The ins and outs of having sex during your period
Curious about having sex during your period? It’s a topic that isn’t talked about much and tends to raise eyebrows. People’s opinions can vary wildly, so it’s totally understandable to feel a bit uncertain about it. But rest assured – it’s actually a lot more common than you might think.
Our bodies crave pleasure throughout our cycle, even when we’re bleeding, so period sex can be a great way to explore intimacy. Needless to say, we’re big fans.
Ahead, we’re dispelling some myths, dropping some truths and answering your top questions about period sex so you (and your lover) can decide if it’s for you.
Can you have sex during your period?
You can absolutely have sex during your period. Believe it or not, it can even be hotter than other times of the month. It’s not unusual to feel turned on while menstruating, so fantasising about hot period sex isn’t strange at all – especially if masturbation isn’t quite hitting the spot.
6 common questions about period sex answered
So we know that period sex is possible, but how does it actually work? Is it messy? Painful? We snagged an interview with sex and relationships expert Isiah McKimmie to put the following questions to bed:
- Is period sex safe?
- Does having sex on your period make you bleed more?
- Is period sex painful?
- Why am I more turned on during my period?
- Does sex help with period pain?
- How do I bring up period sex with my partner?
Is period sex safe?
Good news: having sex during your period is completely safe and normal.
“There’s absolutely nothing to worry about,” Isiah says. “It’s something that everyone can enjoy if they feel comfortable with it.”
That said, there’s still a risk of pregnancy if you have sex while menstruating, so be sure to practise safe sex and use protection. There’s also a slightly higher risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like HIV and hepatitis, as these viruses can spread through contact with blood.
As with any other week of the month, a great way to guard against pregnancy and STIs is to use a condom.
Does having sex on your period make you bleed more?
Nope. Having sex during your period won’t make you produce more blood. However, it might speed up the release of period blood, as orgasms can cause your uterus to contract.
“So some people might find that the blood is coming out faster for a short period of time, but it shouldn’t cause you to bleed more,” Isiah confirms.
Is period sex painful?
Having sex during your period shouldn’t be painful. In fact, the natural lubrication of your blood can make things more comfortable.
Everyone’s body is different, though. According to Isiah, some of us may find period sex a little uncomfortable.
“Our uterus sits a little bit lower when we have our period, so our cervix can get hit by an object that’s penetrating and cause us pain,” she says. “If that is happening, stop what you’re doing or make the penetration less deep. But otherwise, having sex during your period shouldn’t cause you pain.”
Why am I more turned on during my period?
If you feel like your sex drive increases during your period, you’re not imagining things. Hormonal fluctuations before and during your period can impact your libido, and many people feel their horniest in the menstrual phase.
But again, everyone is different.
“Some women find they feel more aroused at the point of ovulation, which is around about halfway between your periods,” Isiah says. “Then, some women find it’s a couple of days before their period that their libido spikes. So it really varies from person to person, and it can change throughout someone’s life as well.”
Does sex help with period pain?
As a bonus, having sex during your period might help ease menstrual cramps. This is because orgasm triggers endorphins that can provide mild pain relief and make you feel good. Plus, the tightening of your uterus during orgasm can help alleviate cramps due to the release that follows.
Despite the potential pain-relieving effects of period sex, don’t forget that your uterus drops lower during your period, so deep penetration might be uncomfortable.
“You might need a gentler kind of sex for it to feel good during your period,” Isiah says. “I really encourage people to listen to their own bodies around what feels good for them and take note of it.”
How do I bring up period sex with my partner?
If you want to suss out how your partner feels about having sex during your period, you can test the waters by mentioning it casually and seeing how they respond. You might say something like, “Oh, I read an article about period sex today”, or make a lighthearted joke about it.
“If period sex is important to you, and you’re still not quite picking up how they feel, or you don’t think they’re understanding you, that’s when you might want to have a bit more of a conversation about it,” Isiah says.
If you decide to broach it with your partner, don’t expect them to understand a roundabout message. Good sex almost always boils down to good communication, so try to be clear and direct with your words.
“Focus on how you’re feeling about it, rather than blaming or criticising your partner,” McKimmie says. “You could say something like, ‘I’ve been thinking about what it might be like for us to have sex on my period. It’s something that I feel really comfortable with. I’m wondering how you feel about it and if it’s something you’d be open to.’”
Quick tips for having sex during your period
Now you’ve got all the facts, period sex should hopefully feel less daunting. So what next? If you’re keen to give it a go, we’ve got some practical ways to start exploring.
For bloody good sex while on your period, we recommend the following:
- Read our period sex tips article. It’s packed with info on keeping things spicy during menstruation.
- Talk with your partner. Honest, regular communication about how you’re feeling is key.
- Set some boundaries. You and your partner should feel comfortable and respected before trying new things in bed, so make sure to discuss both of your boundaries.
- Do what makes you feel sexy. Sex should be enjoyable, satisfying and mood-boosting, and period sex is no different.
- Listen to your body. If it feels good – fantastic. If it doesn’t, hit pause and reassess how you’re having sex.
- Consider period lingerie. The bloating, cramps and mood swings that often come with periods may not make you feel sexy, but some cute lace-trim period underwear from our Modibodi Sensual range might.
Welcome to great sex at any time of the month
Having sex during your period is just as natural as menstruation itself. Exploring period sex can be an exciting experience and even help build trust between you and your partner.
As long as you’re into it, don’t hold back.
One tip for the road: wearing comfy, ultra-protective period underwear can help make you feel bold, sexy and in the mood during menstruation. We may be biased, but that soft-as-silk feel and superior absorbency is kinda magical.
For more period-related reads like this one, hit up our blog.