. This series of events take place in a five- to six-day window when thoughts of sex will be most likely to occupy your mind and orgasms will be easier to achieve.

But once that progesterone production is up and running during the luteal phase, your sexual desire, fantasy, and ability to get wet may leave you wondering where the magic of that sexual phase went. While estrogen is present in the luteal phase (the time between ovulation and menstruation), it stands little chance of overcoming the effects of progesterone. The result, as I share in my book, Is This Normal? is "you find yourself feeling that getting into a pair of sweatpants is much more appealing than getting into their pants."

As a board-certified naturopathic endocrinologist and sex counselor, here are the tips I share with my patients to help amplify their sexual phase each month.

5 ways to amplify the sexual phase of your cycle:

1.

Orgasm in a new way.

While the clitoris is the way most vulva owners get there, this phase of the cycle lends itself to a level of arousal that may have you hitting the O in newfound ways. Experiment with toys and different stimulation, like nipple play.

2.

Switch up positions.

Your cervix is higher up during the sexual phase of your cycle, which means less chance of an accidental cervical collision. If you found doggy style, for example, uncomfortable a week or two ago, this is an ideal time to give it another try. And with the cervix up higher, you can try for a cervical orgasm with deeper penetration, which will result in clitoral stimulation—a combo that many report is highly pleasurable.

3.

Try pleasure mapping.

This is an exercise where you or your partner embark on a naked exploration in the name of pleasure. To begin, one partner lies naked while another traces their body head-to-toe using different techniques and stimuli to see what brings the most pleasure. The only rule is, no touching the genitals—at least not until you've mapped front and back and both decide that genital play is a go.

You can lick, bite, kiss, use feathers, polished crystals, lace, or whatever else you like to explore different sensations. If you really want to make it all about touch, try a blindfold to intensify the mind-body connection.

4.

Let the fantasies fly.

You don't have to act on your fantasies, but you can leverage them to heighten your pleasure. In fact, while threesomes are one of the most common2 fantasies in the United States, only 10% of women and 18% of men report ever actually having had a threesome, according to research3.

What research on fantasies tells us is that while people may enjoy the mental stimulation, they don't necessarily want to act on it. But verbalizing them may help you reach orgasm, as research shows that women who incorporate sexy talk orgasm more frequently.

5.

Take the bedroom talk outside the bedroom (and make it spicy).

Speaking of orgasming more frequently...sexting, leaving little love notes, and communicating in ways that let your partner know your intentions when you're finally together can build anticipation and excitement. In fact, the same study on orgasm frequency found that women who tease about sexual activities via phone calls or email climax more than those who don't. According to researcher Justin J. Lehmiller, 91% of people surveyed reported that they have fantasized about their partner talking dirty to them. Give it a try because odds are, this will be exciting to both you and your partner.

The takeaway

It's normal for your sexual desire, arousal, and ability to orgasm to fluctuate throughout your cycle. The changing levels of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone influence our brain, body, and genitals. Understanding these changes can help you create the pleasure you desire and deserve while also helping you communicate more openly and freely with your partner.

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