It’s messy, it’s a taboo in most cultures, and it’s clearly not for everyone. But you need to know that sex during menstruation is safe and might even offer some advantages.
The upside of sex during your period
Some women experience a heightened libido during their period, thanks to the hormone fluctuations. This might make you feel like having sex, and that’s alright as long as you have a partner who’s on board with it. Plus, you can easily skip the lubricants (in case you need them) while having sex on your period because your uterus and vagina are being naturally lubricated more than usual during this time. Sex during menstruation might be controversial, but it can lead to the following benefits for the woman:
- Less painful periods due to uterine contractions during orgasm
- Lighter and shorter periods due to uterine contractions
- Less stress
- Better sleep
- Improved fitness due to physical activity
The downside of it all
The advantages of sex while on your period are clearly attractive, especially if your premenstrual and menstrual symptoms lead to too much discomfort. But you should equally be aware of the risks involved, which are listed below.
- The potential mess, especially if you have a heavy flow, can be quite huge.
- You might feel more anxious than you do during regular sex, at least in the beginning.
- Increased chances of spreading urinary tract infections (UTIs), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- Period blood is not a barrier for sperm, and though the probability of you getting pregnant after having sex during periods is low, it could still happen.
- In case you use tampons and forget to take it out before period sex, you can get an injury or go into septic shock.
Things to remember
Yes, the risks involved with having sex during your period might seem huge when weighed against the benefits. But if you and your partner are up for it, you should keep the following things in mind:
- Communicate with your partner about everything to do with sex while on your period. If there is any hesitance, address it, but do not expect them to be on the same page even then.
- Use latex condoms to reduce risks of pregnancy, UTIs, STIs and other diseases.
- Use dark coloured towels or bedsheets to ensure the blood doesn’t freak you out and cleaning up is easier.
- If having sex in the shower is an option, do so but carefully. This will minimise the cleanup. If sex in the shower is not an option, take a shower before you have sex so that you feel relaxed and fresh.
- Keep wet washcloths, dry towels, unscented wet wipes and other necessities handy so that you can clean up whenever necessary.
- Opt for sex positions which do not require women to be on the top because it can aggravate the bleeding. Go for missionary, spooning or face-to-face positions.
- Make sure you remove your tampon or menstrual cup before you initiate sex.
- If you have an underlying condition or disease that is transmissible through infected blood, consult a gynaecologist before having sex while on your period.
For more information, read our article on Sex during periods.
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