Disclaimer: Birth control, exercise level, stress, mental health, and environment can all affect the menstrual cycle. This information is not a replacement for medical care. As always, speak with your doctor if you have any concerns related to sexual health.
Sex on your period.
Sex on your period. The conversation we need to be having! Some common fears include pain, mess, and insecurities about what a partner will think. You may be surprised to hear that sex and orgasms during menstruation provide many benefits. Common menstruation side effects include cramping, headaches, and muscle aches. The release of dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins (see orgasm blog post) improves mood and reduces pain. Menstruation can also provide extra lubrication.
You might feel fearful, embarrassed, or ashamed to ask your partner to have sex while you are menstruating. People who experience periods can be made to feel “dirty” for having a natural biological experience. The hardest part can be initiating the conversation. Try asking your partner how they might feel or what their thoughts are about sex during menstruation. No one should ever make you feel bad for having the desire to have sex during menstruation. At the same time, if you are the one desiring sex and your partner is uncomfortable—there needs to be understanding. The idea is that you have a conversation where all parties are heard and respected.
While some individuals experience an increased libido during menstruation, others might experience low libido, increased pain, and discomfort. Hormonal changes can lead to psychological and emotional side effects. Depending on how you are feeling, sex might not be the first thing on your mind. Sex on your period should never be forced. It is important that you listen to your body so that you can have your needs met. Fortunately, there are tons of apps that make tracking your cycle, mood, and physical changes. Understanding your cycle can be an empowering way to connect with yourself and appreciate your body.