- by Medihope Super Speciality Hospital
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- May 29 2017
Things You Should Know About Having Sex during Your Period
If you thought that sex during menstruation is off-limits, think again. Many of us are hesitant to try it, because we’re culturally conditioned to think it’s unclean.
From a purely medical standpoint, however, sex during menstruation is completely normal. It even has a lot of benefits for both partners. Here are some top facts…
Sex during menstruation isn’t harmful
There’s a pervasive myth out there that menstrual blood is dirty and full of impurities that might harm the penis. This is nonsense! Menstrual blood is a mixture of healthy blood and the discarded tissues that line the uterus each month in preparation for pregnancy. Coming in contact with this blood will not harm the penis in any way. In fact, menstruation blood serves as a great (and harmless) lubricant.
There is also a common misconception that the penis can hurt the uterus during sex while she’s having her period. Although it’s true that a tiny opening corps up in the uterus to pass menstrual blood during her period, this hole is impossibly small for the penis to enter. Sex during menstruation causes absolutely no harm to a woman’s uterus.
Less Need for Vaginal Lubrication
You’re less likely to need lubricants if you engage in intercourse during menstruation, because menstrual discharge tends to provide enough lubrication. If you do need a lubricant, then “water-based lubricants are widely available and safe both for sex and for condoms. Silicone and hybrid lubricants that are water-based and silicone-based are likewise safe for both sex and condoms. Oil-based lubricants, especially mineral-oil based lubricants, can deteriorate condoms — increasing the risk of breakage — and are not recommended with latex condoms.
Menstruation may increase a woman’s sex drive
Many women feel a higher sex drive during their menstrual cycle. There is a lot of conflicting and confusing information about why this happens. But one reason is that a woman’s estrogen is at an all-time low at the beginning of her period. As her estrogen levels rise over the following week, her testosterone levels rise as well, helping her to be turned on more easily.
Another factor may be the increased blood flow and lubrication in the genital region, a heaviness that could translate into arousal. The possibility of getting pregnant is also lower during this time, which might make women feel more sexually liberal. Also, some women may become aroused by the thought of doing something sexually forbidden or unconventional.
- Sex during menstruation can relieve cramps
Having an orgasm during the period may give you pain relief from cramps by releasing pain-reducing endorphins into the bloodstream. Also, according to some scientists, sex during this time provides further relief by using up chemicals, which are responsible for menstrual cramps.
Sex during menstruation could also knock a few days off your period. This is because the extra contractions your uterus experiences during orgasm help get rid of menstrual blood faster, ending your cycle sooner than usual. But, you can expect a heavy flow during the initial days.
- It’s more often women, not men, opposed to the idea
According to a recent survey, its women, rather than men, who choose to shut down sexual activities during menstruation. More than 75 percent of the men who were surveyed said they had no issues about having sex during their partner’s period, though 54 percent said they would only do it with a wife or serious girlfriend.
Find out all you need to know to stay safe while being sexually intimate at that time of the month.
- You can still get pregnant
The chances of becoming pregnant during menstruation are extremely small, but it can still happen. Though generally it is a very safe time to have unprotected sex if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, a man’s sperm has the ability to survive inside the woman’s body for a few days and there is a small chance that an early ovulation could cause pregnancy. If you want to avoid getting pregnant, it is best to use contraceptives.
- Infection Risk From Sex During Your Period
- It’s crucial to practice safe sex while you’re having your period because you could still get or transmit an STI, like HIV, during this time. The virus may be present in menstrual blood. Therefore doctors strongly encourage using a condom to decrease this risk.
- There are two reasons for this risk. Any bodily fluid can carry HIV or [other] STIs, and [during your period], the cervix opens slightly, which might allow viruses to pass through. My message to women is you’re not off the hook as far as using protection.
- You may also be more prone to some infections in general at this time. Your vagina maintains a pH level of 3.8 to 4.5 throughout the month. But during menstruation, that level rises because of the higher pH level of blood, and yeast is able to grow more rapidly.
- Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are more likely to occur the week before your menstrual period, and intercourse during this time can exacerbate symptoms. But clear evidence is lacking for any increased risk of getting a yeast infection if you have sex during your period.
- There's also the dreaded UTI. Some women can be more prone to having urinary tract infections after intercourse. But this is more likely related to bacteria being able to easily travel to the bladder with intercourse, but it may happen at any point during the menstrual cycle.
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