Sex during your period

Sex during your period is a matter of personal choice. For some it is something to be avoided either for personal or religious reasons; for some it is a time for greater intimacy. And what men think about it is sometimes surprising.

The pros

  • Orgasm may help with menstrual cramps. You can thank those feel-good endorphins that are released for this.
  • Sex could also help to shorten your period. The orgasmic contractions might help shed your menstrual blood faster.
  • It could be more pleasurable as the menstrual blood acts as a natural lubricant.

The cons

  • Yes, it could be somewhat messy. A towel on the bed will help with this.
  • To lessen the mess the woman should lie on her back. Some prefer to use a cervical cup to lessen menstrual bleeding. This covers the cervix, the opening of the uterus through which the period blood flows.
  • You can still contract a sexually transmitted disease while menstruating. If this is a concern, the male should be using a condom regardless of the time of the month!

Cultural and religious beliefs

  • Islam decrees that a couple must abstain from sexual intercourse during menstruation. They may, however, indulge in other forms of intimacy as touching is not forbidden, except around the woman's genital area. There is also no prohibition in sleeping in the same bed.
    During the annual Ramadan fast, women are excused from the daily fast while menstruating. "However they must make this up afterwards," says Zakariyah Philander of the Discover Islam Centre in Cape Town. "And if they menstruate while on the trip to Mecca, they may not circulate the Ka'aba (a cube structure in Mecca that is the centre of the Muslim world) while menstruating."
    Muslim women need also not engage in the five daily ritualistic prayers during their period and nor do they have to make up for this afterwards.
  • Judaism decrees that a woman who is menstruating must not engage in sexual intercourse during that time. Depending on how orthodox a couple are, they may or may not touch each other, intimately or otherwise, during the menstrual period. There are various practices that can be conducted to determine exactly when intercourse can resume.
  • Christianity has no dogma around sexuality and menstruation.

(Robyn von Geusau, Health24, February 2011)

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