Sexual desire, which people commonly refer to as horniness, may change throughout the month. Hormones relating to the menstrual cycle fluctuate over time, which often increases or decreases a person’s libido.
People may experience fluctuations in sexual desire throughout pregnancy, too. The environment can also play a role in influencing libido, with some people feeling hornier during the weekend.
This article explores some of the reasons why sexual desire in females changes throughout the month.
Sex drive in females can change throughout the month for a variety of reasons, including:
The authors of a
According to the review, scientists believe that estradiol, one of the three types of estrogen hormone, increases sexual arousal in females.
The fact that postmenopausal females who report a lack of sexual desire have
Second trimester of pregnancy
As hormone levels change vastly during pregnancy, different people may experience different levels of sexual desire.
According to a
In the second trimester, the authors note that sexual desire may increase as the person gets used to their pregnancy and feels more comfortable and at ease. Typically though, as the pregnancy develops and reaches the third trimester, sex drive declines rapidly.
During the weekend
Research shows that timing can be an important factor in determining when a person feels horny. At the weekend, the likelihood of college-age females having sexual contact was double or even triple that on weekdays. The average probability of a female having sex was 22% on weekend days vs. 9% on other days.
However, the researchers do note that the conflicting schedules of cohabiting partners during the week may have played some role in increasing the odds of sexual contact at the weekend.
Sexual arousal is closely linked to hormone levels, especially those of hormones relating to the menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle
The menstrual cycle begins on
Learn more about the menstrual cycle here.
The first half of the cycle is called the follicular phase. During this phase, estrogen levels are higher than progesterone levels.
Females tend to feel more sexual arousal toward the end of the follicular phase when there is a surge of the luteinizing hormone (LH). This point in the cycle marks the start of ovulation and is the time when conception is
The second phase of the cycle, after ovulation, is the luteal phase. In this part of the cycle, progesterone levels begin to overtake estrogen levels. However, both start to decline toward the end of the cycle to allow for menstruation, which signals the beginning of a new cycle.
As well as feeling less horny during this part of the cycle, females may also process emotions differently. A
Attitudes to kissing
As the late follicular phase occurs just before ovulation, this suggests that females value kissing to assess a potential mate, when the chances of conception are at their highest.
The luteal phase, on the other hand, occurs after ovulation, when the likelihood of conceiving is starting to decrease.
Arousal may peak at slightly different times during the month, especially if ovulation occurs later.
According to a 2013 study, continuously high sexual desire may carry costs, such as increasing the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore, there may be benefits to the libido falling during less fertile phases of the menstrual cycle.
In a 2013 study, researchers measured the levels of testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone over one or two menstrual cycles in young females by collecting daily saliva samples. The results showed that progesterone levels negatively predicted sexual desire, whereas estradiol levels positively predicted it. Testosterone did not predict any sexual behavior.
It does not matter whether a person has a low or high sex drive unless it is bothering them. Everyone is different, and there is no “normal.”
People who are distressed or worried about their libido may wish to speak to their doctor or contact a sexual health advice service.
Many females are horniest at or just before they ovulate, due to changes in the levels of hormones relating to the menstrual cycle.
People who are worried about or distressed by their sex drive, whether they feel that it is too high or too low, may find talking to a healthcare professional reassuring and helpful.