The truth about period sex
Sex on your period is actually not that bad! Yes, you can go ahead and read that again just to confirm. It’s most commonly referred to as period sex. In many cultures, it is still frowned upon and discouraged. The main driving force behind this is that menstrual blood is considered ‘dirty' and a menstruating person is branded as ‘unclean’. Well, of course, this is all false but why is it still considered a taboo? Once you know the basics of period sex, your time of the month will not stop you from having sex. The most important thing is knowing how to go about it and how to enjoy it as well as tips to make it even more practical. Let’s start from the beginning.
Can you have sex during your period?
Simply put, Yes you can!
Medically, there’s nothing wrong with some penetrative or non-penetrative sex during your period as long it is consensual and you are comfortable with it. Despite the fact that it can be 'messy', it still is safe. In fact, several advantages come with period sex.
Pros of period sex
As hard as it is to believe, there are some benefits of having sex during your period. Such as:
Relieving period cramps - This can be achieved through orgasms. Cramps are a result of your uterus contracting to release its lining. During an orgasm, the muscles of your uterus also contract and release. That release helps provide relief from period cramps.
Shortens periods - Again during an orgasm, muscle contractions may push out the uterine contents faster resulting in a shorter period.
Natural lubricant - If you read the Grace Guide to vaginal dryness blog you might be familiar with how dryness can get in the way of sex. Blood, in this case, acts as a lubricant.
Increased sex drive - A woman’s body is quite interesting. Hormonal fluctuations may lead to increased sex drive at different times of the cycle. For most women, this happens during ovulation but others also report an increased sex drive during their period.
Might relieve headaches - Many women get headaches during their period but studies show that those who have sex at this time get some relief from the headache either partially or completely.
Cons of period sex
Here are some of the downsides of having period sex:
It’s messy - Probably the biggest disadvantage is how messy it can be. Well, in some cases, sex can already be messy but for period sex, blood could get on you, your partner and the sheets. This could also take away all the fun and make you overly self-conscious. However, there are a few workarounds that we will be discussing later in the blog post.
Risk of STIs - Viruses like HPV & HIV are found in blood and can be contracted or spread through infected menstrual blood. Using condoms can help avoid STIs.
Can you get pregnant during your period?
As long as you are not trying to conceive, Grace recommends that you use protection throughout your cycle as you can still conceive during your period. The highest chances of conceiving are during ovulation which is usually 2 weeks before your period. Since some women have shorter cycles and cycles change from time to time, it is important to be careful. Don’t forget that sperm can live longer in a woman's body. For instance, someone with a shorter cycle, say 20 days will be ovulating soon after their period. There is a high chance that the egg could be released while the sperm is still in the reproductive tract.
Is there a need to use protection?
Protection will always be a good idea if you are not trying to conceive. It will protect both you and your partner from STIs and contracting HIV which can be spread through infected blood. Insist on the use of latex condoms to prevent STIs. If you are allergic to latex you can opt for other protection methods. Check out the Graceful Guide To Contraceptives to choose the best one for you.
Tips for having sex during your period
Have an open discussion about it first with your partner. This will help you clear out if it’s comfortable for both of you and how to go about it.
Remove any sanitary products such as tampons and menstrual cups after getting consent for period sex.
Spread a dark-coloured towel underneath you to catch any blood leaks. Alternatively, you could choose to have sex in the shower to avoid the mess entirely.
Place a wet washcloth or wet wipes close by to clean up quickly afterwards.
Encourage your partner to wear a condom to prevent STIs
Should your favourite sex positions feel uncomfortable due to cramps, try something new or different.
Don’t let your period get in the way of enjoying your sex life. As long as it is comfortable, consensual, and you have taken into consideration all the tips and advice you might find that you enjoy sex during your period maybe even more than other days of your cycle.
What do you think of period sex? Yes, or pass? Let us know your thoughts and experience in the comments!
Stay Informed, stay in control.