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If You’re Into It, Go For Sex During Periods

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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.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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