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Can you have sex during a period?

Yes, you can. However, some people may feel uncomfortable having sex during a woman's monthly period because it can be messy, and the presence of blood can be off-putting. Some people may also oppose it on religious grounds.

There are a few risks associated with having sex during menstruation. HIV and a few other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may be passed on more easily during a woman's period (both from the woman to the man and vice versa). To avoid catching HIV or other STIs, you should always use a condom when you have sex.

It’s very unlikely, but you can still get pregnant if you have unprotected sex during your period if you ovulate early. This is because sperm can survive inside a woman’s body for up to seven days. Although the risk is small, it could happen.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 03/04/2015

Next review due: 02/04/2017