How the Menstrual Cycle Affects Women’s Libido

Libido Peaks at Ovulation

Many reproductive-age women say that their interest in sex–and their sexual responsiveness–vary during the menstrual cycle. Women don’t experience “heat,” but their libidos spike around ovulation.

Most female mammals experience periodic “heat,” occasional periods when they can become pregnant and as a result, become eager for sex. But human women don’t go into heat. They can become pregnant—and have sex—year-round. Women don’t behave like dogs, cats, and deer, but a good deal of research shows that in reproductive-age women, libido is to some extent cyclical across the menstrual cycle, with peak erotic motivation occurring around the time of ovulation midway between menstrual periods. It’s evolution’s way of spurring procreation.

How the Menstrual Cycle Affects Women’s Libido

In this article:

Libido Peaks at Ovulation: The Studies
Why Mid-Cycle Heat?
Confounding Factors
The Upshot

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