Sex During Your Period

During your reproductive years, you’ll get a menstrual period about once a month. Unless you’re especially squeamish, there’s no need to avoid sexual activity during your period. Though period sex can be a bit messy, it is safe. And, having sex when you’re menstruating can actually offer a few advantages, including relief from menstrual cramps.

Read on to learn more about sex during your period

What are the benefits?

Having sex during your period has a few upsides:

1. Relief from cramps

Orgasms may relieve menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps are a result of your uterus contracting to release its lining. When you have an orgasm, the muscles of your uterus also contract. Then they release. That release should bring some relief from period cramps.

Sex also triggers the release of chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel good. Plus, engaging in sexual activity occupies your mind, which may help take it off your menstrual discomfort.

2. Shorter periods

Having sex may make your periods shorter. Muscle contractions during an orgasm push out the uterine contents faster. That could result in shorter periods.

3. Increased sex drive

Your libido changes throughout your menstrual cycle, thanks to hormonal fluctuations. While many women say their sex drive increases during ovulation, which is about two weeks before your period, others report feeling more turned on during their period.

4. Natural lubrication

You can put away the KY during your period. Blood acts as a natural lubricant.

5. It might relieve your headache

About half of women with migraine headaches get them during their periods. Although most women with menstrual migraines avoid sex during their attacks, many of those who do have sex say it partially or completely relieves their headaches.

Can you get pregnant?

If you aren’t actively trying to conceive, using protection is a good idea, no matter what part of your menstrual cycle you’re in. Your odds of conceiving are lower during your period, but it’s still possible to become pregnant at this time.

You’re most likely to get pregnant during ovulation, which happens about 14 days before your period starts. Yet every woman’s cycle length is different, and your cycle length can change monthly. If you have a short menstrual cycle, your risk of getting pregnant during your period is higher.

Also consider that sperm can stay alive in your body for up to seven days. So, if you have a 22-day cycle and you ovulate soon after getting your period, there’s a chance you’ll be releasing an egg while sperm are still in your reproductive tract.

Do you need to use protection?

Using protection will also guard you against STIs. Not only can you catch an STI during your period, but you can also more easily transmit one to your partner because viruses like HIV live in menstrual blood.

Have your partner wear a latex condom every time you have sex to reduce your odds of getting pregnant and catching an STI. If you or your partner are allergic to latex, there are other forms of protection you can use. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for recommendations.

Tips on having sex during your period

Here are a few tips to make period sex a more comfortable and less messy experience:

  • Be open and honest with your partner. Tell them how you feel about having sex during your period, and ask how they feel about it. If either of you is hesitant, talk about the reasons behind the discomfort.
  • If you have a tampon in, remove it before you start fooling around.
  • Spread a dark-colored towel on the bed to catch any blood leaks. Or, have sex in the shower or bath to avoid the mess entirely.
  • Keep a wet washcloth or wet wipes by the bed to clean up afterward.
  • Have your partner wear a latex condom. It will protect against pregnancy and STIs.
  • If your usual sexual position is uncomfortable, try something different. For example, you may want to try lying on your side with your partner behind you.
Bottom Line:

Don’t let your period put a halt to your sex life. If you do a little prep work, sex can be just as enjoyable during those five or so days as it is the rest of the month. You might be surprised to find that sex is even more exciting during your period.

References:
Can I get pregnant just after my period has finished? (2015).
nhs.uk/chq/Pages/981.aspx?CategoryID=60&SubCategoryID=181
I had sex with my girlfriend while she was on her period, will I be affected with any diseases? (2011).
youngwomenshealth.org/2011/04/20/sex_period_std/
Is it weird to feel hornier than usual during my period? (n.d.).
goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/it-weird-feel-hornier-usual-during-my-period
Hambach A. (2013). The impact of sexual activity on idiopathic headaches: an observational study [Abstract]. DOI:
10.1177/0333102413476374
Herbenick D. (n.d.). Q&A: Can having sex help to alleviate menstrual cramps?
kinseyconfidential.org/sex-alleviate-menstrual-cramps/
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Menstrual cycle: What’s normal, what’s not.
mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menstrual-cycle/art-20047186
Witteveen H. (2017). Treatment of menstrual migraine; multidisciplinary or mono-disciplinary approach. DOI:
10.1186/s10194-017-0752-z
https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/sex-during-periods
https://www.healthline.com/reviewers/janet-brito
https://www.healthline.com/authors/stephanie-watson
Photo Credit: Erol Ahmed

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