Is Sex During Menstruation Safe?

Period sex evokes such diverse opinions among both men and women. Regardless of which side of the divide you fall, having sex during menstruation happens and we are better off getting ahead of it. Here are some of the basics you need to know about period sex.

A 2016 study showed that out of 500 men and women interviewed, over 55 per cent admitted to having had sex during menstruation and actually considered it “natural” or “awesome” with millennial’s being the most popular group open to it. On the other hand, those who felt it was gross mainly did so because they were either scared of the sight of blood, or simply questioned its morality and worried about the dangers
associated with it.

Menstruation has socially and religiously been deemed as an unclean, impure and dirty period of a woman’s life – a huge irony considering it is a natural bodily function that happens monthly to every fertile woman. Some societies inhibit even the mention of it both publicly and in private. It is no wonder period sex has a cloud of condemnation around it, not to mention the repugnance surrounding menstruation among men. Obviously, this stigma is slowly being transformed through civic education and people seem more open to question traditional stereotypes especially under the topic of sex, but there is still a long way to go in demystifying it.

So what is period sex? In the most basic definition, period sex or menstruation sex is the act of sexual intercourse with a female while she is on her period. In fact, many women claim to feel ‘more in the mood’ while on their period. One theory advanced to explain this phenomenon is that the presence of more discharge makes women more sensitive and aroused (because the wetter, the better).

Another argument is that this intense surge in sexual urges is related to the fluctuations in the various sex hormones throughout the month, and these changes are very different for every woman.

On the other hand, the biggest argument against period sex is the gross factor and it is indeed a big one. During a woman’s period, chances are she already feels uncomfortable and takes extra hygiene measures. To add sex into that mix is not exactly the smoothest transition. According to a recent Men’s Health survey, more women are opposed to period sex than men for this very reason.

However, for men in general, involving themselves in menstruation matters is a stretch. And the clean up, to be honest, does not seem fun at all. But if we are to be entirely honest, sex is not meant to be clean and sanitised, as people so eagerly like to put it. That said, the shock of blood in the mix is confusing and sometimes a turn off for many.

Another huge concern for those against it is actually having that conversation with their partner. Understandably, there could be reservations initiating a conversation about period sex especially if the couple is not sexually open with one another. For some women, talking about anything to do with their periods with their partner is a challenge in and of itself. But a healthy sex life is where both parties feel somewhat open to discuss their sexual wants, needs, and desires.

Aside from the psychological torture of having the period sex conversation with ones partner, the high risk of infection for the woman is bound to put any woman off. Generally, a woman’s vagina maintains a pH balance of 4.5 throughout the month, but during menstruation that number increases significantly meaning the vagina is more susceptible to infections like yeast overgrowth and urinary tract infections (UTIs), as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

But it is not all doom and gloom. There is a reason period sex is even a thing. For most women, she is most sensitive down there during her menstruation. She becomes more sensitive to touch and more easily aroused. The increase in blood flow in her vagina and the added lubrication of blood make her sexual experience much more enjoyable. Proponents argue that the period blood provides a constant supply of lubrication and will make both parties focus on more important matters.

Also, this increased blood flow can create a tighter feel around the vagina opening, creating a snugger feel for him. Not to mention her orgasms may also be stronger and more intense because all her sexual organs are buzzing with energy waiting to be released.

A normal menstruation cycle lasts about three to five days. Most times, waiting five days to make love with your partner isn’t that long. But sometimes those five days may seem like five years considering the explosive urges both the man and the woman maybe be experiencing at that time. Once you get over the awkwardness and grossness part of it, period sex can be a great bonding moment with your partner.

Before indulging, make sure you are both completely comfortable with it. The worst thing you can do is force your partner to engage in it because it will not be enjoyable or pleasurable. It does not have to be a regular activity for you and your partner in between the sheets, but period sex should not be demonised and stigmatised as it just maybe the key to unlock sexual bliss.

Your nagging questions answered

Is period sex safe or not?

This is a very tricky question because what does safe mean? In simple terms, yes, period sex is safe. Menstrual blood is a mixture of healthy blood and discarded uterine tissue and does not have dirt or impurities like most people believe. Therefore, getting into contact with such blood is not harmful to the penis. Also, the myth that penis may damage the uterus is entirely false. In fact, having sex during her period may even give her relief from painful cramps, as her body will produce endorphins into her blood stream that will in turn reduce the pain.

Is period sex painful?

Generally speaking, period sex should not be painful. Unless, of course, one experiences the usual mild cramps. But in the case that it is painful for either of the parties involved, it is advisable to listen to your body and act accordingly. Seek medical attention in case the pain does not subside as this maybe the onset of a more serious problem.

Is period sex a perversion?

Dealing with the mess and logistics can feel awkward and a complete turn off for both parties. The psychological input in great sex really determines the outcome and if one or both parties are too distracted with the technicalities of period sex, this may not be for you, and that’s okay. Not all kinds of sex are for everyone.

Will period sex give me HIV or other STI’s?

Like for normal sex, it is crucial to practice safe sex when having period sex to reduce infections and pregnancy. You are also more likely to give your partner a blood borne disease like hepatitis and HIV during period sex than any other
type of sex.

Should I use a tampon while having period sex?

This may be dangerous and it is highly advisable to retrieve these products before engaging. You may feel some soreness or tenderness due to the bruising of the action after. However, if by some chance you happen to find yourself in such a predicament, the
option of leaving a tampon in there may increase your chances of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome – a rare but life-threatening infection of certain types of bacterial infections.

Is it ok to have oral sex during periods?

Penile or fingering during a woman’s period would not carry as much weight as oral sex. Period blood carries more bacteria than usual and may cause inflammation. In the case that both parties are still interested, tread with caution because of the spread of disease through body fluid.

Can I get pregnant from periods sex?

The chances are very low, but there is still a chance – a very small one. Sperm is able to survive inside a woman’s body for a few days and there is a small chance that an early ovulation could cause pregnancy.