Written by Sayani Majumder
Periods are often looked upon as the time of the month when there is no sexual activity. However, gradually, more people are opening up to the concept of period sex. If a person and their partner both mutually consent to and prefer trying out period sex, then they can both have a pleasurable time even during one’s periods.
Sex during periods has a lot of benefits. A well-known benefit of period sex is relief from muscle cramps. During periods, one’s uterine muscles are in a constant state of tension because of the shedding of the walls.
However, orgasming during periods helps these muscles contract and expand, thus relieving the muscle tension. Sex also releases feel-good endorphins, uplifting the mood and taking one’s mind off the discomfort.
It is said that period sex reduces the duration of one’s periods though there is no comprehensive study backing this up. The theory behind it is that muscle contractions help dispel the uterus’ contents faster, leading to shorter periods.
Period sex can relieve headaches and migraines often caused during periods. There are studies showing that sexual activity reduces headaches and migraines, partially or completely. Headaches during the periods are a common problem, and researchers speculate that the rush of endorphins while having sex helps numb and soothe the pain.
For people, who use lubrication during normal sex, period sex is a welcome change as the blood automatically acts as a natural lubricant and makes for a comfortable experience san artificial products. Period sex is reported to be more pleasurable to some people, because of increased sensitivity and a higher sex drive, due to the upsurge in certain hormonal secretions.
Even though period sex is enjoyable, there are a few things that partners have to keep in mind while performing it. The first important thing is the fact that people can get pregnant while having unprotected sex during their periods. This is mainly because the duration of the cycle differs from person to person. For people with an irregular menstrual cycle, the ovulatory phase may coincide with the menstruation dates, often causing an overlap, making it plausible to get pregnant while on periods. Sperms can live inside the uterus for four-five days and may be potent enough to fertilize an egg, even on or after periods.
People can get STIs during periods. The uterine wall sheds its protective layering and thins in comparison to normal times; the menstrual blood changes the pH of the vagina. The cervix is also open and lowered into the vaginal canal, making people more vulnerable to STIs and RTIs. Wearing a condom while penetrative sex and a dental dam while oral sex goes a long way in keeping both partners safe.
People living with HIV should be extra careful in taking precautions as the chance of transmission soars due to the presence of blood. Period sex is logistically different from sex in normal times because certain positions might not work for certain people, and because people have to be conscious of the mess. Finding comfortable positions is key to pleasure for both parties involved.
Oral sex is also different during periods. With the discharge of blood from the vagina, sticking to the clitoris ensures both the pleasure of oral sex and a way to avoid the mess. Deep penetration is another factor that needs to be thought about because of the distended nature of the cervix, which might cause some discomfort.
It should be kept in mind that under no circumstances should people use insertive menstrual products while engaging in penetrative sex, as it can dislocate the product or push it deeper into the vagina, making it a serious medical problem that might need medical intervention.
Attempts to reduce the mess can include laying a towel on the bed or keeping tissues or wet wipes to help with the bloodstains. Many people prefer engaging in the act while in a shower, which is an easy way to engage in the act without worrying about the mess.
However, people have to be careful in the shower as a condom may tend to slip because of the water. Making sure that the condom is rightly put on goes a long way. People should also be careful about slippery surfaces to avoid serious injuries.
Ultimately period sex, like any sex on any other day, is a process of trials and errors and discovery, albeit keeping in mind the comfort and consent of both partners. Communication is important while engaging in sexual activity, but it is essential while engaging in sexual activity during periods.
It is great if partners do not shy away from experimenting. It will give insights about maximizing pleasure and intimacy during periods, helping them feel more in tune and confident about their bodies.