Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a more aggravated version of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). PMS feels like bopping to an angsty No Doubt song on the radio, while PMDD feels like being trapped in a Hawthorne Heights screamo concert with no end in sight.
PMDD is a medical condition that causes severe irritability, anxiety, and depression in the week or two before your period(1). Symptoms subside 2-3 days after your period starts. An estimated 5-8% of women and AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals have PMDD(2).
Those of us that have PMDD can thank our lucky stars that masturbating serves as a fun way to relieve symptoms.
Racing heart, shallow breathing, tensed muscles, and goosebumps. Sounds pretty sexy, right? Not always.
If we look closely, the physical symptoms of anxiety can overlap with some things we experience during sex and arousal. Though they share these physical experiences, anxiety and sex are not happy bedfellows. “Anxiety is a major contributor to diminishing frequency of sex and diminishing capacity for enjoyment of sex,” says Colorado-based certified sex therapist Indigo Stray Conger.
Let’s explore some of the more common ways anxiety can impact your sex life (and some tips to find let go and enjoy sex again!).
Half of the population has a menstrual cycle and bleeds every month. It’s a completely normal, healthy bodily function. But in our culture, there’s a lot of fear-mongering about menstruation, particularly when it comes to having sex on your period. Is it safe? What are the benefits?