When someone says it's a "dangerous" time to have sex, you might think of that quickie in the middle of the day at your parent's house, or the surprise visit from your significant other on lunch break in your office. Those types of dangerous sex might get the adrenaline pumping, but that's not what we're talking about. This kind of risk is worse than getting caught in the act by your family or getting fired.
This "risky business" could be life altering, or in the most severe instances life ending. But have no fear, we are here to help you learn the facts. The more educated women are on sex and the biological repercussions it can have, the easier it is to avoid these repercussions. And the more sex they can have!
Ovulation and STDs
There are two times during a woman's monthly cycle when it is especially precarious for her to have unprotected sex, when she's menstruating and when she's ovulating. Most women know the biggest risk in having unprotected sex when they're ovulating.
For the newbies out there, it can often result in pregnancy! Something that is less known is you are more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV, when you are ovulating. Research has shown your immune system naturally suppresses itself at this time. Probably to make sure the body doesn't kill the sperm in its relentless quest to fertilize the egg. You know the saying, a woman's work is never done, and because it can be hard to pinpoint exactly when you're ovulating, you should play it safe and always take precautions. Ovulation is not the only time women need to be extra careful either.
Period ≠ Pregnancy-free Sex
Period's can also be a perilous time to have sex. There is a myth floating around out there that you can't get pregnant if you're on your period. It's not true! While it is less likely, it is far from impossible. Especially for women with short menstrual cycles. If your cycle is less than twenty-five days long, having sex during your period could put sperm in your vagina dangerously close to ovulation. Sperm can still be viable up to five days after sex, so it is important to protect against pregnancy even during your menstrual cycle. Sex is exciting, unplanned pregnancies, in general, are not.
Pregnancy is not the only gamble you take when you have unprotected sex while on your period. Women are also more likely to catch STD's and other infections in the time of their periods. The cervix is somewhat open during this time, which could let viruses pass with ease into the body. Not only could you more easily become infected, you could also more easily infect someone else. Being exposed to one type of sexually transmitted infection increases your exposure to other kinds, so prevention is key. Sex should be about both parties having a good time, not putting one another in danger. Any fluid from your body can carry infections, like HIV, and menstrual blood is no different.
The female body is already prone to infections in general during the menstrual cycle because the vagina has a lower acidity when "Aunt Flo" comes to visit, which puts the female at a higher risk of a yeast or bacterial infection. Yeast infections often pop up in the week before your period, and during your period the pH level of your vagina rises because of the higher pH level of blood. This causes the yeast to be able to grow more rapidly. Intercourse usually makes the symptoms of the yeast infection worse. There is also the loathsome UTI to worry about. Some women consistently get urinary tract infections after intercourse. UTIs occur when bacteria is able to move without difficulty to the bladder.
These factors shouldn't scare you away from having sex when you're on your period. There are a lot of positives to having sex when you're menstruating. It can be a pain reliever for cramps, or even help ease anxiety and depression. Orgasms release "feel-good" hormones like oxytocin and dopamine. These hormones are stronger than any over the counter medication you could find at your local pharmacy. The dopamine "high" has been compared to heroin, but it is safe and free! Nothing like an afternoon romp to get you to feeling better.
Nature's Natural Lube
Your period can provide lubrication, an all natural lubrication at that. Oil based lubricants can deteriorate latex condoms, which could lead to the condom breaking, and a broken condom is useless. Period sex can also shorten your period! Every time you have an orgasm, your uterus contracts. When this happens blood and uterine lining are expelled faster than it would be without the orgasm.
The painful cramping and pressure that you're feeling will also lessen as the compounds causing it are flushed out of your uterus. The rising hormone levels also make a lot of women feel more aroused and sensitive to touch, giving them the potential for more intense orgasms. If both parties are agreeable, there is nothing wrong with period sex! However, as with just about anything that feels good, there are also risks involved.
Sex is a delightful activity enjoyed every day by people all over the world. To continue to live life to the fullest, keep some condoms on you just in case! It is also important to know that some STD's can be spread even if you do wear a condom, so you should always be diligent in getting tested. Make sure your partner gets tested as well! There is no shame in having a healthy sexual appetite.
Whether you're on your period, ovulating, or it's just a regular day, you can have all the sex you want. Just remember, surprise pregnancies aren't the only things lurking out there for people who have unprotected sex. You also run the risk of catching and spreading diseases that are completely preventable.