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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

What Every Woman Should Know About Period Sex

When one thinks of period sex, the most obvious and normal reaction is “ew.” Not because periods are gross, but because it sounds terribly messy. That and other reasons are why most women and men tend to stay away from doing the deed while it is that time of the month. Well, Her Campus is here to help tell you all the things you have to know about period sex, especially some things you may have thought were true that actually aren’t.

1. It doesn’t have to be messy

For many, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about period sex is the idea of getting blood everywhere. It’s hard enough trying to wash blood out of your underwear when your tampon leaks, but a whole bed sheet? No thanks. The most obvious way to avoid this mess is simple: shower sex. This way there is no mess to clean up at all. If that’s not something you are into, you can also just put a dark towel down and no one will ever know, so no need to be embarrassed. Melanie, a junior at Florida State University, say’s that she absolutely loves period sex, but you do have to pay attention to your body. “Some months when my period is especially heavy, my partner and I stick to shower sex because otherwise there is just too much blood,” she says. “But if it is a relatively light month, nothing really has to be different from our usual sex.” Sounds good to us.

2. It is possible to get pregnant during period sex

One of the biggest myths about period sex is that you can’t get pregnant. According to Dr. Alyssa Dweck, an OB/GYN at Mount Kisco Medical Group, if you have irregular periods and are only spotting and not actually menstruating, “it still is possible to get pregnant,” so you always should be using a condom. The reason for this is that sperm can live inside you for actually up to five days. So you could have sex towards the end of your bleeding and think you are fine but then actually conceive four or five days later with your “early ovulation.” So while the probability is low, it could happen. 

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3. It won’t make your period heavier

A common misconception about period sex is that if you do it, your period will be even heavier than it was before. Well luckily, that is false. Dr. Dweck says that while orgasming might push more blood out of your body because of the contractions, your period won’t actually be longer or heavier. Basically, you are the same woman after, just minus some blood.

4. Orgasms can actually ease cramps and PMS symptoms

Yup, you read that right. According to Clue, a woman-led startup focused on women’s menstrual health, the endorphins that you release by orgasming can actually relieve common PMS symptoms and cramps. So instead of rolling up with a heating pad and Netflix when it’s your time of the month, maybe this time just try having sex—basically killing two birds with one stone, right?

5. It can make sex more enjoyable

Contrary to popular belief, having sex on your period is often times more enjoyable than regular sex, according to Dr. Dweck. Because of the hormones you release during your period, you are more prone to sexual arousal and may be more sensitive. So if you have a higher sex drive than your partner, one reason might be that your period is just beginning or about to begin.

6. Menstrual blood is totally harmless

Unless you suffer from a condition like hepatitis or any other type of blood-born STD like HIV or syphilis, the blood from your body is literally just normal blood. If someone else touches it, nothing bad is going to happen to them. Just wash it off and go on with your day. Joy, a senior at the University of Michigan, says that before her and her boyfriend had period sex for the first time, he was “totally terrified of the blood.” So terrified that, in fact, she “had to send him several scientific articles explaining why period blood was just normal blood.” But in the end, she said he was fine, of course.

7. Last but not least, it’s a natural lubricant

This really doesn’t need to be said, but when you have sex on your period, there will be blood. And blood is a liquid. And a liquid is a lubricant. Lana, a sophomore at New York University, actually prefers period sex to regular sex because of how much easier the actual sex is. “Because of the blood, usually we don’t need any lube so it feels so much more natural and better for me and for my partner.” So yeah, feel free to save money not buying lube.

So basically, period sex is no big thing but remember, the choice is always yours and it’s always a good idea to talk about it first with your partner.

Isabel is a currently the Evening & Weekend Editor at Her Campus and a student at New York University in the Global Liberal Studies program with a concentration in Contemporary Culture and Creative Production. When she is not watching Gilmore Girls or playing with puppies at the local pet store, she spends her time freelancing for numerous publications about celebrities and life. You can find her work on the websites of Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Seventeen, Elle, and Buzzfeed. Follow her on Instagram at @isabelcalkins.