Why You're So Horny During Your Period

How many women get super turned on right before or during their period, contrary to all the logic they have ever been told their whole lives about when they should feel the most rarin' to go? It is hard to say, but it is enough that a Google search produces lots of women who've asked the same thing.

We all know when you're supposed to be horniest — while ovulating, because babies. It's obviously more complicated than that, but for the purposes of this discussion, we must assume that women wouldn't be searching in earnest disbelief for why they are suddenly a walking vagina before their period if it didn't seem, at the very least, unexpected or incongruous.

In fact, one of the first pieces I came across in the search was an XOJane essay called Why Do I Become a Walking Vagina the Week Before My Period? In it, Emily writes:

You already know I get depressed, highly emotional and self-loathing, but what I haven't mentioned is that I basically turn into Stifler's mom for a week leading up to my period. Preparing to shed my uterile lining is apparently the biological equivalent of some sweet Barry Manilow tunes and a bottle of Peach Boone's Farm.

She asked a gyno what was up, or rather, down. Dr. O actually didn't explain it:

"At the end of the day, you are fertile 10-14 days before your period. It's in your interest to be horny from your body's perspective since one of our jobs evolutionarily is to procreate. It stands to reason that you would be most interested when your body is set up to get pregnant. The high progesterone at that part of your cycle also makes the genitals a little swollen and sensitive. For some women that's a turn on, for others, not so much. Same thing happens in pregnancy, the other time you have high progesterone."

Ok, but not what she asked! Someone else hit the ground running at Girls Ask Guys when they asked, Girls: Do you get hornier during your period? Question says it all.

Question says it all, indeed. "ErikaSmith" answered:

If a girl is hornier on her period it is entirely mental. Biologically that makes zero sense. Hormone levels peak in the middle of your cycle when you ovulate two weeks before your periods starts. Unless something else is going on, the days right around ovulation are when a girl is naturally the horniest.

To which "purpleeyes770" exclaimed:

Its def NOT MENTAL!!!!! I and many other girls get sex on their period. I MOST CERTAINLY DO! and I'm THE HORNIEST B4 AND AFTER MY PERIOD! SO CLEARLY ITS A COMMON THING! NOT MENTAL!!!!!

It's not mental horniness, it's physical horniness. Can you imagine anyone ever telling a dude his horniness was in his head? Ok not that head. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

"Princess 101" agreed tho on the mental theory:

yes I do. I think it's because you want what you can't have, so when girls are on their period, they want sex more.

Um, WHY CAN'T YOU HAVE IT?

And the funny (not funny) thing is, this answer is not uncommon. Someone on Yahoo! Answers asked:

Why You're So Horny During Your Period

"University Girl" had the best-voted answer, which said, in part:

It is due in part to the severe change in hormones that comes when you get your period. Like other people mentioned, it may also be due to your mindset (knowing you "can't" have it, etc).

Well it's sorted, then: It's because you can't have it. Etc.

Leave it to a reddit thread to blow the whole thing out of the water when someone asked: Any other women get insanely horny the week before that time of the month?

The poster explained:

My bf's not here (of all the weeks for him to be away!! Grrr) so I've masturbated about 5 times total today but to no avail!! It simply doesn't 'hit the spot'. This likely has something to do with the fact that when I get like this, nothing but deep penetration/rough pounding helps however I've been using my clitoral vibrator because I lost my dildo :(

I love/hate this week because it literally almost 'aches' down there and I walk around wanting to screw everything and literally can't stop thinking about sex and my next orgasm.

Someone named Mr. Euginovich, self-described as a sound tech for a women's health program, steps up with some theories:

If this happens right before your period it's not because you are most fertile, that comes 12-16ish days before your period. So when you are uber horny before your period it's likely a combination of factors.

  • One theory is that there is a lot of discharge pre-period because it is starting the process of shedding the uterine lining, and when things get all wet in there it makes you feel sensitive and aroused.
  • Second, you retain water in your pelvic region before a period and that bloated watery feeling can put a good amount of pressure on your g-spot, which makes it very sensitive. And as a lady, I know that mild amounts of stimulation for an extended period of time can build up to some really great feelings.
  • Third, there is the hormone shift. I don't think anyone knows exactly what would cause someone to get horny due to hormones (which is why there is no fully effective female libido enhancing medicine,) so I won't try to explain that one.

I'm not just horny, it's that I'm retainin' wutuh.

Reddit links to a piece over at Columbia University's health website called "Go Ask Alice!" where, in 2003, one "Menses Maiden" asked, Is it weird to feel hornier than usual during my period?

First, cool band name alert. Second, while Alice reiterates that the most "well-known theory" is that women be horniest mid-cycle, she answers the question directly:

Some theorize that women feel less sexual when they have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and during their periods because mood swings and menstrual cramps interfere with libido. However, some women feel increased sexual energy during their period. The possibility of pregnancy is reduced (but not eliminated) during menstruation, and this may free women to feel more sexual during this time. Also, there is more pelvic congestion during a woman's periods, so she is already experiencing this heaviness, which may trigger or translate to arousal. Furthermore, because of the menses, there is additional lubrication, making penetration more comfortable. Finally, orgasm is a known reliever of pelvic congestion and cramps.

Until the subject is better understood through more extensive research, the phase of a woman's menstrual cycle appears to be just one factor among many that can influence a woman's lust or desire to be sexual.

OK, so it's freedom horniness. Quick, someone design a flag.

And finally, Glamour's Dr. Kate answers another horny truth-seeker who needs to know: Why do I get so horny right before and right after my period?

There haven't been a lot of studies looking at the connection between women's libido and hormones at various points in the menstrual cycle, but some research has shown a spike in lust around the time we ovulate, mid-cycle (which is when evolutionary forces would have us engage in intercourse to get pregnant). That said, there are many fluctuations in the different sex hormones throughout the month, and these changes are different for every woman. Arousal isn't cyclical—it can happen at any time, and that's completely normal.

The answer is you just are, OK. You really just are. It could be a lot of things. I would like to say pelvic congestion simply because that sounds good, but why do we even need a reason? People don't seem to be rushing to figure it out on the medical front, perhaps because no one wants to fund period sex, Thing You Want But Can't Have. But, the thing is, finding out there is a period of time (heh) when women are super horny is good news. Which is making period sex seem pretty darn handy.

Ridiculously awesome GIF art by Tara Jacoby