Sex during Menstruation – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sounds gross, yes, but there are some who practice it.

I’ve come across people who ask how safe sex is during menstruation. It is still a controversial issue. For one thing we are sure about is that it never fails to make you frown upon hearing it.

The good and bad of period sex are yet to be discovered. However, a number of theories suggest that the practice more of a disadvantage rather than an advantage.

The Good

In a way, it relieves menstrual cramps. How? Endorphins (a type of hormones to relieve pain and affect emotions) are secreted during orgasm and thus decrease menstrual pains.

The Bad

Naturally during menstruation, the veins of the uterus are congested and are prone to rupture easily. Vaginal walls swell as well during menstruation. This explains the dull pain in the vagina during menses and is 100% normal. Having intercourse during your period can increase the chances of irritation to the swelled up walls. The advantages of endorphins at this point mask the danger of period sex where irritation of the vaginal walls and introduction to infection are major risks. Any wound or bleeding is a fine gateway to infection.

The cervix is slightly opened during menstruation to let out blood. This heightens the risk of infection, not being limited only to the vagina, but additionally to the uterus. The penetration of the penis into the vagina during menstruation is no more than the introduction to germs at a time when the body is unable to fight them (studies have shown that immunity is decreased during menstruation).

Orgasm results in rhythmic uterine contraction. During menstruation, this helps shed blood faster and shorten your periods. A similar reaction happens when a menstruating woman lifts up heavy loads or does strenuous exercises. This explains why most athletes experience amenorrhoea (missed periods).

Sex during the menses also increases risk of HIV infection.

The Ugly

Obviously, period sex can be really, really messy and unhygienic. This fact by itself drops the interest of both parties about the idea of having sex during menstruation.

So, is period sex good or bad? Well, momentary pleasure versus risky health – you be the judge.

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  1. hello doc. what are the chances of getting pregnant if a girl has irregular pattern of menstruation, had sex while on her period but used condom and the man pulled out before ejaculating? thank u.

    • Extremely low chance but not impossible. Having an irregular pattern of menstruation means you do not know when you ovulate. Having sex during the period is usually safe because ovulation does not happen at that time. Pulling out is NOT a good method of contraception because inevitably, some semen is left in the vagina. However, using a condom is a great method of contraception with success rates of more than 90%. So all in all, I would say the risk of pregnancy is very low.

  2. Good day doctor….my girlfriend is menstruating,we had sex and during the course of doing that blood started coming out of her private part….what causes that?

  3. Hi doc,
    I had sex on the first day of my period,is it safe?we didnt use any condom only withdrawal..and also my period still continues for 11 days now doc,i usually have 4-5 there something wrong why my period lasts this long?thanks hoping for your reply.

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      Likely safe but nothing is 100%. best to get your symptoms checked with a doctor. I would also advise you to get a screening pap smear done.

  4. Please I have a sex with a lady on her period with a condom but the blood flow touches my extreme upper part of the man hood and scared. Please advice

    • The fact is you are at risk of HIV and STDs. The fact that she was on her period increases this risk. The fact that you used a condom reduces this risk. But this is all a play of percentages. In order to know for sure, you still need to get tested. Click here for more info on STD testing.

  5. jamymill

    hello doc. we really have sex on my period. theres no sign of itchiness or pain to him and he is totally fine . in my side , im just fine as well. thanks for your knowledge atleast we know the advantages and disadvantages . thank you doc !

  6. Hi doc, I had sex during my mens. It is possible that my partner will have an infection?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      This depends on whether you have anything to pass onto him. Menses alone won’t cause an infection.

  7. Grace Favour

    doc… a friend of mine had sex on the first day of her period though with the use of condom and the flow didn’t last up to four days as usual ….. how much safe is she???

    • Dr Justin Sim

      There is always a small risk even if condoms are used. If she is worried get her tested.

  8. Wot happen to a man a day after the menses and they will have sex

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Anything can happen. You need to be more specific about your question.

