Just because Aunt Flo arrived for her monthly visit doesn’t mean you’re required to put your sex life on pause.
In fact, many women have found an increased sexual arousal during menstruation due to a fluctuating hormone called progesterone. According to a study by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, 62% of women reported an increased desire for sex before or during their period. Although many partners may turn their nose up to the idea of engaging in sexual activity during menstruation, there are several benefits to the act.
1. Soothes Cramps
Orgasms cause the uterine muscles to contract, which releases brain chemicals like oxytocin—also known as the body’s “natural pain reliever,” according to Organic Authority. The chemical stimulates pleasure during sex and you’re able to say goodbye to those awful cramps for a little while.
2. Shortening Period
Because of the contractions of the uterine muscles cased by orgasms, menstruation blood is pushed outwards, thus helping the blood shed faster resulting your period to end a day or two early—which, who wouldn’t that?
3. No Need To Use Lube
“Menstrual blood actually makes a very nice lubricant and may enhance sexual satisfaction for some couples,” said Kellie Flood-Shaffer, MD, an associate professor and division director of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in an Everyday Health article. Women also loose about four to 12 teaspoons of fluid every cycle, and not all of it is blood. Other fluids generated from menstruation also creates a great lubricant for intercourse.
If you decide to give period sex a try, there are a few things that are recommended to keep in mind before getting down to business.
1. Talk to Your Partner
Depending on your comfort level with your partner, bringing up the topic of period sex can feel a bit awkward. Be sure to talk to your partner in a private environment where you’re both able to speak freely.
Remember your partner gets just as much of a say as you do. If your partner is not interested in sex during menstruation, do not pressure your partner into doing so or make them feel bad about saying no and vice versa.
2. Bring a Towel
It’s true that period sex can be get a little messy, which is why you should spread out beach towels or extra cloth in the area you plan to engage in the activity. It would be unfortunate to ruin your favorite or only bed sheets.
However, there are products, like ones made by The Flex Company, that aims to allow couples to have “uninterrupted period sex.” The company sells a product called the “menstrual disc” that can be inserted into a woman, and can temporarily block the flow of menstruation while still being able to engage in intercourse for up to 12 hours.
3. Always Use Protection
There are certain diseases, like HIV and AIDS, that can be transmitted through blood, so it is no surprise that you should always wear a condom during period sex if both partners have not been tested.
Menstrual blood can cause skin irritation and inflammation, which can increase the probability of STIs, according to About Health. Although there is not any official research on the subject, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For more information and opinions on the subject, YouTuber and sex educator Laci Green made a video, which includes great observations why period sex is stigmatized in our culture.