Risks And Side Effects Of Having Sex During A Period
Like any other time you have sex, there are risks to having sex during your period. “Blood is another bodily fluid that can also transmit sexually transmitted infections like any other fluid,” says Wiggins. And having period sex leaves you susceptible to the same STIs and any vaginal infections.
There’s also the chance that period sex will get messy. With the right precautions, such as laying down a towel beforehand, you can take your mind off the mess and really enjoy the experience.
Having Sex On Your Period May Relieve Cramps
Cramps are one of the worst PMS symptoms that we ladies have to deal with. Luckily, period sex can help with that. Its scientifically proven that vaginal stimulation affects the neurons in the brain to elevate a womans pain threshold, according to research put forth inThe Atlantic.
This extends to period cramps: Penetrative or oral stimulation can reduce menstrual pain, much more fun than popping a few Midol. And yes, this also means that intercourse can help you get rid of that headache.
What Are The Benefits Of Period Sex
There are actually quite a few pluses to keep in mind when it comes to having sex while you’re menstruating. For one, you may experience less painful periods, if you have sex during them. Period cramps happen as a result of your uterus contracting to shed its lining during your cycle, explains Christine Greves, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, Florida. When you have an orgasm, the muscles in your uterus contract, too, she tells Health. When they inevitably release, it can feel better down there, Dr. Greves says. At the same time, having an orgasm triggers the release of endorphins, which are thought to help with the pain, she adds.
Sometimes, menstruation can also help you get more turned on. That’s because your estrogen and testosterone are low on day 1 of your cycle , but they start to rise by day 3. “Some report they feel more aroused and more sensitive around this time,” Ford says. Your flow can serve as extra lubrication during sex, which can also increase pleasure. If you typically use a store-bought lubricant to help with dryness during sex, this may be your week to go natural.
Sex may actually speed up your period, as well. Though it hasnt been well-studied, in theory, Dr. Streicher says that having an orgasm may help your period blood get out faster and sooner. That might help make your period lighter, just because it causes your uterus to contract and pushes out that lining, she says.
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Staying Clean And Healthy
Are There Any Benefits To Having Sex On Your Period
So many! For starters, free lube , not to mention the myriad of legit, health benefits linked to sex and periods. Having period sex can actually help with period cramps, migraine relief, increased sex drive, and even possibly shorter periods. Knowing all this, isnât it a bummer that society has raised women to think that sex during your period isnât an automatic given?
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First Thing’s First: Can You Have Sex On Your Period
Yes, you most certainly can. Thanks to a lot of hard work over the past few decades, fewer and fewer people think that an “ew periods” mentality is OK.
Many more people enjoy period sex than you realize. Though it’s 100% safe, it’s always a matter of what you are your partner are comfortable with. For some women, it’s even more fun thanks to the natural lubrication provided by menstrual fluid and a potential increase in sex drive.
Tips For Having Sex During Your Period
Though it may pose some logistical concerns, there’s no scientific evidence that having sex during your period is harmful to your health. Some women even find that having intercourse while menstruating brings several benefits and is more pleasurable than it is at other times.
It’s important to remember, though, that just because your body is eliminating your uterine lining because an egg was released but not fertilized doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant while you have your period. Likewise, concerns about sexually transmitted infections are the same regardless of the time of the month.
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Can You Get Pregnant
If you arent actively trying to conceive, using protection is a good idea, no matter what part of your menstrual cycle youre in. Your odds of conceiving are lower during your period, but its still possible to become pregnant at this time.
Youre most likely to get pregnant during ovulation, which happens about 14 days before your period starts. Yet every womans 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, theres a chance youll be releasing an egg while sperm are still in your reproductive tract.
How To Explore Period Sex
Whenever you are trying a new sexual activity, be sure to get consent from all partners involved this helps ensure boundaries are respected. Communicate your needs, expectations, and emotional boundaries as well.
If you are going to have penetrative sex, including the use of fingers or inserting a sex toy into your vagina, be sure to remove your tampon or menstrual cup if you are using one. Failing to do so may lead to health problems â particularly infection â later.
If you do want to try to have period sex, you may consider these additional steps:
- Begin with sexual positions where there is less menstrual flow, such as missionary
- Use a towel to avoid staining your bedding
- Try sexual positions in a space that is easy to clean, such as the shower
- Keep tissues, menstrual wipes, or a washcloth nearby
- Continue to communicate with your partner about your needs
Recommended Reading: How To Get Period Blood Out Of Sheets
Can You Have Sex On Your Period
The short answer is YES.
Having penetrative and non-penetrative intercourse while menstruating is totally fine, as long as youre comfortable and in the mood. For centuries, women have struggled with shame surrounding both their sensuality and menstruation.
There is no biological reason to feel bad about either of these things together or separately. In fact, there are many mental and physical health benefits to engaging in period sex if you and your partner are comfortable with it.
The biggest deterrent has long been the mess and embarrassment. There are, however, many ways to deal with menstrual blood — and many reasons for you and your partner to embrace it.
