Sex During Period (Sex During Menstruation) What to Know

Sex During Period: Women get their periods about once a month, with each period lasting about five to seven days. This adds up to about two to three months’ worth of bleeding in a year.
While some women and their partners may shy away from sex during this time (either due to psychological discomfort or for hygiene or religious purposes), others are unfazed and continue with their regular sex lives, menses or not.

Are there real medical reasons to avoid sex during menses? Or are there benefits to coitus during menstruation?

Myth: It is not possible to get pregnant if one has sex while on her period.

One of the common misconceptions is that if one has unprotected sex during menses, pregnancy will not occur. While the probability of this happening is low, it is NOT zero; pregnancy is still possible.
Sperm can survive in the body for up to 5 days. Ovulation usually occurs 14 days before one’s period starts.
In women with shorter menstrual cycles, ovulation occurs earlier on in the cycle, e.g. someone with a menstrual cycle of 24 days would be ovulating around day 10.
It is theoretically possible that one could get pregnant from sex towards the end of one’s period because the sperm survives long enough to fertilise the egg which is released a few days after.
The safest option is to always use some form of contraception, period or not.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) & Sex during Period

Another concern is about sexually transmitted infections.
As with regular sex, sex during menses carries the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
Menstrual blood can carry blood-borne STDs like HIV, Hepatitis B and C. Other STDs which reside in the genital tract, like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, can be transmitted as well.
There is also some possibility that there may also an increased risk of serious infections like pelvic inflammatory disease occurring as a result of sex during menses, because the cervix is more open during this time and bacteria can track upwards to infect the womb and fallopian tubes, but there is no definite research to conclusively support this.
Either way, STDs are a real risk which can be reduced by observing safe sexual practices and using barrier protection.
There is also a risk of yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis occurring as a result of a disruption to the natural microbiological balance in the vagina, as menstrual blood can act as a medium for bacterial growth.

What about the benefits of sex during menses?

While some may find menstrual blood makes things a little messy, it also acts as lubrication, facilitating more pleasurable or comfortable intercourse.
Uterine contractions from orgasm can also potentially reduce menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
Endorphins (“feel good” chemicals) are also released during intercourse.
Ultimately, the decision to abstain or have sex during one’s menstrual period is up to you and your partner.
From a medical standpoint, as long as safe sexual practices are observed, there is no real reason to shy away from sex during period.

Take Care!

Other Reads:

  1. What Is the Cause & Treatment For Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)
  2. Mycoplasma Genitalium Infection (Uncommon STD)
  3. How Late Can a Period Be (Delayed Menstrual Cycle)
  4. 10 Causes of Abnormal Vaginal Lumps and Bumps
  5. 11 Causes of Dyspareunia (Pain During Intercourse)
  6. What You Need to Know about HPV Vaccination, Cervical Cancer & Pap Smear
  7. Why Do I Have Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
  8. What is HPV Vaccination – Gardasil 9

Menstrual cramps? Period Cramps? What is The Causes of Dysmenorrhea

Menstrual cramps are what a girl dreads the most during that time of the month.
That intense crampy pain in the lower abdomen that just doesn’t seem to go away. Sounds familiar?
Well, you are not alone.
Menstrual cramps can affect more than 50% of women each month during their period, and approximately 10% suffer from debilitating pain during this time, affecting their daily lifestyle.
But what exactly causes this excruciating and annoying symptom that seems to plague so many girls almost every month?

What Causes Menstrual Cramps?

Every month during our menstrual cycle, our uterus sheds its inner lining (also known as the endometrium) as a result of hormonal changes that occur when our body senses that we are not pregnant. Additionally, the womb also contracts to help in the expulsion of this inner lining.
This shedding of the endometrium results in the bleeding that girls experience during their period.
This action also releases hormones into our body also known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormones that are involved in causing pain and inflammation, which hence leads to the pain we experience in our lower abdomen known as cramps.

What Are the Common Symptoms Associated with Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual cramps are extremely common and can occur a few days before, during or after your menstrual period.
You may experience a cramping sensation most commonly over the lower abdomen and back and can range from mild to severe intensity.
Some people may also experience additional symptoms such as bloating, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.

How Do I Know If My Menstrual Cramps Could Mean Something More?

The cause behind the majority of the menstrual cramps a girl experiences are part of the normal menstrual cycle. This is known as primary dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is the medical term that refers to menstrual cramps.
However, sometimes, these menstrual cramps could be due to an underlying problem in the womb or pelvic organs. So when should you worry if your cramps are more than your regular period pains? When should you seek a doctor’s opinion?
If you experience severe or excruciating pain during each period that affects your activities of daily living, if you persistently experience pain that is out of your menstrual cycle, or if you have any other symptoms that are out of the usual, then you should get it checked if in doubt!

What Could Be the Other Causes of Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual cramps that are caused by an underlying pathology is referred to as secondary dysmenorrhea.
Common reasons why you could be having recurrent and persistent menstrual cramps could be due to underlying conditions such as endometriosis or adenomyosis.
Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus
Adenomyosis is a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (the myometrium).
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and detailed investigations to look for these conditions.

Can Menstrual Cramps be cured? What Is the Best Way of Treating It?

Menstrual cramps, unfortunately, cannot be cured.
However, the good news is they can be well controlled with various types of medication.
A good way to control and reduce the discomfort that is caused by menstrual cramps is by taking painkillers. In particular, painkillers that belong to the NSAIDs group are particularly useful in controlling the symptoms of dysmenorrhea.
This is due to the mechanism of action of the painkillers in the NSAID group, which specifically target and block the prostaglandins that are the cause of the period pains!
Other good ways to manage period cramps can also include:

  • Using a heating pad or hot water bottle
  • Drinking a warm drink
  • Avoid smoking or alcohol
  • Regular exercise

If you are experiencing any worrying menstrual cramps, please call or visit any of our DTAP Clinics or drop us an email at for an appointment for a proper evaluation and treatment.

Take Care!

Other Reads:

  1. What Is the Cause & Treatment For Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)
  2. How Late Can a Period Be (Delayed Menstrual Cycle)
  3. Sex During Period (Sex & Menstruation) What To Know
  4. 10 Causes of Abnormal Vaginal Lumps and Bumps
  5. 11 Causes of Dyspareunia (Pain During Intercourse)
  6. What You Need to Know about HPV Vaccination, Cervical Cancer & Pap Smear
  7. Why Do I Have Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
  8. What is HPV Vaccination – Gardasil 9