When it comes to having sex on your period, you probably have very strong opinions for or against it. When I was younger, I used to think that period sex was messy and, to be honest, kind of gross. I didn't really understand why a couple couldn't wait a week before jumping back into bed. Then as I got older, I understood: hormones are higher during this time of the month and sexual arousal works a bit differently. In becoming more open to period sex, I learned some of the
interesting facts you need to know about having sex on your period.
Rest assured, it's OK if sex is the absolute last thing on your mind. If, however, you want a relief from all of that bloating, cramps, aches, crankiness, and blood, being intimate with your partner may be a great way to alleviate some of the added pain and stress you're feeling right now. There is no need to rule sex out all together, but some of the stigma of period sex still remains.
No matter what your personal preference currently is, everyone can learn a little something about sex during your period with these 13 interesting facts. It's everything you need to know before doing it, and a few things you should know if you're already not shy during that time of the month.
1 It's Not Actually Super Gross
You might worry that you rpartner will be grossed out during period sex, but a 2012 study
found that sexual arousal overrides the natural disgust response. It's just further confirmation of what you probably already knew: Being in the heat of the moment makes you just want to go for it, even when you are on your period. Once you get started, you'll probably stop caring that it's that time of the month anyway. 2 It Can Relieve Cramps
Because women are a little more aroused during their time of the month thanks to their levels of estrogen and testosterone,
Prevention noted that orgasms can cause fewer cramps. Although this benefit hasn't been tested in a study, many women report alleviation of cramps thanks to orgasms had during period sex. 3 It Doesn't Have To Be Messy
Many women worry that period sex makes a mess, but there are a few things you can do in order to prevent any potential mess. According to
Women's Health, one way to prepare for sex during your period is to spread a dark towel on the bed just before having sex. You should also have a warm, wet washcloth or towel nearby so that, if a mess does happen, you can clean it up right away. 4 It's Approved By Doctors
You might wonder whether it's actually safe to have sex on your period, but luckily doctors say it's safe. According to
Health, doctors say it's safe to engage in period sex throughout the month and not have to take a break. It's also perfectly normal to see dark red or brown clumps during or after sex, since that is just older blood and cells of your uterine lining. 5 It Still Requires Protection
One thing to keep in mind is that being on your period doesn't decrease your risk of infection. According to Everyday Health, bodily fluids (such as menstrual blood) can carry HIV and other STIs, so it is very important to continue to
practice safe sex during period sex. The aforementioned Women's Health article recommended using latex condoms since any blood that gets on your partner can be easily "rolled off." 6 It's Not A Good Idea To Wear A Tampon
You're obviously free to use a tampon during your actual period, but that's not a good idea when it comes to sex. According to
Cosmopolitan, you shouldn't wear a tampon during sex because there simply isn't enough room in your vagina for sexual objects and a tampon. Not to mention the tampon could get pushed further up into your vagina and be difficult to remove. Instead, keep the tampon in until just before intercourse, and dispose of it once you get going. 7 It Doesn't Prevent Pregnancy
Many people think that they do not need to worry about protection from pregnancy, but that isn't always the case. Not only do some women bleed during ovulation and mistake it for their period, but the aforementioned
Prevention article noted that sperm can also live in a woman's body for up to five days, which means that you can conceive after your period is over. 8 It May Require Different Positions
According to the aforementioned
Women's Health article, trying different positions is key to enjoying sex during your period. Lying on your back or side not only increases pleasure, but reduces mess associated with period sex. 9 It Might Be Awesome
Some women might get really annoyed or disgusted by the thought of having period sex, and others might just be into it only a little bit. But the truth of the matter is that arousal is different for every woman, and some might actually be very much in the mood during this time of the month. According to the previously mentioned
Health article, menstruation could actually be a turn-on for some women. 10 It May Not Requite Lube
According to the aforementioned Everyday Health article, you probably don't need much artificial lubrication during sex since menstrual discharge actually provides its own lubrication
. It might be an odd, but extremely pleasurable, side-effect of being on your period and still having sex. 11 It Won't Make Your Period Heavier
One myth when it comes period sex is that it makes your flow heavier. According to the previously mentioned
Cosmopolitan article, however, that's absolutely not true. It might make it appear heavier because orgasms can push out extra lining, but it doesn't last beyond sex. 12 It Can Actually Shorten Your Period 13 It Might Make You More Aroused
According to the Everyday Health article, you might be more sexually aroused and sensitive during your period, thanks to changes in your hormone levels. However, if your sex drive is in high gear, make sure to discuss any related sensitivity issues with your partner beforehand.