Period sex – It can be a whole lot more than you expect. Bloating, cramps, aches, crankiness, and, oh yeah, all that blood. When you have your period, the ideal night might sound like popping a few Advil, crawling into bed, and binge-watchingScandal. And although sex might be the last thing on your mind during that time of the month, there’s actually no need to rule it out altogether. Long gone are the days of being relegated to the Red Tent, but unfortunately there’s still some lingering stigma and discomfort around period sex, for both women and men. But there shouldn’t be.
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“It’s totally fine from a health point of view, and it really has to do with personal preference and being comfortable with it,” says Lauren Streicher, MD, associate clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University and author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever.
Here’s what you need to know if you decide to give period sex a go.
1. It could improve orgasm—and ease cramps.
When they’re menstruating, women are generally a little more aroused than normal due to their levels of estrogen and testosterone, says Jill Hechtman, MD, Board Certified ob-gyn and medical director of Tampa Obstetrics. There are also other factors that can contribute to increased pleasure at that time. “The blood makes for extra lubrication which can improve the way things feel and improve orgasm,” she explains.
While the ability of orgasm to reduce cramps hasn’t been proven in any good scientific study, some women do experience this benefit. So while sex isn’t a guaranteed cure for those painful aches, it can certainly be an enjoyable supplement to downing a couple of Advil.