anonymous on August 30, 2011

Is it okay to have sex during menstruation?

I had sex with my boyfriend on the second day of my period, and we used a condom. I've heard that it's bad for the girl’s body to have sex during menstruation, because her period will stop after engaging in intercourse. Is this true?

answered by Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD on August 30, 2011

Thanks so much for asking an important question that a lot of people are confused about.

To answer your question directly, it’s perfectly fine to have intercourse during menstruationit’s not bad or harmful to your body, unless your partner has a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If anything, it might actually be beneficial to you, especially if you experience menstrual cramping. It may be the endorphins that are released during sex or the increased blood flow to the area, butmany women find having sex helps relieve menstrual cramps.

And while intercourse won’t cause your period to stop (unless you become pregnant and stop menstruating for that reason), it may cause the period to end a little bit sooner. Since part of the uterine lining is shed during your period, the contractions the uterus makes during sex might help move that out of the body faster…but that’s about it.

In other words,besides the fact that you’re bleeding, there’s really no other significant difference between having sex while you’re having your period or any other time.

Finally, I commend you for using condoms and encourage you to continue doing so…according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),using latex condoms consistently and correctly is among the most reliable ways to prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections.

I wish you good luck in your relationship, and good sexual health.

Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD

Dr. Owens is an AASECT-certified sexuality counselor. Her areas of expertise include the medical aspects of human sexuality and sexual problems, as well as the impact of STDs ⎼ and other diseases, illnesses and disabilities ⎼ on sexuality. Dr. Owens was educated at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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