Happy Masturbation Month! Solo play is a wonderful thing, for everyone. For those of us that menstruate (have a period/monthly cycle), the desire to masturbate, as well as the effect it has on us, can shift pretty dramatically over the course of a cycle. A well-timed orgasm really does have the ability to change our mood, not to mention our pain and flow. How you ask? Let’s unpack that now, discussing each phase of the cycle.

Menstrual Phase

So, this is the one we all know, it’s basically the fancy name for our periods. In your menstrual phase, you’re bleeding, as a result of your uterine wall shedding in response to no egg implanting (so you’re not pregnant). Hormonally speaking, your estrogen and progesterone levels are pretty low. Sexually speaking, you could be feeling an array of things.

Some people feel super un-sexy on their periods, both to other people and themselves. Some people find that the increased blood flow to the vulva means that they’re feeling in the mood to have an orgasm (or two, or three). You could be either or even both.

In terms of the benefits of orgasms, there are many in the menstrual phase. For starters, orgasms are exceptional for pain management. They help lower the level of pain you’re feeling, as well as increase your overall pain threshold. So, if you struggle with bad cramps or headaches, masturbating is a great way to lessen them.

On top of that, orgasms can also help out with your flow. When you orgasm, your uterus contracts and this helps push the blood out, so it can shorten the length of time you spend bleeding. This is true of all orgasms, either with someone else or when you’re solo playing, and no one knows you as you know you so why not treat yourself to an orgasm or two? 

Follicular Phase

This is the week or so after your period when your eggs are starting to mature and get ready for ovulation. Hormonally speaking, your estrogen is on the rise and your progesterone is still fairly low. This is because your body wants you to have sex because this is the time to be having sex if you’re looking to get pregnant. Estrogen is one of your feel-good hormones, it makes you feel sexy and happy and turned on. So, you probably have a higher sex drive, so why not run with it and play? 

Ovulatory Phase

It’s in the name – this is the phase where you ovulate. One of the eggs that started to mature in the follicular phase will become the dominant egg that then leaves the ovary and starts to travel down to your uterus (where it will implant if it is fertilized by sperm). Hormonally speaking, your estrogen spikes as the egg leaves the ovary, so you’ll be feeling in the mood for sex.

Much like the follicular phase, this is an evolutionary setup to encourage you to have sex when you are more likely to fall pregnant. You’re more likely to orgasm while you’re ovulating, so it’s a good time to schedule in some ‘me time’ aka solo play.

Luteal Phase

After you ovulate, you move into your luteal phase. This is the point in the cycle where your body is getting ready for an egg to implant itself into the uterine wall, so you may start to get hungrier and less interested in sex. Hormonally speaking, progesterone is the dominant hormone. This part of your cycle is probably when you’ll be less interested in sex, but this will vary from person to person.

If you’re someone who struggles with pre-menstrual stress, this is when you’ll be dealing with cramps, pains, headaches, and whatever other fun things you have to deal with. As we talked about earlier, orgasms can help with this. Masturbating aka solo play can be great during this phase if you’re not feeling like partnered sex but still want all of the beautiful and powerful effects of having an orgasm, not to mention that they feel really good. 

No one knows you like you though, including me. Everyone who has a menstrual cycle will have their own unique experiences, so go with your own flow. All I can say is that orgasms are a wonderful thing, so why not have as many as you want?