Published March 2022
Sex while menstruating: Top tips for couples
Sex while menstruating: Top tips for couples
People who menstruate typically get a period once a month. And, as anyone who’s ever had a period will know, it can be painful, stressful, and impact all areas of your life. But should it stop you from having sex? Do you really need to take a week off every month?
Read on to find out everything you need to know about sex while menstruating.
Can you have sex on your period?
Absolutely! There’s no need to avoid having sex when you or your partner (or both of you) are on your period unless, of course, you want to. Sure, it might be a bit messy, but it’s no less safe and certainly no less enjoyable! In fact, sex while menstruating can actually offer a number of benefits for some people, including:
Relief from menstrual cramps
One of the many benefits of orgasms is that they can help relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. During an orgasm, the muscles in your uterus contract. When they release again, they help elevate the (often severe!) pain cramps can cause.
Even if you’re not suffering from cramps, the extra endorphins will make you feel good.
When you’re on your period, the blood often acts as a natural lubricant, making sex more comfortable and enjoyable.
Increased sex drive
Many people find that they have a higher sex drive during their period. Not only this, but the sex can also be more enjoyable. This is caused by your fluctuating hormones – at least they offer some positives!
Yes, you read that right – having sex can shorten your period. When you orgasm, the uterus contracts, which can speed up the shedding of the uterine lining. This can mean the period is over and done with faster.
Just remember everyone is different. While some people will have no qualms about having sex on their period, others may feel self-conscious, uncomfortable, or in pain. So it’s important to be honest and open with your partner to ensure you both feel comfortable and confident.
Some people find that, during their period, they are naturally more lubricated than they would be at other times of the month. On the other hand, some people may suffer from vaginal dryness during their period. If this is the case, a water-based lube can help – explore our range here.
Is it safe to have sex while menstruating?
Having sex during your period is usually safe for both partners. Although it can sometimes get a bit messy! However, many people don’t realise that you can be more susceptible to contracting an STI when you’re on your period. Why? Menstrual blood can change the PH of the vagina, increasing the chances of being infected if your partner has an STI.
Not only this but, if you have an STI, it can be transmitted to your partner in your period blood. So, to keep everyone safe, make sure you use protection, just as you would do at any other time of the month.
Can you get pregnant during your period?
The chances of conceiving are much lower when you’re on your period, but it’s certainly not impossible!
The highest chance of getting pregnant occurs during ovulation, which varies for everyone but usually happens around 14 days before your/your partner’s period is about to start. If your cycle is short or you ovulate early in your cycle, then your fertile window can actually overlap with your period.
And remember that sperm can stay alive in the body for up to seven days, so if ovulation takes place quite soon after the period, there is a chance the sperm could still be in the body when the egg is released. In short, if you’re not actively trying to conceive, you should use protection even if you’re on your period – not only to prevent unplanned pregnancy but also to protect against STIs.
Oral Sex while menstruating
There’s no reason oral sex has to be off-limits for either party, during your period. However, it’s important that you both feel comfortable with it. There are ways to reduce bleeding if you’re planning on giving oral sex a go during your period. Hit the shower – the water will wash the blood away – or try a menstrual cup if you or your partner are nervous about the blood. This will prevent leaks and you won’t have a string to contend with as you would with a tampon.
- Have an honest conversation with your partner beforehand to make sure you’re both comfortable with period sex
- If you’re wearing a tampon, make sure you remove it before penetrative sex
- If you’re concerned about mess, put a towel on the bed to help avoid staining the sheets and you can always keep wet cloth handy to clean you both up afterwards
- Or, if you want to avoid any mess at all, why not take your fun to the shower?
- Use protection to avoid STIs and unplanned pregnancy
- Try out different positions to figure out what’s most comfortable – your body will feel different to other times of the month
- Remember, you don’t have to focus on penetrative sex. There are plenty of ways to experience pleasure without penetration!
Find out more
To make period sex more comfortable and enjoyable, explore our range of intimate products. You can also find out more about sex while menstruating, sexual health, and lubricants by keeping up to date with the AH! YES blog.