  9. Doc, i have irregular period of menstruation. sometimes on the 25th sometimes on the 28th.

    Doc, i had sex on the third and fourth day of my period. normally i had only only 2 days of period even i did not done sex before. but at that 3rd time i still have blood but not that too many that’s why i used panty liner. on the next day after having sex with my partner (on the 4th day) i still have blood on my panty liner.
    Doc, what do you think are the possible effects on my side and on my partner side? is there a possibility that i will get pregnant even he always doing withdrawal? (i saw he withdrawed but i am not perfectly sure if there is/are a little bit sperm he put inside).i am not using any precautions (pills) and even him, he is not using condoms.
    What should I do if the date of menstrual is not yet come?
    What are the possible remedies to get menstrual at the same date?

    I will wait for your advises Doc. on my gmail.
    Thank you :)

    • Hi, yes there is a risk of pregnancy even using the withdrawal method as like you say, you are not sure if there is any sperm already deposited in the vagina. Withdrawal method is not a reliable and effective form of contraception. If you are not ready to get pregnant, would advice that you look into other reliable contraceptive methods.
      If your menses is late, would advice that you do a pregnancy test as if you are sexually active, there is always a chance of pregnancy.
      There are tablets that you can take which acts as contraception and also regulate your menses at the same time. It will be advisable to see a doctor or feel free to visit us for further information.

  10. Makdrick

    Hello doc. My girl was pregnant since july now but since three days she got initialy light brown bleeding… today after sex she got red bleeding with some little tick blood particles.. what do you think is wrong?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Bleeding is something we need to very careful with during pregnancy. You need to take her to a gynaecologist for this.

  11. AshamedWoman

    Dr. Tan? We’ve done this over 3 days ago the first time. I am experiencing bleeding while urinating. And it is really painful. I don’t know what to do. :( I can’t tell my parents or anybody else. :( can you please help me with this? I am so scared. :( You can tell me mean words or so. :( just please help me.


  13. Hi doc,
    my girl friend’s periods date got delay for abt 7days . Her menstruel periods was supposed to be started before 7days. N during that we even use contraceptive pills when we had sex before 3 weeks. What could be the possible cause of her mentruel date. We hv been using contraceptive befor but delay in periods never occured before. Need ur expert advise

    • You need to check if she’s pregnant. Do a pregnancy test. Other possible causes could be stress, recent excessive weight loss and thyroid problems. Sometimes, pills can also contribute to delayed menses. I suggest you consult a doctor if you are concerned.

  14. Samuel Wilson

    Hello doctor ,
    Please I had sec with my lady whiles she was in her
    Menses,without using condom this is my first time
    Of doing this with her.
    Doctor am I safe or is there any Medicine you can
    Recommend for me because am getting slight pains
    In my penis.

    • Of course you are not safe. You can catch HIV and all other STDs. The fact that she was on her period increases your risk of getting HIV from her if she is infected. I cannot recommend you any medicine. What I recommend is for you to see your doctor asap.

  15. Hi Dr. Tan! Just wanna ask if pregancy can be ruled out on this scenario. I had my menstruation on the second week of February 2015. I had unprotected sexual intercourse last February 19-21 using withdrawa method. I took pt one week and second week after the deed and all were negative. I tried different brands of pregnancy test. Im waiting for my menstruation this week. Is there any chance that Im pregnant? Thank you.

    • Unfortunately it cannot. The pregnancy tests you have done were done too early. The best thing to do is to wait for you period. If you period is late for 2 weeks, get the home pregnancy test done.

