Period Sex 101
Can you have sex on your period?
Here’s the good news: In a 2015 study by Flex, researchers found that 83% of people have had period sex, while 44% believe it’s totally natural. However, the same study found that 39% of people think period sex is ‘kinda gross’ while a small minority thought it was ‘very gross’. But, who’s right?
In this article, we guide you through everything you need to know about period sex. Should you do it? Is it safe? Read on to find out.
First of all, it’s absolutely fine to have sex on your period. There’s no medical reason why you shouldn’t, the only thing at risk is making a bit of a mess - but that’s what towels are for.
While medically speaking, period sex is perfectly healthy, it’s a good idea to be prepared. During your period you may experience greater pain sensitivity, which could mean some sexual play is off the table. Also, during menstruation, your cervix is positioned lower down your abdomen, which can make sex positions with deeper penetration uncomfortable.
It’s also a good idea to tell your partner you’re menstruating before you start having sex. This way they won’t get a shock at the end! Some people have an aversion to period sex, which is OK (there are plenty of other ways to show intimacy) but if your partner is unsure, reassure them that period sex is perfectly safe and aim to find something you’re both comfortable with.
Getting pregnant while on your period is unlikely, but it can still happen.
You are most likely to get pregnant just before you ovulate, which on average starts 14 days before your period. However, everyone’s cycle is different and sperm can stay alive inside the body for up to seven days. So if you ovulate early, period sex could result in pregnancy.
Using condoms and femidoms during period sex is a good call. Not only do they protect you from unwanted pregnancy, but they can actually help with any resulting mess. Simply dispose of the condom at the end of your session and a lot of the mess will go with it.
Period sex needn’t be any different from your regular style of play. However, if you’re struggling with the mess, or are nervous about it at all, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you on your merry way:
Lay something underneath you
While towels are very absorbent they can be rough, so choose one which is nice and soft (preferably in a dark colour).
Invest in period sex products
There are a range of products on the market designed specifically for period sex. From soft insertable sponges to flat menstruation cups, these little wonders help to catch blood while you get lucky.
It may be rare, but it is possible to get pregnant during period sex. Use a condom or a femidom for peace of mind.
Hop in the shower
The shower is a great place for period sex. Not only is it warm, soothing and a little bit saucy, but the water will wash away any blood. Try silicone-based lubricant to add glide to your aquatic adventures.
Change up your positions
Some people experience lower pain tolerance when menstruating, this means that some sex positions may be uncomfortable. To combat this, try positions with shallow penetration, such as sexy spooning.
Remove any period products
If you use tampons or a menstrual cup, remove them before getting down to it.
Talk to your partner
Be open and honest with your partner. Tell them if you have any pain or discomfort. Also, remember to check in with them too. While having sex on your period is absolutely fine, be patient with them, it can be hard to let go of long-held squeamishness.
There’s a lot of stigma surrounding sex on your period. Many people feel squeamish about it, while others are embarrassed.
However, period sex is totally natural, safe and can be very intimate, so if you and your partner feel comfortable, then there really is nothing stopping you. Just remember that things may feel a little different to how they do at other points of your cycle, so go slow and communicate with your partner.
Sex needn’t be off the table just because aunt flow is in town, pop down a towel and invite her to the party.