riskIf there’s one thing that stands out most about Week 2 of your cycle (the week leading up to and including ovulation), it’s, well, it’s probably how much more you talk. Seriously, it’s like talking becomes a second job. But, if there are two things that stand out in Week 2 of your cycle, then it’s how much you talk and how frequent and intense your sexual urges become compared to the rest of your cycle.

This sudden boost in libido is a side effect of high estrogen and testosterone, which rev arousal by increasing blood flow to your genitals and making you more easily stimulated by erotic (and sometimes even not so obviously erotic) sights, sounds, smells and touch. Their single-minded goal is to get you in the mood during your most fertile days in case you had any plans to get pregnant.

Well, it turns out that you may not want to make some of your most important decisions while in the throes of a hormone-fueled libido spike. According to a 2015 study in the Archives of Sexual Behaviorboth women and men pick the riskier option when sexually aroused.

Using two experiments to test the risk-taking behavior of volunteers who were stimulated by watching sexually-explicit videos, the researchers discovered that sexual arousal makes you more impulsive, reduces your inhibitions and gives you “sexual myopia”, which alters your ability to asses risky situations and changes your perception about the advantages and disadvantages of your choice.

The result? You could end up endangering your health (in the first experiment in this study, volunteers were more likely to have unprotected sex with a partner who hadn’t disclosed their STD/HIV status) or lose your money (in the second experiment, volunteers made riskier bets during a game of Blackjack).

The bottom line: During your Week 2, if you’re deciding to whether to ski down a huge mountain, make a large purchase, bungee jump off a bridge, accept a new job offer or you’re making any other important choice that can impact your health or money, first be sure to think about anything that will instantly quash your libido (like having a tooth pulled) to make sure you’re picking the right option.

[Photo: Lynn Friedman]