  16. Sex is to be enjoyed by both spouse or partners and if there may be a problem during the act in your period ,why then should it be done. In short I don’t agree to the idea of sexing during menses

  17. Mianda666

    Dear Dr. Tan,
    Greetings and Apology for taking up your precious time.
    i am in my 24, I used to have 2 Miscarriages and since last year, I’ve had irregular periods.
    Here are the trackings:
    28 Nov 13 – 4 Dec 13 (82 days interval).
    18 Feb 14 – 22 Feb (47 days interva).
    6 Apr – 10 Apr (25 days interval).
    1 May – 6 May (32 days interval ).
    2 Jun – 6 Jun (43 days interval )
    15 Jul – 19 Jul (103 days interval).
    26 Oct – 30 Oct ( 18 days interval).
    & 19 Nov – 23 Nov.
    Anyway, I went to raffles and they keep saying I am healthy and I ain’t happy with their answer alone.
    Doctor, could u please kindly let me know if there’s anything possibly wrong with me?
    Oh I’m 5 feet 2 inches and 68 kg btw.
    Thank you very much sir!

    • 2 miscarriages and very irregular periods? Yes I think it would be logical to think there is something not quite right. I cannot say what it is just from this information alone. You will need a whole bunch of tests. Best case scenario you just need some hormonal regulation, worst case scenario it is an auto-immune problem. You are welcome to visit us at our clinics anytime.

  18. Hai Dr Tan, I had sex intercourse, twice with my partner, during her menstruation. The problem now, i have itchy around my penis skin. Can i know the problem?

    • There can be many causes of itching around the penis. It could be just abrasions or allergy or something more sinsiter like lice. You need to see your doctor to get diagnosed.

  19. Drtan,please what is the cause of regularly menstration

  20. doc,is it posible to got pregnant when having sex during mentration?

    • Good question. I would say it is possible but the chances are very very small. First of all, sometimes, other types of bleeding are mistaken as menstruation. Secondly, sperm can survive in the vagina for 3 days sometimes longer. If ovulation occurs early, there can be a risk of pregnancy.

    • doc.what if the ovulation occurs early, what are the possible symptoms that a mother can feel? and what are the possible risk that she might get into it?

      • Most of the time ovulation has no symptoms. Sometimes women can feel some pain on one side of their lower abdomen. Some women also get some bleeding.

  21. I Dnt Understand Why Pipo Do It!!!!. Ma Girl Started Period Wen We Were Having Sex, But Eeessshhh!!! What A Mess!!

  22. joy emmanuel

    doctor is good 2 have sex during menstruation we condom thanks

  23. so intrested thanks sir

  24. Please doctor. Can my lady fall pregnant while she’s on her mestration, assuming i release in her?

    • The risk of pregnancy for sex during pregnancy is very low. But never say never.

  25. Pls doc can i get pregnant

  26. srossman

    First of all its a fact that when on your period men know there’s a hormone released at that time and his body knows…I’m sure not all men are in to it or get horny when there woman are bleeding but allot do its normal .If you read the first comment they do I swear my man always wants it like a dog in heat every time I’m on mine. It’s natural it’s life.if you have never done it how can you each their own :)

  27. brittany

    So haven sex on your period isn’t bad? Like it don’t push blood up in you? It don’t cause infections?

  28. Ntombenhle

    Wel i dnt knw anything bt soon 2 b married so was just readin on the advantages n disadv coz even though its against my religion bt ill nevr knw. Im wiser now tnx Doc n all

  29. I’ve been doing this for the last almost 3 years, nothing has happened (IE: me getting any infections) However… There lately has been a slight/major discomfort (IE: CRAMPS) after the point… But carries at least 4-5 hours after intercourse… I just associate it w/ the cramps I usually have if they don’t come before I have my cycle, or the first 2-3 days during my cycle… …. (Anyway, my opinion, my experience… EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! ) Judge for yourself… My guy likes it 365… 24/7… 😉

  30. Its good to know more about yur health i like the fact that everyone has their own opinion thnkyou docter for sharing your knowlegde with us it is greatly appreciated athleast i know the advantages and disadvantage of having sex during
    period thnxsi

  31. Sex with menstruation is safe to both partner?

  32. nathaly

    during menses time if do the sex with my partner will he get alergic problem on his prone skin?is it possible ?what do u say?

