So what exactly is the sexual phase, and when does it occur? Let’s go over some key points in the menstrual cycle: The period is an obvious phase that can last anywhere from three to seven days in a normal cycle. As you leave the period, you enter the mid-follicular phase. This is when you may notice an increase in cervical fluid, energy, and mood. As you near the end of your follicular phase, your estrogen and testosterone levels are at their highest levels during your cycle. Both of these hormones contribute to increased sexual desire, the tendency to fantasize more, and the ability to self-lubricate more easily.

About three days prior to ovulation, estrogen levels ramp up and spike once the egg is matured and ready for ovulation. In response to the surge of estrogen1, the brain releases luteinizing hormone, which triggers ovulation. It will take about one to two days for the egg to be released and for the corpus luteum to form—the temporary endocrine structure in the ovary that releases progesterone. This series of events take place in a five- to six-day window when thoughts of sex will be most likely to occupy your mind and orgasms will be easier to achieve.

But once that progesterone production is up and running during the luteal phase, your sexual desire, fantasy, and ability to get wet may leave you wondering where the magic of that sexual phase went. While estrogen is present in the luteal phase (the time between ovulation and menstruation), it stands little chance of overcoming the effects of progesterone. The result, as I share in my book, Is This Normal? is “you find yourself feeling that getting into a pair of sweatpants is much more appealing than getting into their pants.”

As a board-certified naturopathic endocrinologist and sex counselor, here are the tips I share with my patients to help amplify their sexual phase each month.

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