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. Had sex on my period now I’m experiencing painful urination. What could be the problem please?

  2. I had sex with my boyfriend in my period. I later had a pimple like swelling on the side of my forehead it later went down. Two years later had sex again in period same stuff came up at the same spot. A doctor said its allergy that I should see a dermatologist. Could the sex be the cause of the allergy

    • I do not believe you can have an allergy to sex. If you wish to come in for a proper consult and evaluation, please visit our clinics at your convenience.

      • can a man contact urinary tract infection after having sex withdrew her girlfriend that is on her menstrual period

        • Yes – risks of sexually transmitted infections causing UTI/urethritis are present either during or without menstrual period.

  3. Respected Doctor,

    Please I have a query. I had sex with my Girl on the 3rd day of Her Periods without Condom. It was a normal Beautiful Lovemaking. I ejaculate outside. On the next day She had a bleeding. Was it safe? Is there possibility of Her getting Pregnant?

    • It is highly unlikely she will get pregnant. There are risks of infections as with any unprotected exposure.

  4. Hello doc. Im 20 years old and im still a virgin, however, my fiance ejaculated on my vaginal area while we both standing and i was also on my first day of period is there any chance of getting pregnant ?

  5. Tia love

    Hey doc, my SO and i had sex while i was on my period two weeks ago. We both have been discharging without any pain. What could this be?

  6. I had sex with my boyfriend during my periods without using condom and on DAT same day he started feelng pains wen he pee, I wnt to know if there is infection there or not, and if there is wt solution MST we take

  7. Morning Dr.
    Doc what I want to know me as a male when I do sexual intercourse during menstruation in the day of 1-7,what may happen to me as a male? How a the reactions of my penis,is it going to be normal,does it stops performing…?

    • Sex during menstruation has no affect on your “performance”. There is simply a higher risk of transmissible diseases if your partner had any infection, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV.

  8. dear doc i had an oral sex while i was my period on d 3rd day with a friend i nearly knw for two months cos he wanted it bad. i want to knw d risk am involed in if any wat will i do.

  9. Dear doc,
    Me and my SO are thinking of having sex while I’m on my period, and I’m halfway through the period cycle so I have heavy flow. He would wear a condom. That being said, is there an increased risk for me to get any type of infection during this time? (He has been checked at the doctor, and he carries no STDs)


  10. Hi doc. I hope you can respond. I’m a 16 year old girl and today me and my bf had sex . I was a virgin so it’s my first time. But it was unprotected . I was worried about the precum. But he didn’t ejaculate in me. We had sex on my 1st day of period . Is it possible for me to get pregnant?

  11. I had sex a week before my period was suppose to start and the following week I got horrible cramps that I couldn’t move and I still haven’t gotten my period. And it’s already a new month ? What could be the problem ?

  12. Eliemae

    Me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex on the July 20, 23, and 25. I’m supposed to have my period on July 27th or 28th. He cum outside my vagina, and he is really sure that hasn’t cum inside me. I’ve been discharging whiteblood in my vigna it looks like my cycle is in the beginning again. My breasts are swollen and a bit sensitive every morning, my pimples are out, i do not have cramps but i do have is backpain. And i’m stressed right now. I’m delayed and i’m regular on my period. Is it because i’m pregnant or because my cycle ia changing?? I did use PT on July 26th and its negative

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      I suggest you see a doctor to get a proper assessment done.

  13. Loku Samuel

    Hey doc,I have been with my gf for 10 years now,we have one beautiful baby girl,we have been struggling hard for the last three years for the second child but all in vain,what could be the problem?

  14. Me & my boyfriend are both std free, we are each other first. we had unprotected sex on the 3rd day of my period. Is there any risks?

  15. Hi doc!
    I had sex with my gf during her 4th day she was bleeding a little.and..i am worried about my self….am i being infected….should i see the doc…plz guide me…

    • We cannot determine any infection from symptoms or lack thereof. Please see a doctor for evaluation if you are concerned.

