Menstruation is a taboo topic in India. In fact, there are many misconceptions prevailing in our society which consider women to be “impure” during their periods. So sex during periods is a BIG no-no. However, there are people who do indulge in sex during periods. It might not be everyone’s choice but it is found that there are people who actually enjoy period sex more than regular sex. Did you know According to a study, sex during menses is practiced by around 30% of sexually active women? So the million-dollar question here is — is it really not a good idea to have sex during periods? Well, technically it is perfectly safe to have sex during your period if both the partners are fine with it.
If you want to know more about the benefits and risk of sex during periods, then read this article as we answer some of the common questions about it.
Is Sex During Menstruation Safe?
First of all, both partners should be comfortable with the idea of period sex otherwise it would be a huge turn-off. Also, it is something to be planned beforehand so that it doesn’t gross out anyone while engaging as it would be obviously messier. Although sex during menses can be a little messy, it is safe.
The alternative to reducing the mess due to menstrual discharge could be the use of menstrual cups as it would control the flow. There are some menstrual cups which claim to be designed in such a way that would not be interfering during intercourse and may lead to a hassle-free experience. Both partners might feel it but it would not be uncomfortable. However, it differs from couple to couple when it comes to experience. Also, it is suggested to use a new, empty cup prior to intercourse in order to minimize the leakage. Do remove tampon when having sex during periods.
Also, communicate with your partner about how you feel to make it more comfortable. It is preferable to spread a dark towel over the bed or have sex in the shower to avoid the mess. Also, use wet wipes to clean up after the act. Do not forget to use condoms to stay protected from STDs and unwanted pregnancy.
What Are The Side-Effects Of Sex During Periods?
Firstly, sex during periods can be a big turnoff in the first place. This is because blood can get on you, your partner and the sheets, especially if you have heavy periods. This can make you a bit self-conscious and hinder you from enjoying the act. Also, anxiety that the act can be a mess might take the fun out of sex.
The second and the most important concern about sex during menses is the risk of getting infected from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV or hepatitis. If you or your partner is suffering from STDs, there is a high chance that the viruses present in the blood can be spread when having sex during menstruation. Also, a woman’s cervix is more open during her period, which in turn can increase the risk of infections. Hence, the use of protection like condoms is absolutely necessary in order to lower your risk of suffering and catching sexually transmitted diseases.
Thirdly, if you are using a tampon, then it is wise to remove it before having sex. This is because if you forget to remove it prior to sex, then there is a high chance that it might get pushed into the vagina. If this happens, then you need to visit a doctor to get it removed.
Sex During Periods: Can You Get Pregnant?
It is a myth that you cannot get pregnant during your periods. As far as being pregnant is concerned, there is no 100% guarantee that a woman cannot get pregnant while she is menstruating. Although the odds of getting pregnant during menstruation is less, you can still get pregnant.
An egg can stay alive and viable in a woman’s fallopian tube for 24 hours after you ovulate. Your chances of getting pregnant are higher during ovulation which happens to be around 14 days before you get your periods. So if you have a shorter menstrual cycle or if you have irregular menses, it is very difficult to keep a track of your ovulation and the release of the egg. This in turn, can increase your chances of getting pregnant when you have sex during periods. Moreover, there are several factors that cause menstrual irregularities which include weight loss, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, etc. Due to these factors, a woman can get pregnant at any time of the month including her menses.
So if you’re are not planning to pregnancy it is wise to use protection like condoms or birth control pills even while having sex during your periods.
Are There Any Benefits Of Sex During Periods?
There are several research studies which suggest that sex during menstruation can have a positive impact on the overall health of a woman. Here are some of the upsides:
Causes shorter periods: Vaginal sexual intercourse during menstruation can lead to an increase in the flow of menstrual blood because sexual intercourse causes contractions in the uterus. This results in the menstrual blood and cells to expel more quickly causing the periods to stop faster than usual.
Eases menstrual pain: Some women find intercourse during menstruation more as a relief as it releases dopamine and endorphins which are natural painkillers to reduce pain caused by menstrual cramps. Also, it helps to tone down premenstrual symptoms (PMS) However, it is better not to indulge in sex if the period is too heavy as it might be extra energy consuming.
Increases sex drive: Although not every woman feels the urge to have sex during menses, there are few who seen to show an increased sex drive during that time of the month. This is due to the numerous hormonal changes that happen in the body during menstruation. Not just sexual desire but it can also lead to erotic fantasies in a woman during this phase reveals a study.
Relieves migraine headache: Headache associated with sexual activity is a well-known problem. Also, it is reported that about 50% of the women with migraine experience migraine attacks during menstruation. Although most women with migraine headache do not prefer sexual activity during periods, a 2013 study published online reveals an interesting fact. As per the study, sex during periods can lead to partial or complete relief of headache in some women with migraine headache.
Bottom line: It is all about your personal choice as everyone has different preferences when it comes to being intimate during a period. You have other options to explore intimacy with your partner apart from intercourse that you can choose if you or your partner is not comfortable with having sex during periods. It is completely safe if YOU are okay with it as it is a normal process and can be an experiment if both partners are willing to try.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)
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