Talking about having sex during menstruation often raises doubts among many women. Questions about whether or not it is permissible to have sex during menstruation often arise, mainly because of concerns about the negative impact on health. If you are curious about the dangers of having sex during menstruation, see the explanation below.
Dangers of Having Sex During Menstruation
Even though there are still negative views in society regarding intimate relationships during menstruation, it cannot be ignored that there are some risks that need to be understood. The following are among them:
1. Increased Risk of Transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
One consequence of sexual activity during menstruation is an increased chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Viruses that may be present in menstrual blood can be more easily transmitted to partners. Some STDs that are prone to spread when having sex during menstruation include HIV, hepatitis, and herpes.
Maybe you think that having sex during menstruation is a guarantee to avoid pregnancy. However, the reality is not that easy. Pregnancy can still occur, although this is rare.
Keep in mind that sperm has the potential to survive in the body for up to seven days. If you have sex near the end of your menstrual period and you have relatively short or irregular menstrual cycles, chances are sperm will still be active when ovulation occurs.
3. Vaginal Yeast Infection
Normal vaginal pH levels range from 3.8 to 5.0. During menstruation, this pH can change to be more acidic or alkaline. These changing environmental conditions can create an environment conducive to the growth of yeast, which in turn can lead to infections of the female reproductive tract.
Signs of vaginal yeast infection may appear in the first week of menstruation. Having sex can exacerbate these symptoms, including a cheese-like discharge, itching, pain, and redness around the vulva area.
4. Dry Vagina
Having sex during your period can sometimes reduce the need for extra lubrication, because menstrual blood itself can act as a natural lubricant. However, this is different if you usually use tampons during your period.
Using tampons, especially if you use them before sex, can result in decreased vaginal lubrication. This happens because tampons are able to absorb menstrual blood while removing the natural lubricant around the cervix.
5. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
One of the other risks of having sex during menstruation is a greater chance of having a urinary tract infection (UTI). The proximity of the urethra and vagina can make it easier for bacteria in menstrual blood to spread, especially during sexual activity.
Research shows that having sex during menstruation can contribute to the risk of developing endometriosis. Sexual activity during this period can cause the flow of menstrual blood that should come out, back into the abdominal cavity (retrograde menstruation), which ultimately risks triggering the growth of endometriosis outside the uterus.
It's important to remember that even though there are potential side effects of having sex during your period, that doesn't mean you have to completely avoid it. Preventive measures and safe sex practices can still be implemented to reduce the risk of disease or infection transmission. If you experience side effects from having sex during menstruation, it is wise to consult a doctor to get the appropriate treatment.