By Deirdre O’Donnell
Although many women are taught from a young age that menstruation is “unclean” or “unhygienic,” this concept is a social construction that feeds off of women’s insecurities by profiting from an industry. In reality, there is nothing dirty about menstruation. Menstrual blood is a natural bodily fluid like any other, and sex, however you define it, can be really beneficial during menstruation. There are many advantages to sex on the period!
It is important to note that menstrual blood is not like the blood running through our veins. It is the shedding of uterine lining that passes through the cervical opening (also known as the os) and through the vagina. It can carry sexually transmitted infections, so it is important to use necessary protection; however, there is nothing unhealthy or detrimental about engaging in sexual activity during this time. This can be especially lovely because menstrual blood is a 100 percent safe; it is a latex-friendly lubricant, so you won’t even have to check the ingredients to make sure there is no glycerin in it that could cause yeast infections! So, for those who love their lubes, this is a great thing to try. For those who have trouble getting wet and don’t feel comfortable using lubricant, this is an all natural method that can help you out, too! It is also a common idea that women feel quick and primal urges for sex while menstruating, perhaps due to the heightened emotional state and hormonal changes. Orgasms can also cause contractions that increase blood flow, which can be a taboo, hot physical sign of good sex! But don’t rely on this for everyone, every-body’s different. What is sexy is communicating about your desires and those of your partner(s), and figuring out what signs of coming are unique to your sex life.
However, the contractions that may be induced by orgasms during sex push blood from the uterus into the vagina, which can help relieve cramping, since the hormones that typically cause cramps to begin with are being processed by the body. Endorphins are also released during sex which create those feel-good sensations similar to the “high” experienced post-exercise. This is a healthy and natural way to relieve inconvenient pain caused by your period (or your partner’s period), and can be a free and fun alternative to taking pain killers every six hours. Just bang like bunny rabbits all you want, instead! This works for people of all sexualities and doesn’t refer only to sexual intercourse. If you want to go down on a menstruating partner, this could be a fun way to incorporate a dental dam into your sex life. If you don’t use protection for this act, there is nothing particularly harmful about it, only the risks always taken when having unprotected sex. It is also totally possible to become pregnant while menstruating, especially since sperm can live inside the body for several days, however, it is usually unlikely because at this time the uterine lining is already being shed because no fertilization took place during that menstrual cycle. The period may also end for some people shortly after sex since the body extracts blood more rapidly.
If you’d like to have sex while menstruating and you are feeling self conscious about making a mess, go out and purchase a “sex towel”, some other large piece of fabric to place underneath you and your partner(s) while in bed, or wet wipes/washcloths to keep close by and dive right in! Metaphorically of course, unless that’s your thing…
A Couple of Resources: http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/sex-during-your-period.aspx