Can You Have Unprotected Sex While Your Period
The answer here is the same whether youre on your period or not. Because like other bodily fluids , blood can transmit sexually transmitted infections so using a condom is still important.
Dr. Christine Derzko, a physician at St. Michaels Hospital and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Toronto, says simply, Its not wise. Why? Because rarely but sometimesthere is enough estrogen and therefore cervical mucus there to nourish sperm and give them a place to survive until ovulation. Its also easier to pick up an STI during your period.
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Doctors Say Go For It
If the patient is comfortable with it, then its great to continue having sex throughout the month and not have to take a break, says Ford. Its perfectly natural and safe for both partners.
To avoid stained sheets , she recommends putting a towel down on the bed, or getting busy in the shower. And dont be concerned if you see dark red or brown clumps during or after sex thats just older blood and cells of your uterine lining, and its perfectly normal.
Sex During Your Period Means Extra Lubrication
The biggest benefit may be that penetrative intercourse is actually easier for both parties. Many people cite menstrual fluid as a great — and all-natural — replacement for traditional lubricant. Dont be Victorian about it: Menstrual fluid is organic and the perfect consistency to get it on with your partner.
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What To Do If You Feel Shame Around Period Sex
While learning that period sex is good for you and coming up with an action plan for no-mess period sex are all great, it won’t get you very far if the idea of having period sex makes you feel uncomfortable.
If period sex just isn’t your thing, don’t worry about it. Dr. Dweck assures that a lot of people with periods just aren’t that into it, and that’s OK. But what if your resistance to period sex has less to do with preference and more to do with shame, or worrying what your partner will think? If that’s the caseand if it bothers youDr. Dweck recommends talking to your doctor. “It’s worth taking a deep dive into this with your gynecologist since education surrounding safety, risks and benefits might be enough to manage these feelings,” she explains, noting that there can also be cultural influences and values people are brought up with that make them uncomfortable with period sex. In that case, consider talking to a mental health professional.
And what if your partner isn’t into it, but you are? Start talking about it. “If ones relationship is affected because of discordant views on the subject, I recommend direct and candid communication between partners and enlisting help if needed,” says Dweck.
Here’s to embracing period sex once and for all, with or without the mess.
Think Of Period Fluids As Extra Lube
Lube makes sex better, end of story. Buying lube simply means you’re an adult who understands sex feels better slippery. However, along with usual vaginal wetness, your period fluids can act as an added bonus. “It’s extra lubrication, which can be a fantastic experience,” says sex therapist Holly Richmond. It’s not gross it’s natural. Menstrual “blood” is more than just blood it’s thickened endometrial cells married with blood from uterine arteries. It’s actually a pretty great consistency for sex.
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Sex During Your Period: Possible Consequences
Although having sex during your period comes with many upsides, there are also a few downsides:
- It can be messy. Theres always a chance that blood will get on you, your partner, and the sheets, especially if you have a heavy flow. Whats more, you might find yourself worrying about making a mess, and this can take some of the fun out of sex.
- You have an increased risk of STIs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having sex during your period increases your risk of getting or transmitting an STI like HIV. The virus may be present in your period blood. Health experts strongly encourage using a condom to decrease this risk.
- It might be smelly. Period blood can often have an unpleasant smell. In the heat of the moment, you and your partner might not be focusing on the smell, but its good to be prepared.
- Your positions are limited. You or your partner might not be comfortable with oral sex when youre on your period. Being on top might also be messier, thanks to gravity. A great position to try could be lying on your back.
Having Sex During Your Period Is Going To Be Messy
To get straight to the point, period sex can be a mess.
“Depending on your flow at the time of the sexual encounter, the blood that’s normally caught by your pad, tampon, or menstrual cup will still come out despite sexual activity,” says Sheila Loanzon, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn and author of Yes, I Have Herpes. “This can lead to messy sheets and clothing so it’s important to be prepared for this.”
Although there are a few ways to prepare for period sex, the first thing you want to do is make sure you and your partner don’t proceed to go to town on those 500-thread count, white Egyptian cotton sheets. Or, if you’re too lazy to pull the fancy sheets off the bed, then at least lay down some dark or old towels. If you find that you’re super into period sex and it’s something you want to make a part of your regular sexual repertoire, then you can invest in a blanket that’s made specifically for period sex.
The fact is, as Dr. Loanzon points out, period sex and messiness just go hand-in-hand. While that messiness can vary, it’s still something you need to keep in mind it’s also something your partner should keep in mind. Even if you’re cool with the sight of blood, a squeamish partner might feel differently.
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Do I Have To Remove My Tampon During Sex
Absolutely. First things first, youâll want to remove your tampon if youâre wearing one. Keeping a tampon in during sex is a very bad idea, as any penetration can actually move the tampon up further inside you. It canât get âlostâ , but it can make it difficult to remove. You never want to have a tampon inside you for more than eight hours, so if youâre approaching that time limit and you canât for the life of you get the bloody thing out , head to an urgent care center, a doctor, or an ER to get some professional help. No shame girl, theyâve definitely seen way worse.