We’re all about ending the stigma around periods and sorting out the fact from the fiction. This includes putting your mind at ease over one of the big disputes: having sex on your period. Can you really have sex while you’re on your period? Won’t it hurt, or make you bleed more?
We know that period sex isn’t really talked about, let alone to answer questions like these, but don’t worry. We can tell you everything you need to know right here.
With our helpful guide on hand, you’ll have all the facts set out in front of you to help you decide exactly what you want to do in your sex life, no matter what time of the month it is. After all, you getting to decide what you’re comfortable with and want to do is exactly how it should be!
Can you have sex on your period?
This might be the first question that comes to mind when you think of having sex on your period. Is it really possible, and if so, is having sex on your period safe?
We’re here to tell you that having sex on your period is safe, and there’s no reason to avoid it if that’s what you want to do! In fact, if you know you’re using protection, the only real downside to it is the mess it can make. You might get blood on you, your partner, or your bedsheets, especially if you’re on a heavy flow, which may be difficult to clean up.
The period sex taboo
The mess is the main reason most people choose not to have sex on their period. However, a lot of others also won’t do it because they think it’s unclean, even though menstrual blood isn’t any more unhygienic than any of the other things you can get on you when having sex.
This unfortunate belief has come from old-fashioned ideas about menstruation, which created this taboo around having sex on your period in the first place. According to an expert survey conducted on 2,000 people, nearly one in 10 of us have argued with a partner over views about period sex, or even broken up with them over it!
When asked why they wouldn’t have period sex, 70% of this number claimed it was because it was too messy, but 45% said that it was just “a turn off”, hinting at the taboo around period sex and menstruation in general. Many also said that they were simply embarrassed, worried about pregnancy or being uncomfortable, or even that it would hurt.
Does having sex on your period hurt?
One of the main worries people have when having sex on their periods is that it will hurt more, and it’s honestly one of the more understandable fears. You’re already probably aching and feeling bloated, which is hardly likely to put you in the mood, and for many of us doing any kind of energetic activity won’t be the first thing on our minds!
The survey reported that one in five people’s male partners are worried they’ll hurt their partner when having period sex, but this isn’t actually quite the case. Sex on a period shouldn’t hurt, but it may be more uncomfortable for some people because the person’s cervix is in a lower position.
Are there any other downsides to having sex on your period?
The other, main downsides and worries around having sex while on your period is the risk of passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or sexually transmitted disease (STD). Many of the viruses involved in these live in blood and can be passed from one partner to another during unprotected sex. Using protection, such as condoms, can reduce this risk by a lot.
If you’re wearing a tampon, you’re going to have to remove it before you start. Forgetting about it, or even thinking that it will be fine where it is, can lead to it being pushed up to a point where it will need to be removed by a doctor.
Of course, there’s also a chance that you might feel self-conscious about bleeding while on your period, which may result in some anxiety about the whole thing. This might end up taking the fun out of it, which isn’t something to blame yourself over (if you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it, after all), but it may mean not sharing an exciting and intimate experience with your partner.
Can you have sex on your period when you’re on the Pill?
Absolutely! It’s perfectly safe to have protected or unprotected sex on your period when you’re on the Pill (and by this we mean the combined pill). It’ll be pretty much exactly the same as it would be if you weren’t, though you’re far less likely to get pregnant.
This is because the period you have when you’re on the Pill isn’t the same as when you’re not; your body isn’t expelling an egg like it would be if the Pill wasn’t preventing ovulation. So, if you take your Pill just as you’ve had it prescribed and start your next pack as soon as your period has finished every time, you should be able to have sex however you want without getting pregnant. There won’t be an egg to fertilise.
You should also remember that while you can safely have sex without condoms or other kinds of protection when you’re on the Pill, you won’t be protected from STIs or STDs. If you miss a pill, or don’t take it as instructed, there’s also a chance that you could still get pregnant as well.
If you’d like to learn more about the different types of oral contraceptive pill and whether or not they stop your period, take a quick look at our handy info and advice.
Does having sex on your period make you bleed more?
