Sex Ed: Sex and your Period

Sex Ed: Sex and your Period

Sex and your period: Had it? curious? Or do you prefer to opt out? We believe in being able to enjoy a healthy sex-life all year round, and that includes when you’re on your monthly period. If you’re not enjoying sex during your 5-day (approx) menstrual period, that’s 60 extra sex-days a year that you could be missing out on. 

There’s a lot of misconceptions when it comes to period sex, but having sex while on your period can be extremely pleasurable. With this in mind, let’s tackle a few misconceptions and find out if it’s safe to have sex while on your period, whether or not you can get pregnant during your period, the benefits to having period sex plus the downsides, as well as some exciting tips to make period sex more satisfying.

Is it safe to have sex while on your period? 

Absolutely! While there are no known medical risks of having sex while on your period, there are higher risks of catching sexually transmitted infections. STI’s like HIV and hepatitis live in the bloodstream and are passed on through contact with infected blood, semen and vaginal fluid. That’s why it’s always safer to wear a condom during any sexual contact to prevent sexual fluid from being transferred which reduces the risk of passing on sexually transmitted infections.

If you use a tampon or menstrual cup while on your period, don’t forget to take it out before having period sex, otherwise it may be pushed in further and cause bacterial infections or even toxic shock syndrome.

Can you get pregnant during your menstrual period?

One of the most common misconceptions is that you can’t get pregnant while on your period. Although the chances of getting pregnant while having period sex are slim, it can still happen, especially if you have shorter cycles or irregular periods. Sperm can stay in the reproductive tract for up to seven days, therefore if you ovulate soon after having your period, the sperm may still be alive and capable of fertilising the egg. Therefore, whether you are having sex, during your menstrual period or at any other time, it’s always best to wear a condom to prevent any unplanned pregnancy.

Benefits of sex during your period

There are many benefits to having sex whilst on your period - but here are just a few of our favourites…

Orgasms may relieve menstrual cramps. 

Menstrual cramps happen during your period as a result of the uterus shedding its lining, in preparation for a new lining. When you have an orgasm, the uterine muscles contract and then relax, easing the muscular contractions that can cause cramps, therefore period sex can provide you with much-needed relief from those menstrual cramps. In addition, having an orgasm releases feel-good hormones, such as endorphins, which can help lessen the pain and discomfort.

More sexual pleasure. 

Women’s hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle - while some women find they have an increased sex drive during ovulation, other women experience an increased libido while on their period. If this is you, sex could feel a lot more pleasurable.

Also, when you’re on your period, you may have to be a little creative about comfortable positions, so you might find a favourite position you never knew existed.

Extra lubricant

Did you know that menstrual blood acts as a natural lubricant? This can help sex feel more satisfying and comfortable which is perfect for those who don’t usually produce a lot of natural lubricant

Downsides of period sex…

Although there are many benefits of period sex, it’s a good idea to be aware of the negatives of having sex while on your period.

  • Can be messy. It’s highly likely that period blood will come into contact with your partner and your sheets. You might also find yourself worrying about the mess, which may take the enjoyment out of it.
  • Higher risk of catching sexually transmitted infections, like HIV and hepatitis. As the virus may be present in period blood, always make sure you wear a condom to prevent transmission.
  • There may be a smell. Sometimes having your period can come with an unpleasant smell. While you and your partner may not worry about the smell when in the moment, it is something to be mindful of. 
  • You may have limited positions. Activities like vaginal or oral sex may be off limits, and you may find certain positions slightly uncomfortable

Tips for pleasurable period sex

  • Put a towel down first - this will help protect your sheets and it’ll be an easier clean-up afterwards.
  • Keep wet wipes handy so you can clean up more easily after period sex.
  • If you wear a tampon or menstrual cup, remember to remove it before sexual intercourse.
  • Make sure to wear a condom when having sex during your period to protect yourself from catching sexually transmitted infections.
  • If it’s your first time having period sex, you may want to try having it in the shower first. 
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