By Sophie Dila
They can’t get enough of it. They secretly count down the days, minutes and seconds until they can have more of it. It’s their favorite time of month to do the dirty. Period sex. It’s so hot right now! Maybe you’re grossed out at mere use of the words “period” and “sex “in the same sentence., but if you are the slightest bit intrigued, then read on! Because period sex fans are crazy about it. So, what is period sex all about?
While it may be a little messier than what you’re used to, period sex is not some vampire fantasy bloodthirsty horror film-style free for all. If you approach this new experience with the right information, an open mind and maybe an extra prop or two (fresh towels, madam?), you may be very pleasantly surprised.
Of course, like all decisions about your sexual health, choosing to have sex while you are menstruating is exactly that – 100% your choice. Stepping out of your sexual comfort zone is exhilarating for some and intimidating for others. To get the most enjoyment out of your sex life, you should have all the information you need to communicate with your partner and safely explore new frontiers together.
That means that we need to dispel a major myth about period sex and pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, the truth is that you actually CAN get pregnant from having sex on your period. To understand why, we need to back it up and take a closer look at the ins and outs of the menstrual cycle, ovulation and conception. You know, science.
The idea that you can’t get pregnant on your period hinges on the expectation that everyone has a typical 28 to 30 day long menstrual cycle, but we know that’s just not the case. A typical menstrual cycle lasts 28 to 30 days, if we’re counting the first day of one period to the first day of the next. During that typical cycle, an egg grows in the ovary and moves into the fallopian tube once mature. That begins the process of ovulation, the window of time when the mature egg waits in the fallopian tube for the sperm to come and fertilize it. This brief baby-making window of opportunity usually occurs between days 11 and 21 of the typical menstrual cycle, and this window usually lasts 24 to 48 hours. If timed just right, you can pinpoint the exact days of the month that you can become pregnant and the days you can’t.
Many people use this natural fertility awareness-based method of family planning, but this method requires a high degree of focus and continuous attention to your body’s patterns and rhythms, and it has only an 82% effectiveness rate with average use. All things considered, there’s a lot of room for an “Oops!” (aka an unintended pregnancy) with this method, and that’s with a typical menstrual cycle.
Here’s the thing, though. Everybody’s menstrual cycles are a little different. Some periods start every 28 days, but many periods don’t follow that exact pattern, and some periods march to the tune of their own drum entirely. This can make tracking windows of fertility difficult and next to impossible for those among us with “irregular” periods.
Also, sperm! Those guys don’t die off right after entering the uterine environment, oh no. Sperm can live inside the uterus for anywhere from 2 to 6 days, so if you have sex a few days before your window of fertility, you can become pregnant. It just takes one sperm and one egg to make a baby.
And one more… STI protection through the use of condoms is always important. Period sex does not protect you from STIs (I know none of you thought that!) but condom use can. So go ahead and wrap it up! Then you don’t need to worry about sperm and your window of fertility either.
So where does that leave us? The world of sexual experiences is vast, and we want you to be informed. You may be blown away by the unexpected awesomeness of period sex, but it’s also important for you to know the risks involved. You can become pregnant while having sex on your period, so if you are not ready to have a baby, then protect yourself with a contraceptive method that works best for you.
May 20, 2016