In some parts of the world, having sex during a period is considered to be taboo, but Can You Have Sex On Your Period and if so, is it safe to do so? The perception by some is that sexual intercourse while actively bleeding is “unclean.” Other misconceptions are that engaging in sex while having a menstrual period is somehow unsafe or likely to cause harm. What is the truth about sex during a period – is it something you should avoid?
Can You Have Sex on Your Period?
The idea that having sex on your period is unsafe is an old wives’ tale. The reality? There’s nothing hazardous or harmful about sexual intercourse during a menstrual period. Menstrual bleeding is the shedding of tissue from the lining of the uterus along with blood, a completely natural process. It may be messier to have intercourse during this time, especially if you have sex during the first three days of your period when the flow is heaviest, but you’re not putting yourself or your partner at risk when you have intercourse at this time. So, can you have sex on your period? You betcha, but here are the considerations that you might keep in mind.
Is Having Sex On Your Period Bad? Maybe Not.
In many cases, women find their sexual desire is stronger just before or right after their period starts. Sex can also ease some of the stress and tension that goes along with “that time of the month.” Plus, sex stimulates the release of a hormone called oxytocin, sometimes called the “love” hormone. This release may help ease some of your menstrual symptoms, including menstrual cramps.
Having Sex During Your Period is a Choice.
Whether you are having sex on your period is a choice you and your partner should make based on how each of you feels about the issue. Not all men or women enjoy having sex during this time or have the desire to do so and that’s okay too.
Assumptions You Shouldn’t Make About Having Sex While On Your Period
Some gals believe they’re immune to getting pregnant when they have intercourse during a menstrual cycle. The chance of successfully conceiving while actively bleeding is low since ovulation typically occurs mid-cycle, but it’s still possible to conceive while having a period, especially if you have short or irregular menstrual cycles. Sperm lives inside your reproductive tract for 2 to 5 days. If you have a short or irregular cycle, you could ovulate right after your period stops and still have viable sperm available to fertilize an egg, so pregnancy is still possible.
Some people also mistake mid-cycle spotting around the time of ovulation as a menstrual period. If what you think is a period turns out to be spotting between periods, your risk for pregnancy would be higher. The take-home message is to always use some form of contraceptive protection, regardless of where you are in your cycle, unless you’re trying to get pregnant.
Be aware that it’s just as easy to get a sexually transmitted disease when you’re having your period as any other time. Some research even suggests it’s EASIER to get an STD if you have sex with an infected person during your period. During a period, your cervix is more open and that provides a direct pathway for organisms that cause sexually transmitted infection to reach the deeper parts of your pelvic cavity. Be smart and protect yourself with a condom, because an estimated 50% of sexually active men and women will have a genital HPV infection (CDC) at some point during their lives.
Conversely, missing your period doesn’t necessarily meant that you are pregnant because of a missed period. There are other early warning signs of pregnancy to be considered.
Can you Have Sex on Your Period? The Alternatives to Sex.
Even if the idea of having sex while on your period turns you off, you and your partner can still enjoy intimacy without actually having intercourse. Use that time for a little romance or something relaxing like a massage to bring the two of you closer together.
The Bottom Line on Sex During Your Cycle
There’s nothing harmful, strange or taboo about having sex while on your period – it’s more a matter of personal preference, but, if you do, don’t forget about using protection.
What’s Your Experience with Having Sex on Your Period?
So many women ask this very question. Please visit our forum and share your experiences with having sex while on your period and help others get a woman’s perspective.