Having Sex on Your Period: What to Know

Team Peanut
Team Peanut8 months ago7 min read

Having sex on your period can get messy but, to be honest, that’s about the only disadvantage. And, since a lot of us are on our periods for almost a quarter of the month, avoiding sex on your period can mean that you miss out on a lot of opportunities to have fun.

Having Sex on Your Period

It’s time to have an open conversation about this subject.

In this article: 📝

  • Why are people so uncomfortable about period sex?
  • Can you get pregnant on your period?
  • The benefits of sex during your period

Why are people so uncomfortable about period sex?

Is having sex on your period bad? Nope, not at all.

As long as you and your partner are both okay with it, sex during periods is not bad, dirty, or embarrassing.

There are two main reasons why some people are hesitant about period sex.

The first is just the ick factor.

If you have sex on a day when your period is heavy, it’s probably going to make a mess.

A lot of women can feel self-conscious about what the sheets are going to look like afterward.

If anxiety is taking you out of the moment, period sex won’t be as much fun.

The other reason is cultural taboo – whether that’s the old-fashioned view that a woman should try to hide her period, or internalized teachings from some cultures and religions.

The best thing to do is be honest and talk to your partner about whether you’re both comfortable having sex while on your period.

Even if something like oral sex is off the table, or one of you would rather keep foreplay above the waist only, you might still be able to find other ways to be intimate at this time of the month.

You might also decide that you don’t want to have sex on your heaviest days, but you’re okay having sex at the beginning or end of your period.

You can also set things up beforehand – putting a towel over the sheets, stashing wet wipes by the bed, or even planning to do it in the shower – to minimize how much you have to clean up when you’re done.

And remember, sex is still fun even if you have to plan ahead.

Can you get pregnant on your period?

You’re not as likely to get pregnant on your period as you are at other times during your cycle, but it is still a possibility.

If you don’t want to get pregnant, you should always use birth control, no matter where you are in your cycle.

The rule of thumb is that women ovulate 14 days after their period starts. But that’s not true for all women!

And even if you usually ovulate on day 14, lots of things – stress, illness, travel – can cause you to ovulate a few days earlier.

Say you have sex four days after your period starts - aka Day 4 of your cycle.

Sperm can survive in your body for up to five days.

If you usually ovulate on Day 9, or if something caused you to ovulate early this month, it’s definitely possible to get pregnant while you have your period.

Another thing to consider: You might bleed at another time in the month and mistake it for your period.

If you have sex while you think you’re on your period, but it’s actually spotting during ovulation, the chance of getting pregnant can be much higher.

This can happen if you don’t track your cycle, if you have an irregular cycle due to a condition like PCOS or endometriosis, or if you’re on birth control that means you regularly skip your period.

It’s also worth remembering that you can also still get an STD if you have sex on your period.

While there’s nothing inherently dangerous about period blood (to men or women!), some illnesses like HIV and Hepatitis B can be passed through period blood as well as through sexual contact.

The point is, it’s still best to use protection, even if you’re on your period.

The benefits of sex during your period

Not only is having sex on your period a-okay, it actually has some benefits for you.

Shorter periods

Does having sex on your period make you bleed more? Sometimes.

Especially if you orgasm, the muscles in your uterus push the blood and tissue out, so you might bleed more heavily just after you have sex.

The upside of this? You might just finish your period a day early.

Pain relief

Sex releases endorphins – feel-good hormones which are proven to bust pain.

So if you have a headache on your period, or if your cramps are particularly stubborn that day, sex might give you some relief.

And to come back to orgasmic muscle contractions, the tension and release that goes on in your uterus might be one of the most effective ways of chasing away your menstrual cramps.

Better sex

First off, there’s a chance that your sex drive is going to go up around your period.

This isn’t true for everyone – lots of women want more sex around the middle of their cycle instead – but if you’re very much in the mood for sex, there’s more chance it’s going to be great.

Second, if you usually use lubricant during sex, you might not need to while you’re on your period because your flow acts as a natural lubricant.

Third, there’s more blood flowing to your vagina and your clitoris while you’re menstruating.

This can make your skin extra sensitive to touch, so sex might feel even better than usual.

[One small caveat here: The heightened sensitivity, combined with the fact that your cervix sits lower in your vagina during your period, means that some positions might be painful. As much as missionary position promises to minimize how much you bleed during period sex, you might feel more comfortable with a position that gives you more control over the depth of penetration.](

The bottom line is, if everyone’s happy, don’t let your period get in the way of a good time.

But one final word of advice. Always be sure to remove your tampon before period sex, otherwise you might be in for a trip to the doctor to have it taken out.

It would be nice if we could all talk more openly about periods.

🩸 More from The 411:
Prostaglandins and Period Pain: What You Need to Know
Can You Get Pregnant Right Before Your Period?
Can You Get Pregnant Right After Your Period?
Why Is My Period Blood Brown?
What to Know About Black Period Blood
Boobs Sore After Period? What to Know
Can You Have Two Periods in One Month?
How Late Can a Period Be?
Blood Clots During Your Period: Yes, It’s Normal
How to Reduce Period Pain
How To Have Sexual Dreams: 5 Tips
Are There Drinks That Help With Period Cramps?
Do You Burn More Calories on Your Period? The Facts
How Often Do Women Masturbate?
8 Signs Your Period is Coming Tomorrow
Why Am I So Hungry On My Period?
Who Feels More Pleasure: Male or Female?
The 411 on Period Poop
Why Do I Crave Chocolate On My Period?
Condoms for Women: All You Need to Know
How Long Do Periods Last? When Do Periods End?
Why Did My Period Come Early? 10 Reasons

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