Sex is a natural and desirable part of life and so are periods. Most women’s cycles last around 4-5 days and recur every month for about 30 years, give or take, depending on when the individual reaches menopause.
Even though periods can be painful and cramp-y, they are a signal that our body is healthy and able to reproduce. For some women, that time of the month could increase their sexual desire, because of all the hormonal changes. But before you and your partner get busy, here are a few basics about sex and periods.
1. Know The Science
A woman starts releasing eggs once a month to prepare for pregnancy, which involves the uterus thickening so that the fertilized egg has a strong and healthy foundation to latch on to and grow. However, if there is no fertilization, hormone levels drop and the lining is released from the uterus, and this is where the bleeding comes from.
Regular periods are usually a biological marker of a fertile woman and there are a lot of things that can throw off the regularity of periods, from hormonal problems to high stress.
2. Having Sex While On Your Period Does Not Increase The Risk Of Infection
Though this is a widely held belief, there is nothing that increases the risk of infection during your period if you have sex. Unless there is an already existing potential for infection, such as prolonged use of a tampon of a pad (more than 8 hours), the chances of infections, such as a yeast infection, are rare.
3. It Does Not Have To Be A Complete Mess
One of the main reasons that people avoid sex during this time is because they don’t want a gush of blood to ruin the sheets (and the mood) during the actual act. However, though it might seem like a lot during the cycle, the average amount of blood released during menstruation is 30-40 milliliters throughout the 4-5 days, which is a small amount. This means that sex definitely doesn’t have to be the bloodbath you think it might be, and you might not even see blood during penetration.
You can always put dark towels over the bed to stop the sheets from staining, or indulge in shower sex because it’s self-cleaning and enjoyable for both of you.
4. Your Partner Might Not Mind It As Much As You Think, They Might Even Like It!
The very thought of mixing blood and sex together might seem like a turnoff for both men and women, but it really needn’t be that bad. In fact, women can feel aroused during their cycle, and this is a natural phenomenon. Sometimes, they may feel even more aroused than usual when on their period!
Women also shouldn’t assume that their partner will automatically be turned off by the idea of period sex. All couples and individuals are different, and if both partners have mutual consent, there is no need to feel ashamed or awkward about it.
5. There Is No Increased Pain, Cramping And Bleeding If You Have Sex During Your Period
Pain and cramping come when the uterus is contracting as it expels the blood from the body, and the uterus does this due to the natural chemicals released by the body. Doctors say there is no reason to believe that sex causes more pain than what is already present due to the contractions. Moreover, the bleeding on average for each woman is 30-40 milliliters, which is predetermined, and having sex will not cause more or heavier bleeding than usual.
6. Wearing A Condom Can Still Be Helpful For Both Partners
It would be beneficial for both partners to wear a condom, especially if the idea of period sex still isn’t so hot for you. There might still be apprehension about the mess of exchanging these bodily fluids, but wearing a condom can minimize the mess and the stress for both partners. Moreover, you can still transmit and catch STD’s from your partner when you have sex without a condom, especially diseases like HIV or syphilis, and a condom still protects against these.
7. You Can Still Get Pregnant While Having Sex On Your Period
Though the odds are somewhat small, there is still a chance of becoming pregnant even on your period. Sperm can live up to 7 days inside the body, and if a woman has a short cycle, the egg that is released can still be fertilized. Women who have a regular cycle are a little less likely to become pregnant during their period, however, as compared to women whose cycles are irregular.