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Period Sex. Period.

30 August, 2021

There are many myths floating around about our periods. Myths rooted in cultural origins, outdated medical thinking simple cases of misinformation or stigmas perpetuated by all of the above. So much so that many women wonder, should I even have sex during my period?

Let’s get one thing straight: It is perfectly fine to have sex – whatever kind you want with yourself or with a partner – while on your period. Period sex is sex. Period. The more we normalize periods, incorporate period positivity into body positivity and debunk the myths, the less confusion and ultimately better sex.

Let’s get one thing straight: It is perfectly fine to have sex – whatever kind you want with yourself or with a partner – while on your period. Period sex is sex. Period.

Myth #1: Period Sex is Gross.

Menstruation is normal (and a pretty amazing function of the female body). There is nothing gross or unclean about period blood, which is mostly made up of blood and tissue. So, menstruation shouldn’t deter you from sex. While it does present clean-up challenges, they’re solvable – maybe move the party to the shower or bath or put down a towel to spare the bed sheets. If you’re more interested in oral rather than penetrative sex, you can always keep a tampon or menstrual cup in and focus on external clitoral stimulation.

Myth #2: You Can’t Get Pregnant While on Your Period.

You most certainly can get pregnant while on your period. In fact, sperm can survive for up to five days in our reproductive tracts. There’s a lot of back-of-the-napkin math you could try to do to determine your cycle and when you’re most likely to conceive so you can decrease your chances of pregnancy during menstruation, but the bottom line is: you can get pregnant while on your period, so practice safe sex.

Myth #3: Condoms Aren’t Necessary.

So this one isn’t fully a myth  condoms are not technically necessary if you’re relying on alternate forms of contraceptive – that’s up to you and your partner. A study from the Kinsey Institute and the fertility app Clue found that condom use drops 15% during sex when a woman is menstruating, likely due to the prevalence of Myth #2. However, condoms are a great idea (beyond preventing pregnancy) if you’re unfamiliar with sexual partners’ sexual history. Vaginal changes during your period and fluctuating immune functions actually make you more likely to contract an STI if you’re exposed. You can also more easily transfer certain bloodborne diseases like hepatitis and HIV in menstrual blood during unprotected sex. Safe sex on or off your period — is good practice.

Myth #4: I’ll Have Heavier Periods.

Having sex while menstruating will not make your period heavier or longer. Theoretically, orgasm contractions can push out more blood, which could actually result in shorter periods. Now that’s a theory we can get behind! There is also evidence that hormones released during orgasm help reduce menstrual cramps. But if you’re just not feeling sex with a partner or you have painful periods made worse by penetration, this is yet another opportunity for the ultimate self-care: masturbation!

Myth #5: Periods Lower Sex Drive.

Many studies have shown being on your period does not negatively affect sex drive. In fact, it could have the opposite effect and actually increase libido. Some women have reported heightened arousal during menstruation, which could be caused by a drop in the sex hormone progesterone. Sex drive is usually elevated when progesterone is low and estrogen levels are high. It’s different for each of us, so go with what your body tells you.

Many studies have shown being on your period does not negatively affect sex drive. In fact, it could have the opposite effect and actually increase libido. Some women have reported heightened arousal during menstruation, which could be caused by a drop in the sex hormone progesterone. Sex drive is usually elevated when progesterone is low and estrogen levels are high. It’s different for each of us, so go with what your body tells you.

We can do anything on our periods – like run a marathon, compete in the Olympics and yes, have as much sex as we want.

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