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Does Sex Really Help With Period Cramps?

Busted: Does Sex Really Help With Period Cramps?

Ever heard that a quick romp in the sheets, with a partner or even when you are flying solo, can rid you of your period cramps? Wonder if it’s true? The short answer is yes, one of the solutions to period pain really lies under the covers, literally, and it’s not just anecdotal but actually backed up by science! Buckle up to learn how below.


Can sex relieve period cramps? Yes, when accompanied by an orgasm!

Is it good to have sex on your period? It can be, provided that it’s consensual and you’re prepared for the possibility of some mess!

Menstrual Cramps and Period Sex: What’s The Connection?

Painful period cramps, or dysmenorrhea, is something that at least 70% of Indian women have to deal with on a monthly basis.1 And most of us don’t really know why. Here’s the scoop: period pain is a direct result of the uterus contracting in order to release the uterine lining as menstrual blood. 

If you want to get deeper into the science of it all, what happens is that there is a natural drop in the hormone progesterone just before your period starts. This leads to a group of chemicals called prostaglandins to release from the uterus, which are responsible for contracting the uterus muscles and thus causing cramps. Many women rely on over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain-killers or hot water bottles for period pain relief, but period sex, solo or partnered, also works like a charm as menstrual cramps pain relief!2 

Here’s why: when sexual stimulation or penetrative sex leads to an orgasm, an array of endorphins get released, such as dopamine, acetylcholine, nitric oxide, serotonin, and noradrenaline. These are the neurotransmitters that lead to that feel-good high that you experience post an orgasm. These endorphins activate the opioid receptors in your body, which then block any pain messages from being transmitted to the brain. Painkillers also work by activating these very receptors. 

Additionally, noradrenaline, acetylcholine, and nitric oxide in particular also increase the blood flow to the genitals, which engorges the blood vessels and leads to pulsation in the vagina. This extra circulation relaxes your tense muscles, which also helps soothe your cramps. And here’s a fun fact: orgasms also make the muscles of your uterus contract and relax, which makes your uterine lining shed a lot quicker, thus shortening your period! So you see the multiple benefits sex, when coupled with an orgasm, has for menstruators!

Period Sex: Is It For You?

Now you know the answer to the question, “Do orgasms help period cramps?” is a resounding YES. But with sex during periods being such a taboo all around the world, not just in India, it’s no wonder that you might have some reservations about the act. Let’s get down and dirty and talk about it in more detail.

The first thing that you should know is that period sex is a choice that you should make if it sounds appealing to you or perhaps to spice up your sex life. But it’s also perfectly okay if you feel averse to the idea, as long as you aren’t just giving in to social stigma. 

Firstly, although a lot of women find their libido to shoot through the roof during their periods, this is not true for every woman. If your sex drive is low during your period and you don’t feel like you’re in the mood for it, it is your prerogative to not explore it. It won’t be any good if you are not in the right headspace to enjoy it. Secondly, if you feel debilitating pain on your periods, sex isn’t going to do the trick anyway. In case of severe menstrual cramps, it’s essential that you consult your gynaecologist and get the right care. 

But if you don’t fall under either of those categories and still want to explore the idea of period sex, here are some deets for you!

To begin with, the benefits of period sex extend far beyond them acting as a period pain remedy. 

  • If you struggle with vaginal dryness, period sex gives you the opportunity to take advantage of some natural lubrication! 
  • It also gives you a chance to give in to your increased sex drive during your period.
  • The endorphins that are responsible for making your cramps go away, can also lower your stress and anxiety levels and thus improve your overall well-being! 

Now if you’re worried about the bloody mess it might cause, below are some pointers to help you out!

Tips That Will Come Handy During Period Sex

If you’re ready to give period sex a try, here are some ways to prepare for it and ensure you’re in for a smooth ride.  

  • Start by having an open conversation with your partner.
  • You can ease into it with some dry humping first.
  • Once you’re ready, keep some towels on hand to protect your mattress and sheets.
  • Consider shower sex if you wish to avoid the cleanup completely. 
  • If you use a tampon or menstrual cup, make sure to remove it before penetration. 
  • Remember to practise safe sex by using contraception. Yes, even on your period!     

Last Words

It’s time to un-normalise period cramps and normalise period sex! The next time your period cramps are killing you, consider grabbing your partner (or your favourite vibe) instead of your hot water bottle! But remember that while breaking taboos is well and good, it’s not worth it if you feel like you aren’t or won’t enjoy the act. Check in with yourself, and your partner as well, before you get into bed. With that said, if you feel severe pain during periods, you won’t find the solution in your bedroom but in your gynaecologist’s office. 


1- Does sex really help with period cramps?

Yes, sex can really help with period cramps if accompanied by an orgasm. This is because the endorphins released during an orgasm block pain messages from releasing the brain, much like painkillers do. Additionally, they increase the blood flow to the genitals, and this extra circulation relaxes tense muscles, thus soothing cramps.

2- Does sex help your period end faster?

Yes, sex, or in particular orgasms,make the muscles of your uterus contract and relax, which makes your uterine lining shed a lot quicker, thus potentially making your period end faster.

3- Does sex make period cramps worse?

Sex should not make your period cramps worse. If it does, you should consult your gynaecologist. 

4- What are the side effects of sex during your period?

Some side effects of having sex during your period are the mess it can cause and the possible anxiety that that might cause you. There is also the risk of STIs if you don’t practise safe sex. Additionally, it can be dangerous to have sex on your period if you don’t remove your tampon or menstrual cup beforehand.

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