My HormonologyForget penciling in sex on the weekends or your days off. You’ll enjoy it more when you head to the bedroom on the days when hormones make your libido and orgasm intensity peak in your monthly cycle.

Here are the perfect—and not so perfect—days for bedroom fun throughout the month:

Week 1: Hot days
Day 1 (first day of period) to Day 7
Estrogen rises
There’s lots to look forward to during your Week 1: Your libido surges more and more each day, it’s easier to reach orgasm, and your climaxes are all-over amazing. There are two reasons for this erotic intensity: Menstruation is churning up activity in nerve endings down below, making you more easily stimulated. And rising estrogen helps send more blood to your erotic areas, which revs libido and makes climaxes more fulfilling. Jump into bed on these days with your mate or your favorite toy and you won’t be disappointed. Turned off by “messy” period sex? There’s an easy solution: Try the Instead Softcup, a handy diaphram-shaped menstrual aid that neatly—and discreetly—collects menstrual fluid without your partner feeling it.

Week 2: Red hot days
Day 8 to ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)
Estrogen rises; testosterone rises at the end of this week
There is simply no  reason to miss Week 2 for sexual fun. Estrogen continues to climb and, at the end of your Week 2, your testosterone level climbs, too, maximizing your pleasure even more by charging up your libido, making it easier to achieve orgasms and making your orgasms more intense than during any other time in your cycle. Research shows you’re also experiencing more sensual fantasies during the day and more saucy dreams at night. Not feeling this spike in sexy feelings? Then it’s a red flag that something is amiss, perhaps, a hormone imbalance, too much stress, not enough sleep or another problem you need to talk about with your doctor.

Week 3: Lukewarm days
Begins day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which is Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
Progesterone rises; estrogen and testosterone drop for half the week, then estrogen rises again
Your sex life suddenly gets hit with a hormone triple-whammy: Estrogen and testosterone drop in the first half of your Week 3 and progesterone rises all week long. This hormone combination dampens your libido and makes it difficult to reach orgasm. What’s more, if you do manage to climax, it’s going to be less pleasurable than the orgasms you enjoyed in the previous two weeks of your cycle. All that said, it’s not like the sex you’ll have on these days will be torture. Any type of pleasant caressing, rubbing and titillation triggers a surge of feel-good brain chemicals that make you feel wonderful for hours.

Week 4: Bonus hot days
Final 6 days of your cycle
Estrogen and progesterone plunge

Here’s a hormonal surprise: Estrogen plunges on these days, yet your sex drive surges. Researchers suspect this unexpected libido boost is a result of your body preparing for menstruation, which ends up stimulating nerve endings down below, making you more easily aroused. Note: You may want to keep a bottle of personal lubricant by the bedside since declining estrogen can decrease your natural lubrication, making intercourse a tad chafey.

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