In spite of the bloating, cramping, and PMS inherent with your monthly cycle, turns out there is a bonus: Men are more likely to find you attractive. According to a study in the journal “Hormones and Behavior,” men were more likely to rate women as being the most attractive when they were at the most fertile point in their menstrual cycle.
How does male behavior change during ovulation?
In one study, researchers asked 31 women to report their significant other’s behavior changes during all stages of the month. During ovulation, women reported more attentiveness and higher involvement from their partners. The behavior changes were even more evident in relationships that weren’t serious yet, demonstrating that men were extra cautious of competition during her time of peak attractiveness. The men also exhibited a higher level of protectiveness during ovulation. This phenomena, known as mate guarding, was especially prevalent among less attractive males.
So, what about ovulation makes you more attractive? According to Michael Kauth’s Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality, you can expect to:
· Smell better—In one study, men were given three sets of t-shirts: one set was worn by women during their most fertile phase, another set worn during their infertile time, and a third set of shirts that were unworn. After smelling the ovulation shirts, men exhibited higher levels of testosterone.
· Become more creative—Researchers gave a group of women 4 tests, one for each week of the menstrual cycle. Creativity surged during ovulation, when estrogen and luteinizing hormone were highest.
· Appear more attractive—After showing two pictures of the same woman—one while she was ovulating and one when she wasn’t—to a group of men and women, researchers learned that both the men and the women rated the pictures capturing ovulation more attractive.
· Have a higher sex drive—After polling 115 women about their sex drive and monthly cycle, researchers noted a spike in libido and greater sexual satisfaction during ovulation.
· Dress sexier—Because women feel sexier during ovulation, they are more likely to spend time on their appearance. As their libido surges, they tend to dress more strategically to attract a mate.
· Have a higher pitched voice—As ovulation approaches, women will craft a more feminine, higher-pitched voice to be more attractive to men. The pitch gets higher as ovulation gets closer.
How much can ovulation up your sex appeal? Researchers at the University of New Mexico attempted to quantify it by asking strippers to report their earnings and their menstrual cycles for two months. During ovulation, the strippers made about $70 per hour, women in the luteal phase—the phase after ovulation but before the period—made about $50 per hour, and menstruating women made about $35 per hour.