Things You Should Know About Her Period
We’re all adults, so in theory we all know about periods. But if you’re like a lot of men you might not know the nitty gritty details about what’s actually going on during a menstrual cycle and you should, since some it can affect your sex life. Here are some things that you should know.
Most women ovulate around the middle of their cycle, which is generally about two weeks before her period takes place. (But this can vary dramatically since everyone’s cycle is different.) When ovulation takes place the body of course is preparing itself for getting pregnant, and the hormones that do so can lead to more arousal. Of course, the time that she is ovulating is also the time that it’s possible to get her pregnant, so use protection if you aren’t trying. Some studies have found that women have more sexual fantasies when they are ovulating compared to other points in the month.
Some women experience an increase in arousal when they are actually on their period as well due to more blood flow. Although many women report the opposite since having a period can hurt a lot, and the hormonal fluctuations can make her feel pretty crappy in general. Keep in mind that PMS is completely real and hormonal surges that lead to fits and tears can be more intense than you might imagine. The cliche food cravings can be entirely real as well. Many women crave foods with phenethylamine when they’re pmsing since it can help to boost the mood. Foods that are highest in it? Chocolate and cheese.
As for the cramps themselves, those occur because when the egg is not fertilized the lining of the uterus sheds itself, which is what causes the blood flow. However in addition to blood the body is shedding the tissue from the uterus as well and it requires the cramping sensation to do it. It doesn’t feel great. Many women however, can reduce the pain from cramps by having orgasms, so you might want to suggest that idea to her the next time she’s curled up with a heating pad.
Many people think that it’s not possible to get pregnant on a period but this isn’t always true. It’s less likely for most people but it really comes down to her cycle. Some women with shorter cycles ovulate soon after their period ends, so if any sperm stayed on for a day or so it could coincide with the time the egg was released. Also, it’s good to know that she can still bleed when she’s pregnant, so waiting for her period to come after a serious scare might not give you the whole picture. As many as a quarter of women experience spotting during the first trimester of the pregnancy which normally just has to do with hormonal changes. (This is why some people don’t even realize that they’re pregnant until they start having other symptoms…or even showing, yikes.)
Some women feel like they know their cycles pretty well, but if they have any irregularities it can be incredibly difficult to correctly keep track of ovulation. So it’s generally not a good idea to ditch the birth control methods even when you feel like she’s not at a fertile time of the month.
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About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.