Sex with period and tampon?

Originally Published: May 2, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: October 14, 2011
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Dear Alice,

I have my period and am using a tampon. Can I have sex?

Horny Tampon

Dear Horny Tampon,         

It is perfectly normal to be horny during your period — some women particularly enjoy having sex during that time of the month. However, it is important to always take out your tampon before vaginal sex. A tampon sits in the vaginal canal, the same place a penis goes during penile-vaginal intercourse. If you're wearing a tampon during sex, the penis could potentially push the tampon too far up the vaginal canal. This could lead to major discomfort, and make it very difficult to remove the tampon. It may be uncomfortable for your partner as well.

A tampon that travels too far up the vagina or cervix can lead to multiple health consequences, including pain, burning, unusual vaginal discharge, and infections. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare, but life-threatening, bacterial infection that affects between one and seventeen menstruating women per 100,000. To minimize the risk of TSS, wash your hands before inserting a tampon, change your tampon every four to six hours, and use the lowest absorbency tampon that is reasonable given the amount of your menstrual flow. If you are experiencing any complications related to tampon use, it is recommended to speak with a health care provider.  

Keep in mind that it is possible for a woman to get pregnant even if she has her period. You may want to visit the archive of questions about contraception on Go Ask Alice! for more information.  

To conclude, there are certainly ways to release your sexual energy during your period — safely!

Alice