Let’s dive in and find out all you need to know to stay safe while being sexually intimate at that time of the month
Just because you’re on your period doesn’t imply you have to forego sex. For some women, sexual activity during menstruation can be even more pleasurable than at other times of the month.
The call for lubrication reduces during your period, and some studies show that sex can relieve period-related symptoms, such as cramps. And a study published in 2013 in Cephalalgia gathered that sexual activity may reduce migraine and cluster headache pain for some.
“Sex is a normal part of life and should be enjoyed by all women,” says Carrie Coleman, MD, an ob-gyn at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “Basically, ensuring you have good contraception and STI (sexually transmitted infection) prevention throughout the menstrual cycle should make it even more safe and enjoyable.”
You should make sure you know the risks of STIs, other infections, and pregnancy even during your period before you start having sex.
Below are what you should know about sex while menstruating
Infection Risk From Sex During Your Period
It’s crucial to practice safe sex while you’re having your period because you could still get or transmit an STI, like HIV, during this time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus may be present in menstrual blood. Therefore doctors strongly recommend using a condom to lower this risk.
Lauren Streicher, MD, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, says that anecdotally speaking, there are two reasons for this risk. “Any bodily fluid can carry HIV or other STIs, and during your period, the cervix opens slightly, which might allow viruses to pass through,” she says. “My message to women is you’re not off the hook as far as using protection.”
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you may also be more vulnerable to catching some infections in general at this time. Your vagina maintains a pH level of 3.8 to 4.5 throughout the month. But during menstruation, that level rises because of the higher pH level of blood, and yeast is able to grow more rapidly.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are most likely to occur the week before your menstrual period, and intercourse during this time can worsen symptoms. But clear evidence is lacking for an increased risk of getting a yeast infection if you have sex during your period.
There’s also the UTI to worry about. “Some women can be more prone to having urinary tract infections after intercourse,” says Dr. Coleman. “But this is more likely related to bacteria being able to easily travel to the bladder with intercourse, but it may happen at any point during the menstrual cycle.”
Are There Possibility of Pregnancy During Period
It is not common to get pregnant after having sex while menstruating. because you ’re supposed to be several days away from ovulating during menstruation. But exceptions exist. If you are one that has a shorter menstrual cycle (21 to 24 days) and you have sex toward the end of your period, sperm can survive in your vagina for up to five days, so pregnancy is possible. If you are looking forward to getting pregnant, this time probably isn’t the best time to try.
Less Need for Vaginal Lubrication
you’d probably need no lubricant if you intending to have sex during your period, menstrual discharge seems to be enough lubrication. But if you require lubricant, then “water-based lubricants are widely available and safe both for sex and for condoms,” says ob-gyn James Simon, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. “Silicone and hybrid lubricants that are water-based and silicone-based are likewise safe for both sex and condoms. Oil-based lubricants, especially mineral-oil-based lubricants, can deteriorate condoms — increasing the risk of breakage — and are not recommended with latex condoms,” he says.
Period Sex as a Pain Reliever
If you experience symptoms such as pains, feelings of sadness, or depression during your period, having sex at this time may be very helpful. Dr. Streicher says that because orgasms release endorphins — feel-good hormones like oxytocin and dopamine — you can theoretically say that they will also reduce some period symptoms. “There’s no harm in trying,” she says.
Sexual Arousal During Your Period
You are likely to feel more sexually aroused and sensitive during this time of the month due to the changes in your hormone levels. Hall says many women experience an increased feeling of congestion in the pelvic area, which can also ramp up your sex drive. But for some women, this extra sensitivity may make it uncomfortable to have sex during this time. The key is to make sure that both you and your partner are comfortable with the situation. “Don’t assume anything,” Dr. Simon says. “Open questions with honest answers beforehand are paramount.”
13 Avoidable Sex Drive Killers
Having sex can make your periods shorter. Muscle contractions during an orgasm push out the uterine contents faster. That could result in shorter periods.
What are the possible side effects?
The main side effect of having sex during your period is the mess it creates afterward. Blood can get on you, your partner, and the sheets, if you have a heavy flow, the bigger the mess. Apart from getting the sheets dirty, bleeding may make you feel self-conscious. Anxiety over making a mess can take some or all of the fun out of sex.
Another concern about having sex while menstruating is the risk of spreading a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like HIV or hepatitis. These viruses live in blood, and they can spread through contact with infected menstrual blood. Make use of condoms to avoid all STIs.
Hints on having sex during your period
Here are a few tips to make period sex a bit more comfortable and less messy:
- Be free and honest with your partner. Tell them how you feel about having sex during your period, and find out how they feel about it. Communication is key to most marital and sexual issue.
- 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, better still have sex in the shower or bath to avoid the mess entirely.
- Keep wet wipes close to the bed to clean up afterward.
- Make sure your partner wear a latex condom. It will protect against pregnancy and STIs.
- If your usual sexual position is uncomfortable, spice it up. For example, you may prefer lying on your side with your partner behind you.
you might yourself among those who swear that sex during pregnancy is more exciting. Do not let your period spoil what should have been a world-class sex.