A question arose on another college sex Q&A site regarding intercourse during a woman’s period. The sexpert tried to be cute and stirred-up a hornet’s nest. How- ever, this is a question that many people wonder about.
First, there are women and men who are so put off by the menstrual flow that inter- course is out of the question. Sometimes, the partner is OK with intercourse during menses, but the woman is afraid that the partner will be put off.
As with most relational issues, an honest and open discussion can clarify the matter. Nonetheless, there are many couples who enjoy intercourse during a partner’s menses. Generally, couples who have been together longer are more likely to have sex during the woman’s period. However, there are some considerations.
Menstrual blood, as with other body fluids, can contain HIV, if the woman is infected. Women who carry HIV should have their partners wear a condom and use a rubber dam if oral sex is performed (rubber dams are available in most pharmacies next to the condoms).
Some people are concerned about the mess. Interestingly, the menstrual flow usually lessens when a woman becomes sexually aroused. However, there can be some menstrual fluid expelled during or after intercourse; a strategically placed towel can take care of this problem. Towels are also handy to prevent one or the other from sleeping on a wet spot following intercourse in general. Some couples only have intercourse when the woman’s flow is light.
Many women experience dysmenorrheal (painful menses). Some of the discomfort is caused by uterine cramping. Some women report a reduction in cramping following an orgasm. Unfortunately, some women experience worsened cramping while others experience no change following an orgasm. Whether intercourse changes the amount of cramping is highly variable.
Obviously, a woman can orgasm without intercourse to experience cramping relief. Women who experience painful cramping might try taking ibuprofen a day before their period starts. Ibuprofen restricts the formation of prostaglandins that trigger the uterine contractions. Note: the ibuprofen must be taken before cramping; once the prostaglandins are present they can’t be undone. In the past women used preparations containing marijuana to relax uterine cramping. Some women still use marijuana for the same effect, but run the risk of legal sanctions.
As with many relational issues, the facts are less important in determining behavior as are the attitudes. If a woman feels un- feminine or unattractive during her menses, she won’t desire nor enjoy intercourse.
On the other hand, if she is comfortable with her period and her partner is not put off, then intercourse is an OK activity.
Marty Lobdell is asking students to submit meaningful questions that he can address in his column.
Email The Pioneer Opinion Editor at Dkopmar@hotmail.com and tag the subject line with “Advice Column.” We will then for- ward those emails to Lobdell.
Or, students can type out their questions, seal them in an envelope, address them to “The Pioneer: advice column” and drop them in the campus mail box located on the second floor of Cascade.
Those then will be forwarded to Lobdell. All questions will be published anonymously.