Can I Have Sex During My Period? Should I?

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Can you have sex on your period? Yes. Yes you most certainly can. Should you have sex on your period? Well, you should only do what you feel comfortable doing, especially when it comes to having sex. In matters of sex, there's nothing you "should" do. You're the one who gets to decide what you want out of your sex life, and you should never feel obligated or shamed into doing something that you don't want to do. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about getting hot and bloody; if, indeed, that's something you're looking to try.

I give period sex a double thumbs up. Beyoncé sings, "A little sweat ain't never hurt nobody," in "Get Me Bodied": while I'm singing, "A little blood ain't never hurt nobody," in the bedroom. You know, where said blood is from a healthy menstrual cycle, which is, of course, a monthly reminder of the miracle that is life, and the fact that one human can literally GROW ANOTHER HUMAN INSIDE THEIR BODY. Which is crazy and amazing and wonderful and positively mind blowing. But back to period sex: if you're curious, it's something you can do without fear or worry. If you're safe about it, nothing bad will happen. Here are some things to consider about period sex:

1. It's probably not going to be the massacre you think it will be.
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I feel like when people think of period sex they think of an arm suddenly sliced off at the elbow, spurting blood everywhere like a B horror movie. Sure, sometimes some blood will get on your thighs or on the sheets, but overall, it's not the bloodbath you think it's going to be. Sometimes blood doesn't get anywhere at all! (I call this the "tampon effect.") If you're worried about the ick factor, that's fine - some people find blood unsexy. But if it's mess that concerns you, throw down a towel and you're good to go.

2. It's doctor sanctioned!
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Period sex is safe! You can't get hurt from it, and nothing bad will happen, so long as you're in a safe, consensual environment. If you asked your doctor or OBGYN, they'd all tell you the same thing: there aren't any health risks associated with having sex while menstruating, and other than the blood, it's just like having sex when you're not bleeding.

3. But you CAN still get pregnant.
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While period sex is safe, it might not be so if it's unprotected. Even though your uterus is shedding its lining (where the fertilized egg gestates), your cycle might be irregular enough that you're continuing to ovulate. Meanwhile, sperm can live up to five days inside you, which, at the tail end of your period, is a dangerous game to play if a baby isn't in the cards. Treat period sex like regular sex and practice it safely!

4. And you can still definitely pass on STIs.

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While there aren't any health risks, that extends only so far as you're practicing safe sex. Like the potential for pregnancy, unprotected sex on your period can lead to the transfer of sexually transmitted illnesses. So rubber up! Nothing else, repeat NOTHING ELSE, other than a condom, can protect you from an STI (and even then condoms aren't 100% effective).

5. Period sex is actually great for your cramps.
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If you're feeling kind of shitty and bloated and crampy and grumpy (all things I feel when I'm having my period), sex might not seem like, well, the sexiest thing to do. But consider that exercise not only puts you in a good mood, it can help in releasing period related pain. You know what's good exercise? Sex. The bottom line is, you can do whatever you want. But if you're putting off period sex because you think it's taboo or dangerous, don't! It's actually really wonderful, and if you can explore it in a safe, comfortable environment, you might find something you really like.
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