Is it healthy to have sex during menstruation?

Tessy and Ruth were arguing about a normal phenomenon; the monthly period. Tessy’s husband wouldn’t mind having sex with her during her monthly flow. She doesn’t like it; she feels it is the dirtiest thing a woman can do, but of course, she cannot say no to her husband as her refusal at the early stage of their marriage led to quarrels.

She told Ruth that she would rather close her eyes, do the needful and pretend it was happening to someone else than risk a quarrel or misunderstanding with her husband.

Ruth in her own case doesn’t mind as long as her husband is game. But her husband wouldn’t even share the same bed with her when she is in her monthly period. He is one of those who believe a woman’s monthly period is dirty and she should be left alone when she is at it.

According to Dr Lolade Taiwo, of Babcock Teaching Hospital, medically, a woman having sex on your period is absolutely safe. The myth that it is dangerous originates largely from the religious point of view. Many people wrongly believe that women were “dirty” or “unclean” while menstruating, and for this reason, contact with menstruating women was limited or forbidden entirely. In fact, some religion still adhere to these practices; however, medically and secularly speaking, there is no reason not to have sex during your period.

In fact, sex during menstruation can help ease the symptoms of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS). Many women say that orgasms can ease their cramps and the orgasmic contractions of the uterus offer a soothing internal massage.

Also, orgasms release endorphins, natural painkillers and mood enhancers, which can help soothe the cramps, headaches, mild depression, and irritability sometimes associated with periods. Many women enjoy sex more when they are menstruating because of increased feelings of fullness in the pelvic and genital areas, which offer a head start on arousal.

Dr Taiwo, however, stated that there is one caveat; safe sex is more crucial during the period. As risks of sexually transmitted diseases and infections are higher than normal during this time because the cervix opens to allow blood to pass through.

Unfortunately, this creates the perfect pathway for bacteria to travel deep inside the pelvic cavity as you are also more likely to pass on blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis to a partner during your period and more likely to develop yeast or bacterial infections because the vagina’s pH during menstruation is less acidic. Finally, there is still a chance that you could get pregnant during your period unless you’re on the pill, so don’t assume it’s safe to forgo contraception or caution.

Here are some tips to have safe, enjoyable sex during your period:

No muss, no fuss. If you are worried about staining your sheets, you can lay a towel down underneath you. You can also take things to the bathroom and have sex in the shower or the bathtub. Not only will it be a sensuous and exciting change from the norm, it will also help to wash any blood away.

Try other activities. If you aren’t in the mood for intercourse, don’t give in to pressure. However, you can still reap the feel-good benefits of orgasm through masturbation. You can even enjoy oral sex during your period; it’s perfectly safe and healthy — although, as I said above, it’s very important to practise safer sex techniques (like using a dental dam).

Maintain your sex appeal. Sometimes when that time of the month rolls around, all you want to do is throw on your old sweats, lie on the couch, and gorge on feel-good snacks like ice cream and brownies. Unfortunately, foods such as these will only serve to make bloating and cramps worse, and lead to lethargy that will only add to your bad mood. Instead, commit to maintaining your sex appeal during your period. Some women claim that they feel sexy and powerful during their periods, so tap into that side of yourself and go out for a night of dance. Getting active will help to keep your mind off your cramps, and your partner won’t be able to resist your sensual moves.

ALSO READ: How to achieve Orgasm

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