Infection risk from sex during your menstrual period

There is nothing wrong to have sex during menstrual period but it is crucial to practice safe sex while you are having your period because you could still get or transmit an STI, like HIV, during this time, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lauren Streicher, MD, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, says that anecdotally speaking, there are two reasons for this risk. “Any bodily fluid can carry HIV or [other] STIs, and [during your period], the cervix opens slightly, which might allow viruses to pass through,” she says. “My message to women is; you’re not off the hook as far as using protection.”
You may also be more prone to some infections at this time. Your vagina maintains a pH level of 3.8 to 4.5 throughout the month, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). But during menstruation, that level rises because of the higher pH level of blood, and yeast is able to grow more rapidly.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are more likely to occur the week before your menstrual period, and intercourse during this time can exacerbate symptoms. But clear evidence is lacking for any increased risk of getting a yeast infection if you have sex during your period.
There’s also the dreaded Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). “Some women can be more prone to having urinary tract infections after intercourse,” says Dr. Coleman. “But this is more likely related to bacteria being able to easily travel to the bladder with intercourse, but it may happen at any point during the menstrual cycle.”

Risk of pregnancy during your period
Having sex when you are menstruating will most likely not result in getting pregnant, because you are usually several days away from ovulating during menstruation. But there are exceptions. If you have a shorter menstrual cycle (21 to 24 days) and you have sex toward the end of your period, sperm can remain viable in your vagina for up to five days, so pregnancy is possible. But this is not an optimal time to try to get pregnant if you’re hoping for a baby.

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