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Sex and your cycle: Menstruation phase

By Bellesa Team

The menstrual cycle consists of 4 phases: menstruation phase, follicular phase, ovulation, and luteal phase; all of which have an impact on your sex life. Understanding how these phases influence desire, pleasure, and fertility can help your connection and understanding of your own body throughout your cycle. 

So let’s break down everything you need to know about the first phase.

Understanding the menstruation phase

Menstruation is the first phase of the menstrual cycle, characterized by the shedding of the uterine lining – AKA your period. The first day of your period marks day 1 of the 28 day cycle with the menstruation phase marking days 1-5. 

Menstruation and ovulation rarely overlap so it is uncommon to become pregnant during your period… but not impossible! Using contraception is still recommended during this phase. Ovulation and cycle tracking can also help you to better understand your body and identify your time of highest fertility. 

Sex and menstruation

Contrary to popular belief, menstruation doesn't necessarily diminish sexual desire or pleasure. Some individuals may experience a heightened sex drive during this phase due to increased sensitivity and lubrication. 

Sex and masturbation during menstruation are totally safe and can also help your emotional well-being. Embracing this phase of the menstrual cycle can improve your relationship with your body and comfort during menstruation. That said, personal preferences vary. 

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when navigating sex during menstruation:

1. Communication: Talk about how you’re feeling emotionally and physically, what kind of stimulation you’re in search of, and what you don’t want. Determining and communicating your needs and boundaries are key to ensuring comfort and pleasure. 

2. Empathy: Recognize that each cycle is different and feelings will vary person to person, but may also vary month to month with the same person. So be patient with yourself and/or your partner as you navigate.  

3. Experimentation: Explore different activities to discover what feels most fulfilling to you. If something isn’t working don’t be afraid to communicate that and move on. This may also be the time to explore non-sexual forms of intimacy with yourself or your partner. 

4. Self-care: Taking care of your mind, body, and soul are all crucial in managing the physical and emotional fluctuations you’ll experience throughout your cycle. Being in tune with yourself will help you better communicate your needs and desires with a partner. 

5. Respect boundaries: Respect each other's boundaries and mutual consent is important at any time, but acknowledge that your partner’s boundaries may change during menstruation based on personal preferences. 

Embracing menstruation as a natural part of your sexual and reproductive wellness will foster a healthier relationship with your body and your cycle. Remember there’s nothing unhygienic or taboo about period sex, it’s all about your personal desires and preferences! Keep communicating and exploring with your partner until you find what works for you. 

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