It’s definitely okay to have sex while you have your period, as long as both you and your partner are comfortable. Just make sure you use a barrier method for penetration and spread a dark-coloured towel on the bed to avoid blood leaks.
But can sex really shorten your period?
Orgasms may relieve menstrual cramps.
Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions in the uterus as it sheds its lining. Having orgasms may help relieve these cramps because the muscles in your uterus contract and relax during orgasms, says gynecologist Felice Gersh. Getting an orgasm also causes the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which can help decrease pain.
Aside from relieving menstrual cramps, orgasms can also reduce the length of your period by speeding up the shedding of your uterine lining. This is why some people get a short period after orgasms, but this is not proven scientifically.
During orgasms, blood rushes to your uterus and acts as a natural lubricant. In addition, orgasms stimulate your uterus and cause it to contract and relax, which can ease the cramps and help you reach climax faster.
However, if you do have orgasms during your period, it’s important to use protection. You are more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during your period because of the increased risk of pregnancy. Using a condom is the best way to protect yourself.
Sex may make your periods shorter.
Having sex during your period may shorten your periods because the contracting of the uterus during orgasms speeds up the shedding of your uterine lining. But don’t expect it to make your periods lighter because orgasms also cause you to bleed more.
Some people find period sex more enjoyable than regular sex because their libido increases during this time of the month due to hormonal changes. Plus, blood can act as a natural lubricant during orgasms and reduce menstrual cramps.
However, it’s important to use protection for STIs and pregnancy regardless of whether or not you have sex during your period. This is because sperm can live inside your body for up to five days.
If you have unprotected sex during your period, it can lead to an earlier ovulation and your period might start sooner the following month. This is because ovulation occurs around day 14 of your menstrual cycle and your period usually starts two to seven days later.
If you’re not a fan of having sex during your period, you can always practice safe period sex by wearing a tampon. You can also spread a dark-coloured towel on the bed to catch any blood leaks or keep a menstrual cup in place for extra lubrication. If you’re worried about the mess, try to have sex in the shower and wipe yourself down afterwards with wet washcloths or wipes.
Sex may speed up the shedding of your uterine lining.
When you orgasm, muscle contractions speed up the shedding of your uterine lining, which could decrease the length of your period. However, this isn’t a guarantee that you will have shorter periods. Other factors, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and diet, may influence how long your menstrual cycle is.
The amount of blood you lose during sex is also an important factor in whether or not you’ll have a light period. If you and your partner are both OK with a little blood, consider having sex during days three to five of your period, when the flow is generally lighter. You can also try using a menstrual cup, which is an alternative to pads and tampons, during period sex.
If you aren’t trying to get pregnant, sex during your period is OK — just make sure you and your partner use a condom and are tested for STIs before getting down and dirty. It’s also a good idea to use a barrier method, like a vaginal shield or Flex Disc, while you have sex.
Sex can also affect your hormones, which may lead to an early period. For example, if you have unprotected sex at the beginning of your ovulation phase (around Day 13 to 15 of a 28-day menstrual cycle) it can cause an early ovulation and lead to a missed period.
Sex may delay your period.
While there is no concrete proof that sex delays your period, it has been reported that the physical contractions of orgasm may cause the uterus to shed its lining sooner than it would normally. This is especially true in women who have short menstrual cycles, according to one study.
However, this isn’t a reason to have sex if you are already late for your period. Having sex at the wrong time or having too many orgasms may result in heavier bleeding, so it’s best to have a plan for your period and keep tampons close by.
Another possibility is that sex affects the hormone levels of women during intercourse, which can impact the timing of their periods. For example, if you take hormonal birth control, this can affect the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body and prevent ovulation.
If you’re worried about your period starting early, talk to your doctor about it. They can help you understand your menstrual cycle better and discuss your birth control options. They’ll also be able to tell you whether or not your symptoms are normal for you. Many factors can influence your menstrual cycle, such as age, stress, sudden weight gain or loss, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and excessive exercise. But having sex doesn’t always cause your period to change, and if it does, that’s usually due to pregnancy.