People have numerous questions about sex during menstruations. The answers are often obscured by strange myths, falsities, and taboos that make it increasingly difficult to separate truth from fiction. While you can have sex during menstruations, you must consider some valid concerns about infections and pregnancies. This article answers the most pressing questions about period sex, its benefits or risks, and tips on safe sex during menstruations.
Can you have sex during menstruations?
During the reproductive years, most people with vulvas have their period about once a month. While sex during menstruations can get a little messy, there’s no need to avoid it unless you personally don’t like it. Sex during menstruation is perfectly safe and, in some cases, also provides relief from menstrual cramps.
Of course, the general risks associated with sex also persist during menstruations. You have the same risks of STIs while having oral, vaginal, or anal sex. And unless you’re on birth control, contraceptives, or with a same-sex partner, you also have the risk of pregnancy, even if you’re on menstruation. But there isn’t anything inherently risky about sex during menstruations.
What’s the risk of infections during period sex?
Sexual activities can lead to two types of infections — sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and yeast/ bacterial infections. Yeast infections can also happen without sex, but there’s a slightly higher risk of yeast infections during period sex because of the hormonal changes in the body. Generally speaking, you should practice same safe sex practices each time — before, during, or after menstruations.
Can you get pregnant having sex during menstruations?
Estimates suggest that most women experience a 28-day menstrual cycle, i.e., the period from the first day of the menstrual bleeding to the day before your menstrual bleeding resumes in the next cycle. The specific length of the menstrual cycle varies between each individual, but it’s usually between 26 to 32 days.
Days 8 to 19 are generally considered to be the most fertile times in the menstrual cycle. This is the period when the egg released from the ovary travels through the fallopian tube. If it’s fertilized by a sperm, the egg will pass down into the uterus for implantation, leading to pregnancy.
The chances of pregnancy are highest on the 8th to 19th days of the menstrual cycle. However, the egg remains active in the fallopian tube for 24 hours, and the sperm can survive for 3 to 5 days after ejaculation. Furthermore, changes in menstrual cycles due to hormonal changes, eating disorders, weight loss, breast-feeding, etc., can make this cycle unpredictable.
Due to these fluctuations, people with vulvas can get pregnant at any time in the menstrual cycle, i.e., any time at all. As such, unless you’re with a same-sex partner, you must use birth control or contraceptives if you want to avoid pregnancy, regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle.
What are the benefits of sex during menstruations?
1. Relieves menstrual cramps.
Menstrual cramps occur when your uterus contracts to release its lining. When you orgasm, the muscles in your uterus also contract and release, which counters the menstrual cramps to bring some release. Sexual activity also releases endorphins to make you feel better, which also takes your mind off the menstrual cramps.
2. Increases sex drive and libido.
Hormonal fluctuations make your libido fairly erratic during the menstrual cycle. However, those hormonal fluctuations affect different people in different ways. Some people with vulvas report feeling the most turned on during the ovulation, i.e., about two weeks before the period. Others say they feel the most turned on during menstruations. If you have an increased sex drive during menstruations, there’s nothing wrong with seeking release.
3. Relieves headaches and body aches.
Most people with vulvas experiencing migraine headaches experience them during their menstruation period. Based on anecdotal evidence, some people with vulvas state that having sex during menstruations significantly relieves migraines, headaches, and body aches. However, some also say they avoid sex due to migraines. If you’ve got a headache and you’re feeling sexual, go ahead and see which end of the spectrum you fall on.
4. Reduces period length.
When you have sex, the muscle contractions caused by orgasms push out the contents of the uterine faster. That means you’re likely to experience a heavier flow if you have sex during menstruations. But you’ll also get through the period faster.
5. Your body’s natural lubrication.
You don’t need external lubrication during menstruations because your body produces plenty of natural lubrication. Unless you’re squeamish about blood, sex during menstruation can actually be pretty good. Though naturally, that’s a personal opinion, and you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
Are there any side effects of period sex?
As mentioned previously, there aren’t any inherent risks that are exclusive to period sex. As such, most of the “side effects” or concerns are about the potential mess. Sex during menstruation can make period blood get on you, your partner, and your sheets.
However, there’s a simple remedy for the mess — lay down some towels or have sex in the shower. Some people also experience self-consciousness and anxiety while having sex during menstruations. If you don’t like period sex, you don’t need to engage in it. However, there’s nothing inherently wrong or shameful about period sex.
What if I want an orgasm but without a sexual partner?
Sex toys are the ideal options for individuals who have an increased libido and want the release from orgasms but without sexual partners. You have various sex toy options to choose from — dildos, clitoral vibrators, clitoral suckers, etc. Choose the option you’re most comfortable with.
Clitoral suckers, like Obii, are ideal for those who want to induce deep and resonant orgasms without direct stimulation — the clitoral sucker uses sonic pulses to indirectly stimulate the entire clitoral structure. The best part is that you don’t have to deal with the potential self-consciousness and anxiety.
All things considered, sex during menstruations carries the same risks as sex any other time. However, it also poses numerous benefits, and some say that it genuinely feels great. The call is yours — listen to your body, and do what feels right.