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Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD

Professor Reproductive Biology and Psychiatry

Case Western Reserve University

Chief of Division of Behavioral Medicine

MacDonald Women's Hospital/University Hospitals

Cleveland Medical Center

Dr. Sheryl Kingsberg is the chief of the division of behavioral medicine at MacDonald Women's Hospital/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Professor in Reproductive Biology and Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University. Her areas of clinical specialization include sexual medicine, female sexual disorders, menopause, pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders, and psychological aspects of infertility.

Dr. Kingsberg's primary research interests are in treatments for female sexual disorders and genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). She has been the principal investigator for several clinical trials for treatments for female sexual disorders and consults for many pharmaceutical companies that are developing investigational drug treatments for sexual problems. She is an Associate Editor for Sexual Medicine Reviews and sits on the editorial boards of the journal Menopause and Climacteric.

Dr. Kingsberg is the Immediate Past President of The North American Menopause Society, and is a past president of The International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health.

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couple being intimate in bed at home

What is a normal amount of sex?

Your Health


What is a "normal" or typical amount of sex for a person to have per month? If a perimenopausal woman is only interested in sex once every three to four weeks, is that abnormal?


What a great question. I'm sure it's one many women think about but few have the courage to actually ask. Here is the most important thing you need to know: There is no such thing as a "normal" amount of sex. Sex is a very individualized thing. What I might consider normal might be way too often for you, and what the woman down the road considers normal might be not often enough. Also, "wanting" sex and "having" sex are two different things. For example, some women may "have" sex more often than their body actually craves it, to compromise with or please a spouse with higher drive.

A survey of 2,000 Americans published in 1993 found that 32 percent of women said they had sex one or two times a week, 18 percent had sex twice a month and 11 percent once a month. Among women 40 to 49 (those most likely to be perimenopausal), 38 percent had sex one or two times a week, 18 percent twice a month and about 11 percent once a month.

What does this mean for you? Absolutely nothing. Your desire for sexual activity is composed of so many variables that trying to determine what's "normal" or not is virtually impossible. For instance, if you have children still at home, particularly young children or teenagers, a stressful job, problems with your relationship or health problems, the thought of sex might be at the bottom of your list.

So how do you know if you have a "problem"? You may have a problem if the frequency (or lack thereof) of sex with your partner interferes with the quality of your life; if you find yourself worrying about it, wishing it were more (or less) frequent; or becoming a contentious topic in your relationship or in your overall ability to be intimate with your partner. That's when it's time to talk to a therapist or even your health care professional.

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