  16. felixmat

    doctor.. please I want to ask what could cause urinating frequently… I go for diabetes test. but no diabetes… now. doctor say is either bladder weakness.. what drug can I take to stop it

    • You would need a proper evaluation before any medications can be suggested. Please visit our clinics for a proper consult.

  17. Anjali

    Hi doc
    I just had unprotected sex with my boyfriend and it lasts for like 10 minutes and this is my first day of menstruation after sex I was bleeding so is there any chances of getting pregnant or what should I do to avoid pregnancy?

    • Risk of getting pregnant is extremely low. I do not think you need to do anything to avoid pregnancy. However, if you are extremely concerned, there is morning after pill available.

  18. Marriah

    Is it safe for girl to have her first sex (loose her virginity) while she is on her period?

  19. Shayla

    Hi Dr. I had sex with my boyfriend last week during my cycle and we had sex unprotected. I don’t have any infection and neither does he, with us having unprotected sex during my cycle , what are the chances of us catching and STD

    • If neither of you have any infection then you will not have any STD to catch from each other, will you?

  20. Rapidolongtio

    Hey Doc am Rapidolongtio.I had sex with my girlfriend on the 3rd day of her period since then her menses for this month just stop flowing and she has a regular period.Am afred Doc could she be pregnant??

    • Sounds pretty unlikely based on the timing. She can get a urine pregnancy test if you are concerned.

  21. david

    I had vaginal unprotected sex with a girl. I had a cut on my penis and I was bleeding during sex 🙁 She says she got tested a couple of weeks ago and the results can back negative.

    Even so, if she had HIV what is the risk of me contracting it – does the bleeding greatly increase the chances?

    • If she has been tested negative then there is no chance you can contract HIV. If she did have HIV then yes, the risk is increased if it was unprotected and either person was bleeding.

      • david

        Dr Jonathon thanks for your quick response. I really appreciate that – how much does the risk increase by – according to stats is it 10% likely or 90% likely if she has HIV. Would really appreciate it if you could you provide me some sort of estimate?


    • Rhenzo Kurt

      Hello. I have green liquid discharge from the tip of my penis. I wonder if it is gonorrhea or urethris. What can you advice for me doctor. But the pain is tolerable.

      • You probably have an STD, and should come in for a consult with one of our doctors so the appropriate tests and treatment can be administered.

  22. From masturbation i got infection that started pealing my penis since 2003 till now has graduated to a strong rahes like pimples skin of my penis and scrotum. Now how do i get healed permanently? I have sex two girls so far unhappily, can i get a son with condition.

    • It is hard to comment on your condition without a proper examination and evaluation. You should come down to one of our clinics for a consult.

  23. Sir I had sex with my girlfriend a week ago at that time she had periods(3-4 day) I had sex with her without using condoms.Sir is there is any risk for me to get infacted like HIV or STD.

    • If your girlfriend has any HIV or STD infection, then yes, unprotected sex can result in transmission of these infections.

      • Sir she doesn’t have any HIV or STD or any disease…so it means I don’t have to worry about anything???

  24. Hi doctor, I have sex with my boyfriend the second day I start my menstruation my bleeding stop the next day. Am afraid hope is not a problem

  25. Hi doctor i was supposed to start my period on the 13th i had sex on the 11th and noticed a not so good odor and i bleed during and then it stopped then the same thing the next day and also on the 13th i finally started my period on the 18th my bf and i had sex for about 3 or 4 days of my period and now he says the inside of his peehole is it itchy and i still have this wierd odor what could this be??

    • Itchiness and foul odour can suggest an infection. It is best you see a doctor to have a vaginal examination to determine the possible cause of your symptoms.

    • Smirthi

      We are newly married couples. We are doing sex regularly. When we were doing sex on March 1, after ejaculation of sperm into my vagina. I was bleeding. Yes it s my first day of periods. My husband s worried now tat he may get any STD( sexually transmitted disease) during intercourse tis time. Kindly clarify sir. Is it ok ?????

