Period sex can be a divisive matter. For some people it’s a regular part of their sex lives, for others it’s a messy no, no. Whatever your stance on the matter, here at Natural Cycles, we’re all about clearing up the myths and misconceptions about reproductive health…
Can you be fertile on your period?
The simple answer is yes. While women are not able to conceive whilst on their period, sperm can survive within the female reproductive system for up to five days. This means that some people have a chance of becoming pregnant from unprotected sex during their period. It all depends on the length of your menstrual cycle… simple, right?
Let’s take an example, say you have a menstrual cycle shorter than 28 days. You have sex towards the end of your six-day long period and ovulate shortly after, then there is a chance that some of the sperm survive and you could get pregnant. So while getting pregnant is unlikely, this means it’s possible and makes unprotected sex risky, unless you know your fertile window.
The ins and outs of period sex
So now we know it is possible to get pregnant on your period, it’s important you take the right precautions. When used correctly, barrier methods such as the condom are very effective at preventing pregnancy and also offer protection against STIs.
While many may think it’s gross or messy, having sex on your period is perfectly healthy and lots of women swear by it for a number of reasons. Due to a dip in progesterone, you may find your sex drive increases around menstruation. On top of this, orgasms can alleviate period cramps and cause the uterus to contract more, which in the end can mean shorter periods too.
Before you get into the swing of things, make sure you remove any tampons or menstrual cups before sex. These block the vaginal passage and it can be dangerous if they are misused or left too long inside the vagina.
While you might be expecting a Stephen King-style horror scene, you may actually be surprised by how little menstrual blood there is. The heaviness of your period is a very personal thing that varies from cycle to cycle, however, the average woman will only produce 6-8 teaspoons worth of blood during her entire period. That being said, you might want to have an extra towel on hand or suggest things get steamy in the shower.
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Period tracking and logging sex
Women who use Natural Cycles take their temperature every morning and record it in the app. The method works by identifying a rise in body temperature just before ovulation. This means Natural Cycles can tell you when you can and can’t get pregnant, so you will know your own fertility whilst on your period, or any day for that matter. On top of this, you will also know where you are in your cycle, meaning you can plan for your period, PMS or when to do a self-breast exam. If you are looking for a hormone-free birth control option that learns your unique cycle, then Natural Cycles could be the solution you’ve been searching for.