Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Desire peaks before mikveh, then drops

19 May, 2014


My wife and I are married for over 17 years. She has said to me many times that when she is in her seven clean days her arousal is very high, but a day or two before mikveh her arousal drops sharply, and it is very hard for us to “enjoy” the time together.


The increased libido that your wife describes during the seven clean days is not uncommon. Hormonal fluctuations at different points in her cycle may affect her levels of desire. However, interest in marital relations is a combination of the body and the mind. It is possible to build on her increased desire during the clean days by looking forward to mikveh night and beyond.

When she is niddah, she should try to channel her desire for you to permissible expressions of love. Try to go out and spend time together in public settings, and take extra precautions when you are at home together. After mikveh, she should take the time to mentally prepare herself for intimacy – think of things that can enhance her desire and that can help put her in the mood. See our posted question here for other practical suggestions on ways to increase desire.

If there is an ongoing problem, she can discuss with a physician the possibility of hormonal manipulation. Knowledge of the hormonal component of libido in women is a relatively new phenomenon. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are already some practical solutions that can be offered.  She could also discuss with a physician whether any sort of psychological intervention or sex therapy might be relevant.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.


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