      • Hi Smirthi

        Having your period during intercourse does not increase your chances of transmitting an STD. However, if you are still concerned about this, please coime in with your partner to get tested.

        • Smirthi

          Ok thank u very much doctor

        • Smirthi

          We are living in India. We couldn’t able to come over there fr checking sir. If u r giving confidence that the chances of getting any STD & HIV during intercourse at the time of periods , we wil be happy. I hav read in one website stating that the worst part of getting sex during mensus is HIV. So that only i have been concerned too much. Actually i didnt noticed before sex that i was bleeding. After ejaculation of sperm into my vagina, we noticed that i am bleeding heavily(first day of mensus started) . Clarify me sir. Pls

  26. Hi Doc,

    Last month i was having a roleplay session wit my gf. She was on her menstruation. We didnt had sex, but she sat on my penis placing her vagina on it. From After 3-4 days, i m having problem in peeing. Pee arrives vry uncontrollable (urgent) wit some burning feel. Please suggest me a solution for it

  27. Can anything happen to my boyfriend if we made some strokes inside me while in my period ?

    • Having unprotected sex albeit during menstrual cycle or not may have risk if you or/and your partner have an underlying infection .

  28. I have my first day of my period is it ok if we having sex?

  29. Hi Doctor , I had sex with my girlfriend during her 5th day of period then her 7th day because we was thinking it was her last day of period but now it’s been already 20days of non stopped bleeding , is there any risk for her health ? And what can we do to stop that ? Thank you .

    • Perhaps her current symptoms are not due to the sex at all. Bleeding non-stop for 20 days is a problem. She may become anemic. She should see a doctor asap. Like I said, maybe it is not related to the sex. Maybe a hormone issue.

      • Thank u Doctor , we already checked a doctor and he told us that her second period started already now we r waiting for her second period to finish then we can see if she gonna stop bleeding or not

      • Zulfiqar

        Hi dr I had sex with women in 2000 it was my first time having sex I didn’t know that she is in period and she didn’t tell me as well because she was so dry I didn’t see any blood at her vegina 2 day my penis feel acthi in 5 days time my penis get swell and start draining water type of pus and it was very actchi I couldn’t asleep at night I did went to doctor and he said I must go to homeopathy doctor when I reach there in homeopathy dr he give me cream and type of sweet madicine I apply that cream at my penis in one day my pus were stoped and that night I asleep very well in 7 days my penis was wright come normal but dr told me to kill germs I must continue 6 months treatment I left my country in 3 months and madication were stoped and I just don’t care after 5 years my penis start getting rush And behind my left ear so dr give me cream I applied it and my rush gone but it’s come back again when I have sex I must wash my penis with soap emigately is I just wipe next morning start getting rush again in 2007 I thought I had piles I went for operation after 5 times Oprated I went back home Pakistan an other doctor inject me fluid I don’t know what was that but my piles come wright since I had piles I loose my sexual power as well doctor in 2011 I start getting lymph nodes every were in my body but very small I just don’t care because lymph nodes in my genes everybody in my family got that I went with my wife for her check up I just showed doctor my lymph nodes she told me I must have urgently ST can I did that she find out multipal lymph nodes in my body but very small I went for biopassy doctor told me it’s Tlb I take 7 months to treatment after that again biopassy doctor find out it was not tb I went to an other phacian she said to me it could be sarcoidosis but she is not to sure I went to lungs specialist in port Elizabeth 400km away from my home doctor were 60 to 65 years old and very smart as well best doctor in eastern cape province he tested and sent report to my GP doctor it’s not sarcoidosis it was Tb but I had bone marrow test and sent to Cape Town special laboratory they said no TB no cancer but doctor I think it’s sexual disease and I had injections for sexual disease as well so one thing is for sure in period sex cause infection for sure but I don’t know if my infection was cured or still same or else new infections doctor I am also sperm zero but normal sex life after 2015 after marriage we went to doctor and find out I am zero sperm also so all guys reading my comments plseae stay away from women who are in period