Believe it or not, it’s actually possible for you to bleed more when having period sex! This is even true if you’re only on one of your lighter days, and it’s because having an orgasm increases the rate at which endometrial tissue is expelled from your body.
Can you get pregnant having sex on your period?
You’re unlikely to get pregnant from having sex while on your period, but this doesn’t mean it can’t happen. You’re at your most fertile during ovulation, which will most likely be about 14 days before your period is due to start, but everyone’s cycle length is different and it can change monthly. If your menstrual cycle is short, your chances of getting pregnant get higher.
It’s also important to remember that sperm can stay alive in your body for between 5 and 7 days, so if you have a shorter cycle, have sexual intercourse, and then ovulate again soon after, there’s a chance your body will release an egg while there’s sperm still in your reproductive tract.
Using a condom, or another form of contraceptive, while having sex should help to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Can having sex bring on your period?
It’s one of those weird and slightly funny things about life, but having sex can occasionally bring on your period! However, it’ll only probably happen if you’re already nearing your start date and you have an orgasm during the sexual activity. You’ll also probably be able to guess that this is tied to the same reasons you may bleed more during sex while on your period!
Does having sex on your period help with menstrual cramps?
Yes, it does! When you have an orgasm, the muscles in your uterus will contract and then release. The end of these uterine contractions helps to bring a bit of relief to menstrual cramping. Having an orgasm also releases a whole lot of endorphins, which can help to dull pain and take care of one of the worst symptoms of PMS.
If you’d like to see a few different ways of stopping period pain, have a look at our page here.
What other benefits are there to having sex on your period?
As well as the fact that it’s fun and can bring you closer to your partner, there are a few other benefits to having sex on your period that don’t involve menstrual cramps:
- You might have a higher sex drive because of the hormonal fluctuation
- You could end up with a shorter period because of the muscle contractions involved in orgasms
- Blood acts as natural lubrication
- It might help to relieve (or even take away entirely) hormone-based migraines and headaches
Are there any tips for having sex on your period?
If you are planning to have sex while you’re on your period, you might be looking for ways to make sure it’s the best time possible for both you and your partner. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks you can use to make sure it’s as comfortable, enjoyable, and not as messy a time as it might be otherwise:
- Always make sure you’re open and honest with your partner before you think about period sex. Tell them how you feel about it and ask how they feel about it, too. If either of you has doubts, talk about why you’re unsure.
- Put down a dark-coloured towel to catch blood leaks on beds
- Have sex in the shower or in the bath to avoid mess entirely (bear in mind the water may be bad for condoms)
- Keep wet wipes or a washcloth by the bed for a quicker and easier cleanup
- If you feel uncomfortable in your usual position, try something different
- Remember that keeping to missionary position can help to limit blood flow, making it less messy
- You should also remember that you don’t have to stick to penetrative sex; you might think about wearing a tampon while your partner stimulates your clitoris, and giving them manual stimulation or oral sex in return
- Definitely remember to take out tampons if you’re having penetrative sex; not only will it stop it getting stuck, it’ll also let your natural lubrication return to normal before you get started
- If you’re not up for sex entirely, or if you don’t have a partner and still want to take advantage of what we’ve suggested, you might think about masturbating instead ‒ it can offer some of the same benefits
Feeling confident and fabulous in everything you do
No matter what you decide to do (or not do) on your period, we want you to feel as chic and comfortable as you would on any other week of your cycle. That’s why we’re proud to provide super-stylish, leak-proof period pants that will help keep you secure and leave you feeling fresh all day!
You’ll find your perfect fit right here on our website in a range of ultra-fashionable collections and gorgeously soft materials that we know will feel great against your skin. Even with the in-built tech that keeps them leak-free and stain-proof, they’re just like regular underwear; they’ll slip easily and discreetly underneath any kind of clothing and you’ll get to feel just as beautiful as you are when you wear them.
By signing up for all our latest news and info, you’ll even get 10% off your first order ‒ a real bargain for the undies that’ll leave you feeling truly fabulous! So, what are you waiting for? Have a look at some of our fantastic underwear options and buy the ones you know will leave you (and maybe your partner?) smiling today.