Is period sex safe? Malaysian expert points out its benefits and ways to do it right

Milad Hassandarvish
Protected sex is advisable for couples who wish to get intimate during menstruation. — Picture from

KUALA LUMPUR, December 13 — Menses is generally perceived “unclean” and menstrual taboos are well described across many religions and cultures.

But surely not all people see it that way.

Based on a survey result of 500 sexually-active men and women, consultant urologist Professor Dr George Lee Eng Geap said there are varied mentalities among the general public when it comes to menstruation sex.

“Naturally, the liberal millennials are more accepting of such practice being clean and safe, and the older conservatives may be more resistant and repulsed,” he added.

Whether you’re disgusted about venturing into the world of period sex or have been curious to give it a shot but still worry about things getting messy, Dr Lee said the controversial act comes with many health benefits.

Citing several studies, Dr Lee said sex during period is believed to relieve menstrual cramps as orgasm can further contract the uterus to expel menstrual linings, resulting in shorter intervals of menses.

“Some even argue the blood acts as natural lubricants and the release of endorphin during sex relaxes women and relieves many symptoms of menstrual pain,” said Dr Lee, adding that these views remain controversial.

He also highlighted that women may feel more sexually aroused with enhanced sex drive during this time of the month because of the changes in their hormone levels.

Although the exact mechanism of such enhancement is still not known, Dr Lee said the increase in testosterone levels during menstruation may be responsible for the drive.

To clear the air about its risks and dangers, Dr Lee said sexual intercourse during menstruation is generally harmless.

However, he noted that some scientists may argue that a woman’s body is more vulnerable during the menses as the vaginal pH is higher and thus less acidic than usual during the period.

“The cervix is also positioned lower with the opening more dilated, while the endometrial lining is absent during the menstrual shedding,” he added.

Simply put, Dr Lee said these three factors have the theoretical risk of allowing organisms to access the bloodstream during penetrative sex.

Apart from that, he said the biggest and most obvious downside to having sex during period is the mess.

“Blood can get on both parties and the beddings, making the couple feel self-conscious and anxious, which would eventually take the fun out of sex.”

He also warned that the transmission of sexually transmitted infections could be possible during period sex.

“Viruses like Hepatitis B and HIV can spread through menstrual products, hence the use of condoms is crucial for the reduction of such infection, in fact with or without menstruation,” he added.

He also clarified that menstruation sex will likely not result in a pregnancy as the ovulation is usually more than 10 days away, but advised women who typically have a shorter cycle to be more cautious.

“This is because the sperm can survive in the uterus for up to five days.

“Therefore, the couples having sex at the end of bleeding can still conceive four to five days later,” he added.

Dr Lee also said sexual activities should be avoided if one or both partners have negative feelings towards such practice due to religious or hygiene purposes.

“Also if the partner is known to have positive infective status such as HIV or Hepatitis, avoidance of such practice may reduce the risk of disease transmission,” he added.

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