Having a period is a natural thing; it's a part of what makes us a woman. But between the bloating, cravings, cramping and bleeding, I'm pretty sure that most of us don't give it much thought—that is until our body alerts us to the fact that it's time to pull out our pads, tampons and/or menstrual cups (by the way, I've been using a menstrual cup for about half a year now; they're awesome!).
But as I was prepping for this article, I must admit that I ran across quite a few facts that I found to be really fascinating when it comes to menstruation. For instance, did you know that we tend to spend more money when we're on our period? Or how about this—there is a process known as lunaception (basically, it's about exposing your body to the full moon's light) that can actually help to regulate your cycle? Something else that just may surprise you is the fact that, just because you have a period, that doesn't always or necessarily mean that you ovulated. Yep, a particular study revealed that 37 percent of women (between the ages of 20-49) experience what is known as silent anovulation (bleeding without the passing of an egg).
Yet out of all of the period facts that I checked out, it was the ones that I'm about to share with you that really piqued my curiosity. It also confirmed that while we may only bleed one week a month, our body is truly affected by our cycle, basically all of the time.
When’s the Best Time of the Month to Have Sex?
Whenever someone asks me how I've been able to remain abstinent for as long as I have (it'll be 13 years in January), one of the things that I say is, "I try and watch who I'm around when I'm ovulating."
Just think about it—doesn't it make total sense that when our bodies are telling us that it's peak time to conceive that it would also be the time when we're at our horniest?
So, when exactly are you ovulating? It's typically 14 days before your next period begins. This means that if your period is on a like-clockwork 28-day cycle, on day 14, you are going to begin the ovulation process. And, since sperm can live inside of you for five days, your most fertile time is 12-15 (give or take a day).
There is one other day that is great for off-the-charts sex that doesn't fall in line with your ovulation; it's the day right before your period. There are some experts who say that if you want to increase your chances of having more intense orgasms, the day before is the one to do it. The reason why is because, since that's when the most blood has accumulated in your uterus, the tissues that make up your labia and your clitoris are really sensitive; so sensitive that sexual stimulation will feel totally incredible. (Makes sense when you think about it.)
So, there you have it. If you don't want to get pregnant, it kind of sucks that the time when you want to get it on the most is when you're at the most risk to conceive. But if you've always wondered why you can't seem to get enough of the good stuff about two weeks after your period stops, well, now you know.
One more thing. Since there are also studies to support that ovulation time can make you feel bolder, more attractive and sexier, if there's a guy who you want to ask out or even a job that you'd like to apply for, when your egg is dropping would definitely be the best time of the month to do it!
When’s the Best Time of the Month to Workout?
According to the bookROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life, although you should exercise all throughout the month, different times of the month will get you the most optimal results. For instance, on the days 1-12 following your period, that is when you're the most likely to want to engage in more intense workout routines. It's because your hormone phase is pretty low, so you have more strength and energy.
Right around day 13, you're probably entering ovulation, so you might not want to do much of anything. But then, between days 15-21, you should be back to feeling great, so you'll be in mood to do pretty much whatever. Around day 22, though, since your body will be prepping for your period to start, it's important to be sensitive to things like the slight rise in your body temperature and the shifts in your estrogen and progesterone levels. During this time, be gentle to your body by participating in things like yoga, water aerobics, or a walk after dinner.
When’s the Best Time of the Month to Make a Baby?
Out of all of the things that I've already shared, this is the one that is probably the least surprising. After all, we learned in sex education that when a woman is ovulating, that is when she can get pregnant. So, why does there still seem to be so much "controversy" about whether or not a woman can also conceive during other times of the month?
Well, one thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the fact that if your period is irregular, it can be hard to track your ovulation days (which is why, for you, using the pullout method isn't the smartest form of birth control, being that it's only around 78 percent effective when periods are regular). If this is you, make sure you see your doctor so that they can check your hormone levels. It's also a good idea to download an ovulation app and to keep some at-home ovulation tests on tap.
Another reason why you might think that you can get pregnant all throughout the month is because you may experience "breakthrough bleeding" during your time of ovulation. If this is the case and you mistake it for having an actual period, having sex without using birth control can sho 'nuf result in a positive pregnancy test result.
Then there's the thing that we already discussed—how long sperm can live in you. If your period lasts longer than 4-5 days, you have unprotected sex towards the end of your cycle, because of how long sperm can live within your body, that could possible result in a pregnancy as well.
As far as period sex goes, although the likelihood of getting pregnant on day one or two of it is extremely low, you didn't hear me say "impossible", so make sure to always keep that in mind. But still, your best time really is your ovulation time, by far.
Sex. Exercise. Pregnancy. I don't know about you, but all of these have given me incentive to get a little more up close and personal with my body, as it relates to my cycle. Clearly, paying close attention to it is about a whole lot more than just the week of my period. Clearly.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
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