The pros, cons, and everything in between about period sex

Get down and dirty, but safely. 

28 August, 2023
The pros, cons, and everything in between about period sex

Think period sex and you’re likely to be left feeling grossed out, embarrassed, and uncomfortable. But that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. Despite the many myths surrounding period sex, and the annoyances that periods bring for a woman, they don’t have to put a halt on your sex life. In fact, having sex while you’re menstruating comes with its own set of benefits, and it might be good to shake things up once in a while and try something new within the wide world of sex. And if you’re overwhelmed with the fear of getting pregnant while having period sex or are too hesitant to indulge in it—allow us to break it down for you. From expert-approved pros and cons to the best tips, here’s everything you need to know about having sex on your period. 

How is period sex different from regular sex? 

To put it simply: period sex is hardly any different from regular sex. “Many bodily fluids (semen, vaginal fluids, sweat, and saliva) make an appearance during regular sex. During period sex, another one comes into the picture; menstrual blood. And there’s really nothing to worry about. The average person, during their entire period, loses only around six to eight teaspoons of blood. The reality is, period sex isn't nearly as messy as most of us think it is,” says intimacy coach Pallavi Barnwal.  

The benefits of having period sex 

We get it—being on your period is painful and emotional, and you want nothing but to binge on chocolates and cuddles on those days. “So many people automatically assume sex is out of bounds when a woman is on her period. For many women and their partners, there may be a lot of internalised shame or embarrassment that may come up about period sex, but periods are normal and natural. Yes, for women, it can be annoying to deal with—cramps, headaches, and whatnot—but you can definitely have period sex.” Read on to know the many benefits of having sex on your period. 

Relief from period pain


To all the ladies out there, if nothing else convinces you to try period sex, we are sure, this definitely will. One of the most significant benefits of period sex is relief from the unbearable pain that you go through. “If a woman orgasms during period sex, besides releasing endorphins and making you feel good, it also causes uterine contractions and gives relief from cramps,” says Dr Asha Dalal, director, obstetrics and gynaecology, Well Women Centre, Sir H N Reliance Hospital. Period sex also helps in getting good sleep and is even a form of exercise. “It can release hormones like oxytocin, making women feel good and relaxed during intercourse. It may also temporarily alleviate period pain,” seconds Dr Krutika Ramdin, consultant – OBGYN SRV Hospitals, Goregaon.  “Because of all the natural hormones and chemicals that get released during sex, having sex, while you're on your period, can help relieve menstrual migraines, too,” says Barnwal. 

Natural lubrication 

The second benefit of having period sex is that menstrual blood becomes a natural lubricant, and it’s hardly as gross as it seems to be. “Your body is shedding the uterine lining and menstrual fluid. So, you essentially have a level of natural lubrication before your body even starts the arousal process. This extra lubrication makes for a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience for both people involved. We talk about using lube, but when you're on your period, you often don't need any extra lubrication,” says Barnwal. 

Increased sex drive 

According to Healthline, a woman’s sex drive changes throughout her menstrual cycle, thanks to the hormonal changes that she goes through. Although it is said to be at its peak during the ovulatory phase, an increased libido is also experienced while menstruating. “With the increase in libido, sex may be more enjoyable and pleasurable for women, says Dalal. “Women might crave sex more. They might feel sexier in their body, and even initiate more frequently,” says Barnwal. 

Shorter Periods 

Wouldn’t this be absolutely blissful? According to Dalal, “The muscle contractions during an orgasm help in faster shedding of the endometrium and can cause periods to be shorter.” Sign us up, please. 

It also means more sex—and it’s always welcome 


We’ll paint a picture for you: Imagine having a dry week in a month, when you can easily indulge in some super steamy sessions with your beau for all thirty days during a particular month. “If you rule out period sex, you're taking sex off the table for an entire week. That's a lot of time every single month—roughly 25% less sex than you could be having. And most people want to have more sex. So, accepting period sex means that sex can be on the menu every day of the month,” says Barnwal. We wholeheartedly concur. 

The not-so-great parts 

Much like most other ways of the world, having period sex also comes with its own set of disadvantages, especially if proper precautions aren’t taken. Because of the nature of periods, one of the primary concerns of menstrual sex is how messy it can get and the resultant anxiety and embarrassment that a woman may go through. Besides this, “There is a higher risk of infection if proper hygiene might not be upheld,” says Ramdin. Further, “If you are using a tampon and have not removed it there is a possibility of it being pushed high up making it difficult to remove. Additionally, because of the blood, there is a genuine risk of transmitting STIs, UTIs, Hepatitis and HIV.” 

Can you get pregnant? 

Truth be told, no matter what phase of the menstrual cycle you’re in—using protection is always a good idea. However, if you do happen to have sex without protection on your period; here’s what you need to know. “The likelihood of pregnancy is minimal,” says Ramdin, “While it is possible to engage in intercourse without protection, it is recommended to use a barrier contraceptive such as condoms to prevent the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, as they are quite common.” Although most pregnancies occur during ovulation, which usually takes place two weeks before your period starts, Dalal says, “In case you have a short 21-22 day period there may be an off chance of a very early ovulation and that can lead to pregnancy.”

Golden rules to follow 


If you’re considering trying out period sex the next time you’re menstruating, here are a few guidelines that will help you navigate through the experience. 

Communicate: Keep in mind that both you and your partner must be comfortable with the idea of having period sex, and the best thing to do is to have a conversation about it and make sure you’re on the same page. Further, “If you want to try period sex, but are feeling nervous, talk to your partner about it. Let your partner know you're nervous about making a mess or worried that they're going to judge you. They'll probably be able to give you some sort of reassurance,” says Barnwal. “Maintaining comfort and practising good hygiene is also important for both partners involved,” says Ramdin. 

Prepare your body: To all the women considering period sex, make sure your body is ready for it, too. “If you use menstrual cups or tampons, make sure you take these out beforehand. If you leave it in, it can be pushed up against your cervix during intercourse, causing you pain. A menstrual cup also takes up a lot of space in your vagina leaving less space for the penis. The cup can also create discomfort for the penetrating partner during sex,” says Barnwal. 

Use protection: We can’t emphasise this more. “It’s important to use protection as it not only safeguards you from various infections but also from the off chance of a pregnancy,” says Dalal. 

Skip the bed and head to the shower: As we mentioned above, period sex can get messy. If you’re one of those who loves nothing but a steamy session in bed, here’s what Barnwal recommends: “It's a good idea to spread out a red towel or maybe an extra sheet. You can also invest in a water-resistant blanket that is designed to protect your bed from any unwanted fluids.” If you’re open to switching things up and trying something new, we’d definitely recommend skipping the bed and heading to shower. One option for a totally mess-free period sex is to have sex in the shower. The water from the shower head will just wash away menstrual fluid quickly and easily.” 

Try different positions: This may also be a good time to experiment with different positions that may help relieve your cramps and make you more comfortable. “Another tip is to have sex on your back or some kind of position where your legs can be up in the air, let gravity help you out and do the work of keeping those menstrual fluids inside of you,” says Barnwal.