Time To Break The Taboo Around Period Sex, Because It Actually Comes With Several Benefits

The phrase period sex always elicits strong responses. Some claim it can lead to the best sex of your life while others are decidedly less thrilled about the idea of power-washing their sheets. For many, sexual activity during that time of the month is considered taboo, and this is largely based on the idea that discussing menstruation (especially in front of men) is inherently scandalous. Menstruation is seen as dirty in some cultures and something that should produce shame in many others. These antiquated notions of normal female reproductive cycles still, unfortunately, linger in modern-day society and have made topics like period sex feel awkward to discuss.


Luckily for us, these menstrual taboos are being challenged more and more every day, and you can help to break the shame cycle! Regardless of what side of the period sex debate you fall on, there are some incredible benefits to period sex that you might not know about. Whether you're already a true believer or are looking to explore new sexual options, here are some things you should know and some amazing reasons why you should consider giving it a try.

Important things to know

Before you begin your period sex journey there are a few logistical things you should know. First, it's important to understand that you can absolutely still get pregnant by engaging in intercourse while on your period. If this comes as a shock to you, you're not alone! A 2021 survey found that 42% of respondents didn't believe a person could get pregnant during their period. Also, the risk of passing sexually transmitted diseases is also higher given the fluids involved. Therefore, remember to always engage in safe protected sex while menstruating. Plus, ensuring you and your partner are free of any STIs is an important conversation (and medical check-up) to be on the same page about.


Lastly, remember to remove any tampons, discs, or cups you might have been using during your menstrual care before engaging in any penetrative sex. Leaving in menstrual care items like tampons or menstrual cups during intercourse can lead to the object being pushed further into your cervix, which can cause complications in retrieval and possible infections. So always remember to take care of any items before you get busy. 

Now that you know the dos and don'ts, let's get to the benefits of period sex.

Benefit: Trying something new

One of the first things a lot of people think about when the topic of period sex comes up is the mess. Laying down dark-colored towels and keeping baby wipes close by can help keep things neat. However, the mess can also serve as a great excuse to try something new! Menstrual blood can serve as a great lubricant, which can further enhance your sexual experiences and allow you to leave the lube on the nightstand. Or, since you're already exploring a new kind of intercourse, a change in venue could make the experience even more exciting. If you've been looking for a way to move sex play into the shower, period sex can be the perfect excuse to make that happen. By freeing inhibitions around menstruation, you can open up your sexual relationship to other new experiences.


A 2019 article published in the Personality and Individual Differences Journal coined the term 'sexploration' for romantic couples. The authors suggest that having a secure base for sexual exploration can lead to positive outcomes for romantic partners in the form of better sexual communication and the willingness to try out fantasies and new behaviors. They also suggest that this positive sexploration can lead to overall better mental health and physical well-being. So trying something new in bed can not only lead to a good time but can also help to boost your mental health and improve your relationship communication.

Benefit: Saying goodbye to period cramps

While we can all agree that orgasms are awesome, did you know they can also help with cramps? Dr. Aruna Kalra, an OBGYN, elaborated for Health Shots, "Serotonin and dopamine are mood-enhancing hormones, which are released while having an orgasm. These are effective in curing menstrual cramps." For some, menstrual cramps can be debilitating, making period sex an even more enticing option to explore.


According to Dr. Kalra, "While having an orgasm, blood flow increases and pain tolerance goes up, so ultimately, it makes us feel happy, relaxed, warm, and sleepy." This can help to combat a number of other pesky premenstrual syndrome symptoms like insomnia, depression, and mood swings. According to the Mayo Clinic, as many as 3 in 4 menstruating people have experienced some kind of PMS during their cycle which means most people with a uterus could benefit from a little orgasm help every month to manage their symptoms.

Benefit: Shorter periods

While this one might sound a little wild, it's definitely worth testing out. There's a chance that period sex can result in shorter periods. During an orgasm, the muscles of your uterus contract with the help of released oxytocin. When this contraction happens, your uterine contents are essentially pushed out faster. Dee Fenner, M.D., director of gynecology in the department of OBGYN at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor told Metro, "Although no studies have been done on this, it's likely that menstrual blood in the uterus is squeezed out during orgasm." 


This process could lead to two things: a heavier menstrual flow immediately post-sex, and a shorter overall period. By having your uterine contents pushed out at a faster rate than normal you could potentially cut down the number of days you experience your period or, at the very least, experience a lighter flow during the remainder of your period. 

Breaking the taboo

Now that you know some of the incredible benefits of period sex, you might be asking yourself, "Why is there still SUCH a stigma about it?" The bottom line is that many men are still pretty uncomfortable with menstruation. In fact, a 2021 study found that 40% of heterosexual men viewed period sex as unappealing. This can make bringing up the idea of period sex with your partner difficult and, for some, embarrassing. 


The stigma of period sex is often rooted in a general lack of understanding about menstruation, so broaching the topic can ultimately be a teaching moment with a willing partner. Not only will your partner know more about your body, but with this added understanding could come a willingness to help you manage the experience (i.e. orgasms for cramps). As with all sex, having the trust and understanding of your partner is the key to having a good time! Only by communicating openly can we help break down the taboo of not only period sex but menstruation in general.