It will depend on:
- Both partners’ personal preference
- How heavy your period is
- Precautions around pregnancy
- Precautions around disease prevention.
We’ll look at all these points in this article.
Sex and desire during your monthly cycle.
Biologically speaking, women are most likely to want to have sex around the time of ovulation. Ovulation happens about 14 days after the end of your last period and is your most fertile time.
So it makes sense that your desire to have sex coincides with the time that you’re most likely to get pregnant if you’re not using contraception.
However women who suffer from PMS (bloating, cramps, emotional upset, poor sleep) often feel the thought of having sex around the time of your period is a no-no.
But many women would like to have sex during their periods, and some find that sex is actually a good way to get relief from some PMS symptoms.
Can I get pregnant during my period?
It is rare, but you can still conceive during your period. So if you don’t want to get pregnant, continue using your contraception.
If you’re using the diaphragm or cap for contraception, then this can hold back some of the flow of menstrual blood. If you have heavy periods and want to have sex then this can make things less messy.
If you’re taking the contraceptive pill (the combined or mini pill) you don’t need to do anything different – take your pills if you’re on an every day pill or continue with your pill-free week if you take this variety of pill.
Is it safe to have sex during my period?
Your risk from sexually transmitted disease is not higher or lower during your period.
Using condoms will help to protect you from sexual infections if they are used correctly – see this article on condoms.
Women who have HIV are advised to refrain from sex during a period, especially if it’s heavy. Even with a condom, the amount of blood can make transmission of the virus to your partner more likely.
Conclusion – is it ok to have sex during my period?
If you and your partner are comfortable having sex during your period then, yes, it’s fine.
Take your usual contraceptive precautions if you want to avoid pregnancy.
Take disease prevention precautions unless you’re sure you don’t need to.
Find out what Everyday Health has to say about sex during your period.