Everything You Need to Know About Sex on Your Period
on Dec 9, 2021
No matter what kind of relationship you're in, if you have periods, the question of sex during your period has probably reared its head. It’s a love-hate situation for many, but period sex gets more of negative rap than positive, with many labelling it as ‘gross’ or ‘dirty’.
It’s normal to feel a bit squeamish or uncomfortable about sex during your period. After all, the combination of cramps, hormonal acne and bloating around that time of the month isn’t exactly a winning combination for feeling sexy. Many of us worry about the mess, too.
However, perceptions of what happens when you have sex on your period are far from the reality. You’d be surprised at just how little cleanup is needed, and it can even help reduce cramps and boost your mood!
In this blog, we’ll dive into why it’s good to have sex on your period, along with some top tips on how to have the best period sex possible, so you can make the most of your menses.
Can you have sex on your period?
There are many myths out there that say period sex is gross, dirty or unsafe. But that’s simply not true! Most people aren’t fazed about running a red light, and believe that sex during periods is nothing to be concerned about.
Forbes partnered with women’s health brand INTIMINA to research the population’s perspective of period sex. They found that out of 500 people aged 18-50, 82% of women have sex on their period. 58% of people enjoy it, and only 10% feel squeamish about it.
The fact of the matter is that having sex during your period can be a wonderful experience for both you and your partner. The most important thing is that you’re both open with each other about what you feel comfortable with and aren’t pressured into anything.
Is period sex good for you?
Not only is it okay to have sex on your period, but there are actually many benefits of getting intimate at that time of the month:
- Increased sex drive
Hormones fluctuate around the time of ovulation which can lead to increased libido either before or during your period.
- Natural lubricant
Blood acts as a natural lube which can lead to smoother sex and may heighten sensations for you and your partner.
- Pain relief
Reaching the Big O while on your period can help with menstrual cramps and headaches.
- Mood boosting
The release of orgasm and endorphins (happy chemicals) can relieve tension as well as improving your overall mood.
- Shorter periods
Sometimes having sex during your period can actually make them shorter. This is due to orgasm muscle contractions shedding the contents of the uterus faster. Pretty neat, right?
Is it bad to have sex on your period?
Although there are benefits to riding the crimson tide, period sex isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.
One of the biggest downsides is the mess. Blood can go everywhere, especially if you have a heavy flow. This can also cause people to feel self-conscious and may make sex less enjoyable for them.
Try using a flat-fit menstrual cup for an easy way to restrain your flow without hampering the heat of the moment.
Is it safe to have sex on your period?
There are some risks to sex during periods, notably the risk of catching or passing on a sexually transmitted infection. The presence of menstrual blood can increase the likelihood of transmitting blood-borne STIs. If you’re unsure of your partner’s sexual history then it’s definitely best to use a condom in these scenarios.
Another possible risk - though less common - is forgetting to remove a tampon before foreplay or sex. This can cause the tampon to get lodged high up in your vagina, making makes it difficult to remove and potentially requiring a trip to the doctor’s office to resolve.
Can you get pregnant if you have sex on your period?
Many people believe that it is okay to have sex on your period without thinking about birth control. However, you're actually able to get pregnant during menstruation. If you’re not trying to get pregnant, then you should use protection at all points of your cycle regardless of fertility prediction.
Women are most likely to get pregnant 14 days before menstruation (during ovulation). However, everyone’s cycle is different and your cycle can fluctuate on a monthly basis. If you have a shorter cycle, your odds for pregnancy increase.
If you’re worried about getting pregnant, continue to use your preferred method of birth control when having sex with your partner - on and off your period. Using condoms can actually be pretty fun, especially when they’re ribbed, or flavored. Check out our guide to Choosing a Condom for tips on how to make safe sex exciting.
At the end of the day, when having sex during your period, it’s important to be safe and only do what you feel comfortable with. That way, you can relax and enjoy yourself without worrying.
How to have great sex on your period
It's normal to be a bit self-conscious about period sex, but with a few simple tricks you’ll be able to relax and have fun. Here are some of our tips on how to have sex while on your period:
- 1. Start off on your own with a toy
Using an unobtrusive sex toy such as a bullet vibrator will help you feel comfortable with your own body at that time of the month.
- 2. Incorporate a massage.
Nothing will relieve those cramps as well as making you feel sexy like an intimate massage from your partner. Bonus points if you work in a luxurious massage oil.
- 3. Stimulate erogenous zones.
When you’re on your period, you may experience heightened sensitivity in your erogenous zones which makes this the perfect opportunity for nipple play.
- 4. Try it in the shower.
This way, you'll be certain that you won't make a mess of your sheets and you can instantly clean yourself off afterwards. Why not try turning the main lights off and using candles so you won't be worried about the shower floor looking like the aftermath of Psycho!
- 5. If you want to have sex on a bed, put down a towel or an old sheet first so you don't have to worry about stains.
Remember – cold water is your best bet for removing blood stains.
- 6. Try the missionary position.
This is a great position for period sex because it can reduce your flow.
Remember, there are other things to do sexually while on your period that don’t involve penetrative sex. If you’re more comfortable, you can wear a tampon or menstrual disc for mess-free foreplay and oral sex.