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      The only difference between having sex when you are on your menses or not is the presence of menstrual blood. If your partner’s skin is sensitive to the menstrual blood then he will get a reaction.

  33. nathaly

    during menses time if do the sex with my partner will he get alergic problem on his prone skin?/

  34. Kunle

    A lady complaint of being infected with cystitis through the growth of staphylococcus aureus in her private part after she had sex during menstruation.Is these possible and secondly whats the remedy i.e The drug that could heal her against the infection.Thanks

    • drtan

      Staph cystitis is exceedingly rare. Women can get cystitis and sexual intercourse is a risk factor. I do not think the fact that she had intercourse during her period made it any riskier. There are many anti-biotics that can cure Staph but Staph can also be resistant to many antibiotics. She should see a doctor to get a urine culture and sensitivity testing done before deciding on which treatment to take. Please post any follow up questions on

      • Especially the Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus variety, which is tough to kill. I was recently hospitalized due to a MRSA infection on a finger. 5 days in hospital with intravenous sulfa drug, which I am not allergic to.
        The red streak had progressed up my arm nearly to the elbow.
        We seem to be running out of drugs for treatment of some illnesses.

  35. Wath effect did it have on man , when having sex during menstrual period?

  36. its simply sweet

  37. it is great havimg sex during menses just switch off the lights and concentrate of the pleasure no harm at all.

  38. I do t with my wife bt da blood smells shit. Bt we are abt to do it now again.

  39. There is absolutely no problem with having sex during preriods. Th advantages outweighs the disadvantages to women.

  40. It is totally harmful,

  41. From other females I talked with, and my own opinion, that’s just nasty, messy, and most of all uncomfortable.
    Why would females even need to do that. Sex is not important enough for a female to put herself through that sh______!!

    • Sex during periods is normal., not ‘nasty’. Considering when you have sex without a condom say on the pill there’s a huge mess involved, why is a period mess any different? Each to their own opinion, but just so you lnow there are females outside of your group that done have an issue with it.

  42. can a woman concieve on the 3rd day of her period?

      • Bullshit. There is ALWAYS a chance of pregnancy. What kind of ‘doctor’ are you?

        • We are here to share medical knowledge. If you have a differing opinion you are free to voice it and explain scientifically why you think this is so. There is no need to be insulting.

          • Thanks drtan… I know some people think they are a Doc’, a Lawyer, or even (i don’t know a great mother/father/sister, or even a person) – They are free to their own opinion but if you can’t tell something scientifically… or maybe can share “your own story” why be so PRUDE?!?!??!??!

        • Derrick

          What are the chances lik????

  43. can a woman concieve on the third day of her periods?.

  44. Susan Andrew

    There is lot of discussion about having or not having intercourse during menses, an old taboo. As far as infections are concerned they can happen at any time and at any age so there is no direct link between menses and infections. I am having sex during menses for last fifteen years since my marriage and I find it very pleasant to have sex during menses and there is no injury to vagina. My husband also finds it more pleasurable than when I am not having menses and he is more satisfied to have sex during menses. I find sex irritating my vagina when I am not having menses because my vagina dries up after some time during intercourse although I try to make my vagina secrete fluid but to no vain. I personally feel that menses are meant to have prolonged relationship between couples. Scientifically it has been proven that hormone released during menses due to ovulation and degeneration of corpus luteum like inhibin A are stimulant for Sertoli cells in testes which in turn increase the production of testosterone in male partner. Once there is surge of testosterone there is increased vigor plus natural heated lubrication from blood results in having good sex. I now want to ask one question to those who consider it as a taboo, why menses is only human phenomenon? The answer is very simple because if you study the structure of penis, it is blood regulated organ in human being and inhibin A as mentioned above is only natural source of stimulating testosterone in male partner. So fellows give up centuries old taboos and try to live in present age and enjoy sex in its natural form

  45. strawberryflakes

    In my religion (ISLAM) sex during menstruation is fobbiden, Gd knows best :-)


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