Period sex — some people love it, and others avoid it. While it’s completely your own prerogative whether you choose to have sex while menstruating (and by sex, we mean penetrative sex, oral sex, masturbation, or toy play), there are some benefits to it that you may not be aware of. If the mess is your reason for steering clear, well, we have a solution for that, too.  

What are the benefits of having sex during your period? 

Now let’s look at some of the benefits of having sex on your period, and how it’s even possible to have mess-free period sex:

1. It can relieve certain period symptoms.

Maybe you’re avoiding having sex during your period because you can’t imagine enjoying it while suffering from menstrual cramps or bloating. Well, studies show that sex can actually help alleviate some of those symptoms. 

period stain on jeans

Sex, just like any other physical exercise, triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are natural mood boosters — think of a runner’s high. These endorphins can help combat some of the more uncomfortable physical ailments that come with your period, like cramps and headaches. 

Believe it or not, if you orgasm, you’ll experience even more relief from those pesky cramps. Menstrual cramps are caused by your uterus contracting as it sheds its lining. When you have an orgasm, the muscles of your uterus contract and then relax, potentially alleviating some of that discomfort. 

2. It offers natural lubrication.

Another underrated benefit of period sex is that menstrual blood can act as a natural lubricant during intercourse. Still, you might find yourself thinking, "Yes, that’s exactly why I don’t like period sex. It gets everywhere."

But, did you know there are menstrual products out there that can actually prevent the mess while allowing you to enjoy sex during your period? One such product is a menstrual disc, which is made from body-safe materials, offers up to 12 hours of leak-free protection, and is designed for comfort, even during “that time of the month.”

You can have mess-free period sex while using a Flex Disc because of its placement inside your vagina. Unlike a tampon or menstrual cup, a disc sits just below the cervix in the vaginal fornix, leaving your vagina open for penetration. Pretty cool, right?

A menstrual disc like the Flex Disc also won’t interrupt your body’s natural lubricant production, as the disc collects vs. absorbs fluids, unlike traditional cotton products like tampons and pads. Your body’s natural lubricants come from Bartholin, Nabothian, and Skene's glands, as well as from the vaginal lining. The disc allows your body to naturally lubricate itself while also preventing blood from leaking anywhere. Just be sure to insert a fresh disc before getting down. 

person in bed under the covers giving a thumbs up

The bottom line? If you are of the type to avoid period sex because of, well, the blood, just know there are ways to avoid that while still allowing your vagina to naturally lubricate itself and enjoy sex at any time throughout your monthly cycle.  

3. It can shorten your period.

Here's the kicker: Did you know period sex can potentially shorten the number of days that you bleed? Your period lasts as long as it takes your uterus to shed its lining. When you orgasm, your uterus contracts, and then loosens. This act can speed up the shedding process. Who wouldn’t want to feel good and possibly shorten the length of their period? It sounds like a win, win to me!

4. You may have an increased sex drive.

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Despite what many people believe, because of your body’s natural hormone changes while menstruating, you may feel more sexually aroused during your period. Thanks to hormonal fluctuations, your libido increases and decreases throughout your cycle. Some women may feel an increase in their sex drive while ovulating, typically two weeks before their period, while others say they experience it while bleeding. This varies from person to person, but if you feel more aroused than usual, go ahead and take advantage of it! 

couple embracing outdoors

5. Why not try it?!

Somewhere between poor sex education and old wives’ tales, you may have been warned against having sex while menstruating, but period sex is enjoyable for many women and couples. 

That being said, it's important to note that you should always practice smart sexual habits. Because of the extra fluids in your vagina, while bleeding, you are more susceptible to contracting an STI during your period than at other times of the month. In addition, certain STIs like HIV or hepatitis live in the blood and can spread through contact with infected menstrual blood. So, always practice safe sex and use your preferred contraceptive if you are unsure of your partner’s sexual health history.  

Whether you choose to have period sex using a product like Flex Disc or decide to skip having sex while menstruating altogether, it’s up to you! We just want you to have all the information to make the right decision for you. 

Brighid Flynn is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and puppy. She is just beginning her journey toward motherhood.