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When's The Best Time Of The Month? For Sex, Fitness & To Conceive

Your period is one week out of the month. But your cycle reveals all kinds of benefits.

Women's Health

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?

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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?

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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?

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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:

Hack Your Way To Making Your Period The Best Time Of The Month

These Foods Will Make Your Period So Much Easier To Handle

I Tried CBD Products To Alleviate My Period Pain

10 Organic Tampon Brands You Might Want To Try On Your Next Cycle

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Last year, Meagan Good experienced two major transformations in her life. She returned to the small screen starring in the Amazon Prime series Harlem, which has been renewed for a second season and she announced her divorce from her longtime partner DeVon Franklin.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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