By Arielle Egozi
Ah, period sex — the final frontier of sex magic *heaven*. YES, you read that perfectly correct.
If you don’t believe me, here’s why ya should:
Alleviates cramps? Check.
Your blood flow increases when you climax and your uterine muscles release pain-relieving chemicals to your brain — this double duo means real life cramp relief (and you get an orgasm? Sign us up!).
Increases your mood? Check.
Helps with migraines? Checkkk.
In this study, 70% of migraine patients who engaged in sexual activities during an attack reported moderate to complete relief. Hell yeah.
Natural lube? I meannnn, check check check.
Blood is a bodily fluid like anything else that comes out of our genitals, peeps.
Buuut maybe you’re wondering, is it safe and sanitary?
“Abso-freaking-lutely!” says New Jersey-based gynecologist Dr. Angela Jones. “The biggest barrier to period sex is usually the individual on their period. It’s the same reason women don’t want to come to the gynecologist when they’re on their period. They are embarrassed, afraid of making a mess. It’s absolutely normal to have sex during your period.”
Phew, good to know! However, remember that using protection is always important because your period won’t protect you from STIs (sexually transmitted infections). It also does not necessarily protect you from getting pregnant.
“While the risk is low, the answer to this question is yes, [you can get pregnant on your period]!” says Dr. Angela. She notes that this is especially true for “women that have a history of irregular periods.” Depending on cycle length, some women can experience late ovulation within 5 days of their period — so protection can still be important, even while you’re menstruating.
So we’re good to go on safety… but what about the logistics?
“It’s absolutely safe, just a little messy,” says Dr. Angela. “Nothing a dark towel, positioning (may be less messy having sex on your side or in the missionary position), or shower sex can’t either alleviate or make less of a concern.”
The average amount of flow during your period is less than 60 ml — that’s only like a shot glass’ worth — so if you do end up making a bit of a mess, it ain’t no thang. Rinse, repeat, and do it again.
You can also use FLEX, “a period product that's shaped like a disc and sits in the same space inside of your body as a diaphragm.” Lauren Schulte, co-founder and CEO of the company tells us,“It works differently than a tampon or a menstrual cup because it does not plug your vaginal canal.” It’s safe to use for both penetrative and non-penetrative sex during your period, “including oral sex.”
Just because you’re on your period doesn’t mean you need to stop living your best life.
Let’s talk optimization.
“Listen to your body,” Sacramento-based sex educator and associate marriage and family therapist Louise Head says. “About 85% of people experience some type of abdominal cramping during their period. This could make some sex positions uncomfortable, so just make sure to find one that isn’t triggering cramps.”
Yes for creativity and open communication!
“During menstruation is a great time to remember that sex doesn’t mean just penetration. Penetrative sex during your period is great, but if you don’t want to interact with your blood, there are still lots of sex options,” she reminds us.
There are plenty of sexy options to engage in outside of penetrative sex, including extra-focused attention on the clitoris of the menstruating person. However, because blood acts as a natural lubricant, penetrative sex might feel even better and more slippery than normal during this time of the month!
According to Emily Varnam, birth worker, and co-founder of The Fifth Vital Sign, “The cervix moves during the cycle in line with fertility, getting closer and further away from the uterus.” The cervix is low during menstruation, and, according to Emily, “It takes at least twenty minutes for the uterus to pull the cervix up, so to make space for penetrative sex, at least twenty minutes of foreplay is needed.”
Um, so the best part about sex is required? Count me in.
What if my partner is grossed out by my period?
Well, my fine friends, you can read all about how to handle that here.
As Dr. Angela so eloquently says, “Most guys are completely open to having sex during a woman’s period. It really just comes down to comfort. Menstruation and periods have become such a taboo in today’s society. Get over it and get it on. It may prove to be the best sex you’ve been missing.”
Get over it and get it on. Do you have any reservations about period sex? Or have you in the past? Share your stories with us below!