Can You Have Sex On Your Period? Potential Risks and Benefits | Uqora
6 min read | April 11, 24

Can I Have Sex On My Period?

Medically Reviewed by: Heather Ott

Written by: Sareena Rama

Article summary

Yes, you absolutely can have sex on your period! When done safely, having sex on your period is completely okay and might even offer some unexpected benefits. Maintaining open communication with your partner and following some helpful tips is the key to enjoying period sex.

Can I Have Sex On My Period?

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Menstruation has been wrapped up with a stigma for so long, and those who experience painful symptoms can feel uncomfortable doing normal activities during their cycle.

Although we've made some great strides in breaking down the barriers around the discussion of periods, there are still plenty of questions and concerns out there. One of the most common questions we hear is: Can I have sex on my period? The short answer is, yes, it is completely safe to have sex when on your period(1)

The more you know about proactively taking care of your sexual health, the more confident you can feel about making choices for your sex life. In this article, we’ll dive into all the potential benefits of having period sex. Plus, we’ll share some practical tips to help make your period sex experiences that much better. 

Potential Benefits of Period Sex

Having sex on your period has the potential to provide a number of benefits. While individual experience may vary, period sex has been reported to ease cramps, produce more endorphins, and lead to an increased libido(2,4,7). Let’s take a closer look at each of these potential benefits:

1. Produce more endorphins

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers. Research shows that sexual activity can boost endorphin production, which may lead to an improved sense of well-being and happiness – plus, support period pain relief(2,3).

2. Ease menstrual cramps

Engaging in physical activities, such as sex or exercise, has been known to offer relief from menstrual cramps(4). As previously mentioned, sexual activity often triggers the production of endorphins. Since endorphins can relieve pain, it's possible that they can also provide relief from menstrual cramps(3,5)

3. Enjoy an increased libido

Your libido is your overall sex drive or desire for sexual activity. During your menstrual cycle, many things fluctuate, including the balance of your libido and vaginal pH.(6,7).

Many people notice an increase in their sex drive during ovulation, when estrogen levels are at their peak(7).

Many females experience an increase in libido when ovulating

While having sex on your period may have some benefits, it’s important to remember that period sex might not be right for everyone. People's reactions to period sex can differ significantly, and there are many factors, including personal comfort and preference, to take into consideration.

In fact, in a study involving 40 interviews with females, it was found that 13 females had positive experiences with sex during menstruation, while 2 had neutral reactions, and 25 reported negative reactions(8).  

So, if you can relate to the 25 females and period sex isn’t exciting for you, it’s perfectly normal and okay to opt out of sex on your period.

Quick Tips for Better Period Sex

Having sex on your period can be a great opportunity for you to connect with your partner. Here are a few tips to help you improve sex during your period:

Quick tips for better period sex

Communicate with your partner

Open and honest communication with your partner is key. As with any sexual encounter, it’s important to have full consent and an open discussion about sexual preferences, comfort levels, and any other potential concerns. Having a conversation before deciding to have sex on your period is essential to ensure both partners have a satisfying, comfortable, and most importantly, safe experience.

Lay down a towel and keep rags on-hand

Having sex can get messy, especially when you’re on your period. Placing a towel down to catch any menstrual flow is a great way to make the clean up a bit easier. Keeping some rags or wet wipes nearby can also be helpful for quick cleanups, ensuring that any potential messes don’t take away from the overall experience.

While not transmitted sexually, being proactive about your sexual health can also reduce your likelihood of developing bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, or yeast infections.

Try new positions to ease discomfort

Having sex on your period can be a different experience than usual. Some people have found that certain sex positions are more enjoyable(9)

Practice safe sex

While on your period, it’s still important to use protection and maintain your safe sex practices. Using protection, like condoms, is just as vital during your menstrual cycle. 

Pregnancy is still a possibility during menstruation, and it's important to recognize that the body might be more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during this time. Generally, you may have a vaginal pH between 3.8 to 5.0, but during menstruation, the vagina becomes more alkaline, allowing microbes to survive and multiply in your reproductive tract(10)

Remember that everyone’s experience with period sex is different, so remember to adapt these tips to what works best for you and your needs. By prioritizing your comfort and safety, you can have a more pleasurable experience during your period while still maintaining your sexual and urinary health

Period Sex: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get pregnant if I have sex during my period?

The short answer - yes, you can still get pregnant if you have sex during your period. Since ovulation cycles vary, it is possible that you could become pregnant while menstruating. Menstrual cycle variability and irregularity can make it difficult to predict when you are most fertile. In some cases, it’s possible to ovulate shortly after your period ends. If you want to avoid pregnancy, continue to use contraception and protection when having sex during your period(11)

Can I have oral sex on my period?

Yes, you can have oral sex on your period. Like with any sexual activity, it’s a matter of personal preference and consent. If both you and your partner feel comfortable engaging in oral sex while you're menstruating, then go ahead and enjoy(12)!

While having oral sex is safe during menstruation, some people like to have a thorough wash or shower beforehand. Just like any time you are sexually active, maintaining good hygiene is a great option to enhance the experience for both partners. If you have concerns about STIs, you can continue to use  dental dams during oral sex during your period, as STIs can still be transmitted during this time(12).

Can I have anal sex on my period?

Yes, it’s safe to have anal sex while menstruating. Just as any other time you are engaging in sexual activity,  anal sex during your period is a matter of personal preference and comfort for you and your partner. It’s important to engage in an open dialogue to ensure both parties are enthusiastically willing and comfortable with any type of sexual activity. 

Can I stop my period during sex?

This is a common question but no, it's not possible to stop your period during sex. The menstrual cycle is a natural and complex biological process primarily governed by hormonal changes in your body. These hormonal fluctuations trigger the shedding of the uterine lining, which results in menstruation(13)

While there are ways to manage the discomfort during your period, the underlying hormonal processes responsible for menstruation cannot be stopped nor altered through sex.

Does period sex cause UTIs?

Some females experience UTIs after sex, and other women report patterns of UTI development during or following their menstrual cycle. While sexual activity does not necessarily cause urinary tract infections, there is a risk that bacteria will make its way into the urinary tract during intercourse, where it can then multiply and result in infection(14)

If you experience UTI symptoms or suspect a UTI is developing, talk to your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The choice is yours!

As with any type of sexual activity, the choice is yours! Remember that communication is key when it comes to sexual activity. Communicating your desires, concerns, and preferences can be challenging – but we believe that knowledge is power. When we have more knowledge about health risks and benefits,  we can feel more confident in making informed health choices. We hope that by having an open discussion with your partner before engaging in sex during your period, you can enjoy a fulfilling and mutually satisfying experience during menstruation.

Note: References to "female" and “male” in this article refer to sex assigned at birth, not gender. This article does not replace medical advice. We recommend you seek treatment if you think you are experiencing a UTI or any other type of infection.

This article does not replace medical advice. We recommend you seek treatment if you think you are experiencing a UTI or any other type of infection.


Sareena Rama manages Uqora’s Digital Content and is responsible for Uqora's social media, newsletters, and contributing articles to the UTI Learning Center.


Heather Ott is Uqora's Senior Health and Science Educator. She supports the team by writing Learning Center articles and reviewing all scientific communications.


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