  30. Hi Doc,
    I’m a girl of 21years of age. I had my menses on the 1st Dec and I had sex on the 4th and 5th of Dec where maybe of course I was in my final stage of menstruation ( drops). The next day I started experiencing a high inflammatory pains whiles urinating ,I got some drugs at the pharmacy and now the pains are been reduced but not gone yet. Now when I go to toilet, drops of blood ooze out of my clitoris (sometime very thick)….please what could it be??
    could it be probably an infection from my partner and also what kind of infection it could be? thanks

  31. Hey doc i had sex on my 2nd day of period which is very heavy period , he withdraw it . And now im waiting for my period which is 3days delayed? I have a regular periods

    • You are worried about pregnancy? Since you have regular periods which I assume are a month long, you cannot be ovulating on the 2nd day of your period. So I think you should be fine. If however your period continues to be delayed, please see your doctor.

  32. Jamal
    Hi Dr I want to sex with my girl friend during the period Dr is their chance to she become pregnant or she will safe plz Gide me thank you

    • Using the “safe period” as a form of contraception is extremely unreliable. You should consider using other forms of contraception like a condom. Or your girlfriend can consider taking contraceptive pills.

  33. I had sex with my boy friend on the second day of my period my menses stopped that day and started the following day this time heavy and it is still rushing wat could be the cause doc

    • The intercourse you had could have mechanically tamponade the period flow. It then re-started the next day and because there was period blood backed up for a day, the flow can appear to be heavier than usual.

  34. I had unprotected sex with my wife on 3rd day of her mensuration cycle. She don’t have bleeding. We are monogamous couple. we enjoyed comfortable. Any problems will be there.

  35. Hi doctor I have my period last sept 30 2016 – oct 04..I hve sex contact with my bf on the 4th day of my period and we use safety condom n widrawal and I just worried until now my period havent come but i use pregnancy test is a negative but im just wondering y my period is not come yet doc..any advuce for me doc thnks

    • Your period is 3 days late. Home pregnancy tests may not be accurate. I suggest you wait another 2 weeks and repeat a pregnancy test if your period still has not come. If the test is still negative, please see a doctor.

  36. OJO, Samuel Ola

    Can having sex with my wife when she was menstruating result in flabby/inactive penis in my advanced age as some people want me to believe.

    I am 70 now with 6 children all married but I can no longer have sex for the past 10 years. Kindly advise on a solution to the problem.

    • The answer is no. It seems like you are experiencing erectile dysfunction. See a doctor to discuss investigations and treatment options.

  37. Dear Doctor
    I have had multiple episodes of none specific urethritis and I had full STI tests done, which all come negative so they rule out the chlamydia and gohnorreha .
    I have been with my current partner for a year.
    I recently been treated for NSU 2 weeks ago with antibiotics and I recovered well.
    my girlfriend had vaginal thrush 2 weeks ago , which she took some antifungal and she said that all her symptoms are gone.
    Yesterday my girlfriend was having her period and insisted to have sex with me without condom which I refused first but I decided to go for it.
    since this morning I have pain in my urethra and I need to go to toilet more often.
    I am aware that you cannot give diagnosis based on history alone.
    would it be the period blood and fluid that could get to my urethra and triggers none specific urethritis or it could be still thrush there.
    I am a dentist and I have some good background about STI and anatomy of genitalia.
    I checked her vagina and did not notice and cheesy like discharge which is the classical sign of thrush.
    could it be thrush, the period or STI that caused my symptoms.
    I am suspicious that she might be faithful with me.
    thanks for your reply and advice.


    • Hi Dr Ali. First if all you may not have NSU. By labeling it NSU, you basically close the door on all other possible diagnoses. Your symptoms are urethral pain and urinary frequency. I think you need to expand your diagnostic search and not just investigate for NSU. Have you considered cystitis and prostatitis? I think you should have a frank talk with your Uro-Genital doctor and find out what exactly is causing your symptoms before labeling it an NSU.

