On top of the usual headaches, bloating and low mood on the days leading up to your period, you might feel that sex is more painful. We look at the possible causes and the best ways to manage the discomfort, whatever the time of month.
So, sex feels different as you’re nearing your period? Welcome to the club! Everything from a dip in sex drive to a lack of moisture down there may be due to a change in hormones. In fact, the highs and lows of your sex life might be more in sync with your cycle than you think. We explore why sex might be painful at different times of the month, and look at ways – including use of lube – to ease any discomfort.
Why does sex sometimes hurt before your period?
In the lead up to your period, your mind and body might have to deal with all sorts of intruders: low-mood, headaches, bloating and various other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are just some of the not-so-pleasant things women commonly experience, often days before any sign of blood.
Sex can feel different and even uncomfortable shortly before your period arrives. There can be a variety of causes, from lack of moisture down there to irritation of your urinary tracti, which can be more sensitive to infection at this time of the month. When you take a look at the list of pre-period troubles, it’s easy to see why sex might be off menu for you. And even if you’re still keen to get it on, it’s not hard to imagine why it might take a little more effort getting yourself nice and comfortable.
Of course, you should never have to put up with painful sex, regardless of the time of month. If you’re finding that sex is consistently painful it’s really important to visit your doctor as soon as possible, so they can look at the possible causes.
Is the pain nearly always in the vagina?
Not at all. You may experience the pain anywhere around your genital area, inside and out. Moving away from your vagina, vulva and everything in between, how other parts of your body feel will play an important role in how you feel during sex. That’s to say, the more that your entire body is comfortable and at ease, the less likely you are to experience discomfort during sex.
If, for example, you’re more prone to headaches in the week before your period starts, then this is likely to have a knock-on effect on your ability to relax and enjoy the ride with your partner during sex. Managing any discomfort, wherever that may be, will be key to having a good time.
What can you do about vaginal dryness?
Every woman will find a change in vaginal moisture at different stages in her cycle. If you’re drier on certain days, but still want sex, don’t let lack of moisture rain on your parade. There are many things you can do to get your juices flowing. From taking more time at the foreplay stage, or masturbating before you invite your partner to join in, find the ways that help you to feel more relaxed, and in turn, more turned on. Oh, and did we mention the benefits of lube?
Can lube really help with painful sex before your period?
Yes! Lube is a handy little addition to your bedroom toolkit, no matter the day of your cycle. In fact, if you like sex during your period but your flow is light, lube can instantly help to top up your natural juices. Durex Naturals Lube is a great choice for use before, during and after your period. It’s gentle enough for use everywhere, so you (and your partner) can go with the flow, and not be held back by any discomfort caused by lack of moisture.
How can keeping an eye on your cycle help?
If you find that sex is more painful before your period, then understanding the pattern of your menstrual cycle can help you to prepare for the easing of any discomfort. On the days you’re typically more sensitive to pain, you’ll know to be extra kind and gentle to yourself.
How can talking help you?
Every woman has a cycle, and periods are a shared experience. If you’ve ever experienced pain during sex at any stage of your cycle, it can be really comforting to talk with good friends. They may be able to help you look at possible reasons for this, and have some pearls of wisdom to share around things that have helped them. However, if you have persistent symptoms you are worrying about, it’s best to speak with your doctor.
Also, let your partner know when sex feels less comfortable than it should. If you are keen on having sex, but are worried that it’ll hurt, tell your partner this. Tell them where the areas of discomfort are, and guide them in what feels good (and what doesn’t). Any partner who values a mutually good experience will take the time and patience to ensure sex is as comfortable as it can be, whatever the time of month.