When it comes to sex and periods, many questions such as side effects, whether you can get pregnant or not, what about unprotected sex during periods and much more.
Just because it’s that time of the month doesn’t mean you can’t have sex. In fact, some women get more pleasure from sexual activity while on their periods than any other time.
Carrie Coleman, MD and OB/GYN at MGH states that ‘sex is a normal part of life which should be enjoyed by all women: she adds, that taking proper precautions such as having good contraception and implementation of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) prevention options all through the menstrual cycle makes it safe and even more pleasurable.’
Now that you have the go-ahead to have sex during your menstrual period, it’s very important to make sure that you understand the risks of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
Practicing safe sex is very important especially when you are on your periods- because you can still contract or transmit STIs such as HIV among other infections notes CDC. The HIV virus may be present in the period blood-therefore; it’s highly advisable to use a condom to minimize the risks.
According to Lauren Streicher, MD, the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases while having sex during your periods are; “any bodily fluid can carry the HIV virus as well as other STIs and the cervix opens up slightly more than normal which may easily allow viruses to pass through.”Therefore, you are not off the hook as far as using protection is concerned!
Additionally, during this time susceptibility to contracting infections is higher due to increased ph. level, which promotes and accelerates the growth of yeast, as compared to other times in a woman’s menstrual cycle the ph. level of the vagina is roughly between 3.8 and 4.5.
However, the signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection normally occur a week prior to your period, having sex during this time just worsens the symptoms.
Moreover, Coleman notes that for some women the susceptibility of getting urinary tract infections (UTI) increases: mostly because bacteria easily travel into the uterine bladder easily when you have sex while on your periods. Needless to say, that you can contract UTI at any time during your menstrual cycle.
Whether you are trying to get pregnant or trying not to, you should track your cycle to know your fertile days. However, having sex while on your periods will most likely not result in pregnancy: this is because at this time you are actually not ovulating.
However, some theories hold that despite the odds of getting pregnant while on your periods being low, they aren’t zero. The exceptions supporting this theory is the fact that menstrual cycles differ from woman to woman, meaning that the time of ovulation is also different depending on your cycle.
Okay, So, for instance, if your cycle is shorter (21-24 days) and has
sex during the last days of your periods: considering sperm remains viable for 5days in the vagina, then pregnancy is a possibility.
While the chances of getting pregnant after having sex on your periods are low, it doesn’t mean that one can completely ignore the possibility.
Having coitus while menstruating can actually help relieve the accompanying symptoms such as cramps, depression or the feeling of sadness. According to Streicher, orgasms lead to the release of Endorphins- the feel-good hormone such as dopamine, which typically boosts happiness and relieves pain.
For the people who are naturally dry inside or experience difficulty naturally producing sufficient lubrication, this may actually be the perfect time for you.
The menstrual discharge provides adequate lubrication. However, if you need lube, go for water-based since they are safe for sex and do not have any effects on condoms.
Hormonal fluctuations during this time increase the sensitivity levels; hence sex becomes even more pleasurable as well as increases your libido or drive.
However, this is not the same for everyone, the extra sensation of congestion around your pelvic region as well as the sensitivity make it uncomfortable for some people.
Having sex during your periods has several benefits for your general health. The restrictions and taboo notion associated with it is actually all in your head and totally up to and your partner- that’s of course if you and your partner are willing to try it.