  38. Doc I just want to clarify if having sex with period can cause UTI to my boyfriend?

    • No it cannot. UTI in men is very rare. If your BF developed a UTI, he should really see a doctor.

  39. Hello there, doctor. Thank you for sharing this info. I have a question though. My boyfriend complains his penis itches a lot during period sex. He can’t wear comdons because they’re all too small and hurt him. My previous partner never complained of this, but I was alone and had no sex with anyone for 4 years before meeting my current boyfriend, so I don’t know if something changed in my body. What could be the cause of the itching? I’m 43.

    • There are several custom size condom shops that you can find online. Your BF may be able to find a better fit there if none of the usual commercially available sizes fit him. Since your history is so specific i.e that your BF only itches during sex while you are on your period, it will be logical to assume something is irritating his skin. It may not be something in you that has changed but more that he is sensitive to something that your previous partner was not sensitive to. It does not sound like an infection to me although you can only be sure if you do a swab test. It appears the most efficient solution to your problem is to find a condom that fits your BF.

  40. Phoebe

    My periods started on 1st July but after the first day, I had a gap and the bleeding appeared again after 2-3 ended on 8th July.My boy friend and I had sex on the same day and the next day too. My bleeding has started again from 8th July and it is still going on. What can be the possible reason of this prolonged period?

    • I assume you are rather young. So such period abnormalities are usually due to Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding or Anovulatory cycles. However, there can be many other possible causes. You should see your doctor just to be sure.

  41. Hi.
    My boyfriend and I are both clean STI wise. We have sex without protection because he is very gifted and no condom fits him, the small ones do more harm than good.
    But he has reason to believe that if we do have sex during my periods he will fall ill because a friend of his fell ill when he did that. How true is that? Is he at risk of getting some germs from my blood and developing some genitalia disease? Isn’t blood sceptic until such time that blood borne pathogens enter your system, which would mean that even the infected person will also fall ill & develop fever or some inflammatory response?

    • There is no scientific reason why anyone should fall sick if and when they have sex during a period. If you are ill, you obviously can pass the infection to him but this happens regardless of whether you are on your period or not. For example, if you have chickenpox, and you have sex with your BF, he will get chickenpox. Regardless of whether you are on your period or not.

  42. Nhyleve

    Is it okey having sex on the first day of period?
    What is the advantages and disadvantages?
    I need your answer.ASAP

  43. Mercy

    My husband has a penile wart. The doctor stated that since he had a small cut when we had intercourse during my menses, bacteria got inside and caused a wart. Is this likely? Is HPV the only cause of warts? Please advise.

    • drtan

      By definition, warts are caused by HPV. If what your husband has was caused by anything other than HPV, it should not be called wart. Your doctor might have just used the term “wart” for convenience. You should verify this with him/her.

  44. i had sex with a gal friend in her menstruation. what do i do to detoxify myself

  45. Unknowingly During sex , my wifes period started, but the problem was , now when she goes for urine, the vaginal wall gets pain , please suggest any issue is there , what is the medication to stop or relif from the pain

    • It is best that she sees her doctor to find out what is causing the pain.

  46. hello doc
    my gf is virgin we met 2 days ago and we had sex I did it in in the way that penis was just on the top of vagina and she got discharge but i didn’t even discharge on that. it was her 2nd day of period. after that she complianed that she is not bleeding at all. is there any chance to get pregnant?

  47. My friend had unprotected sex on her first day of her period. Is that safe or not??

    • What do you mean by safe or not? She cannot get pregnant that is for sure. But she still is at risk of various STDs and infections.

  48. Hey doc, nice topic. I had sex with my girl on her period cause she wanted it bad. I want to know the risk i am involved do in if any and what I need to do after this. Thanks

    • Assuming that she does not have any infections, you are not at risk of anything. If she does have infections like STDs or HIV, then you are at an increased risk of contracting these infections. Since it is near impossible to tell if someone is carrying an infection or not, the prudent thing would still be to see your doctor.


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