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Menstrual Cups and Sex: Are They Compatible? Period Sex Tips

Once you know how to use a menstrual cup, it’s only natural to wonder if it could help you enjoy mess-free period sex, too. Then, one day, it happens. You’re both in the mood so you dim the lights, turn on slow music, and are deep into foreplay when you suddenly remember… you’re wearing a cup. You freeze. Can you have sex with menstrual cups? Should you take it out? And how to tell your partner without losing the passionate momentum….?

The compatibility of sex and menstrual cups is a common concern we hear at Ruby Cup. But that’s a good thing because as menstrual cup experts, our interests don’t stop at creating eco-friendly period cups that protect the environment. We’re also on a mission to provide everyone who menstruates with the knowledge to make educated choices about their bodies and sex.    


So let’s shed some light on period sex. Read on to learn:

  • Can you have sex with a menstrual cup?
  • The benefits of period sex.
  • Are there any risks to having sex on your period?
  • Tips for having sex with a menstrual cup.

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Can you have sex with a menstrual cup?

It depends on what kind of sex you want to have. If you’re practicing oral or anal sex, or outercourse (non-penetrative sex), then yes, you can have sex with a menstrual cup. Because menstrual cups do such a good job of containing menstrual flow, oral sex or outercourse during your period might be even more feasible with your cup in place. 

Even though menstrual cups are soft and can’t get lost inside you, we don’t advise having penetrative vaginal sex with a cup. Here’s why:

  • A menstrual cup takes up space in your vagina, leaving less room for a penis, sex toy, or finger.
  • The cup could create discomfort for your partner during penetrative intercourse.
  • Your cup could be pushed up against your cervix, causing you pain.
  • Sex could break the cup’s suction causing it to leak. 
  • Your cup could be shifted behind your cervix, making cup removal trickier. 

 

If you’re really in the mood and both you and your partner are fine with it, why not just remove your cup for penetrative vaginal sex? You can rinse your cup and store it in a clean place until you’re ready to reinsert it later. 

Period sex with a menstrual disc is a different story. You can have period sex with a menstrual disc because most discs are disposable and made of silicone that’s thinner than reusable menstrual cups.

Discs are also designed to sit directly below your cervix instead of within your vaginal canal, like a cup. This means there is more room for a penis, finger, or sex toy and the disc is less likely to be dislodged or pushed uncomfortably into your cervix.

But before choosing a menstrual disc, know that they are:

  • Not zero-waste. Unlike menstrual cups, most menstrual discs are not reusable.
  • Less eco-friendly. The few reusable menstrual discs available don’t last as long as a cup. For example, a Ziggy Cup (menstrual disc) lasts up to 2 years, whereas a Ruby Cup can last up to 10.
  • Trickier to learn how to use. A recent study shows that discs are harder to remove than a menstrual cup and disc removal tends to be messier, as well.

 

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Above all, if you’re not using birth control and want to have period sex, know that neither menstrual cups nor discs are designed to be a contraceptive. If you don’t want to get pregnant, make sure to use a reliable form of birth control when having period sex or try other types of sex with menstrual cups (more on this later).  

 

The benefits of having sex on your period

We love breaking taboos, not just about menstrual cups but about sex, too. Many people believe period sex to be dirty or are convinced their partner won’t like it. But there are many benefits to having sex on your period that could make both you and your partner change your minds. 

Menstrual blood acts as a natural lubricant

Yes, menstrual blood can be a natural lubricant, which is helpful if you experience vaginal dryness. So you can have more enjoyable sex on your period without suffering discomfort or relying on manufactured, chemical lubes.

Some Ruby Cup users report less vaginal dryness when they make the switch from tampons to a Ruby cup. And it’s not surprising. Tampons are designed to absorb all fluids in your vagina, not just menstrual flow. Made of 100% medical-grade silicone and plastic-free, Ruby Cup respects your vaginal flora and helps keep your vagina’s natural lubrication intact.

What you put into your body matters. A recent study revealed that menstrual cups have a much lower risk of causing Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a deadly bacterial infection, than tampons. And though more research is needed, a new study shows regular tampon use could lead to negative long-term effects on the body. 

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So, to avoid dryness and respect your body’s natural fluid, switch to a menstrual cup. 

Period sex may help to relieve menstrual cramps

Though more studies are needed, current research shows that hormonal changes during sex can help increase your threshold for pain, including cramps.

When we experience sexual pleasure and have an orgasm, our bodies release hormone messengers called endorphins, your body’s natural pain killer, and oxytocin, your feel-good hormone. Orgasms also make your pelvic floor and uterus contract, helping relieve your menstrual cramps and improve menstrual flow. It’s no wonder many people report period-cramp relief when they have period sex. 

Sex may even play a role in preventative cramp and headache relief, but there’s still no recent research to support this. 

Another level of intimacy with your partner

Women’s sexual health and pleasure still aren’t being studied enough. But even though the research isn’t out there yet, some women do report an increased libido during their periods.

Maybe you’re squeamish about period sex and have never even considered it as a possibility, even when your sex drive is at an all-time high. That’s where Ruby Cup can help. If you’re open to non-penetrative sex, using a menstrual cup can allow you to have intimacy and orgasms without worrying about the mess.

We’ll go into tips for sex with a menstrual cup later, but the bottom line is: you can enjoy outercourse or anal sex during your period while using a menstrual cup. And having that conversation with your partner could open your relationship up to new levels of intimacy and pleasure.

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The potential risks of having sex on your period

One big misconception we hear is that period sex means safer sex. But here are a few myths we’re about to bust so you can make healthier and safer choices. 

Pregnancy

Though unusual, it is still possible to get pregnant if you have sexual intercourse during your period. While you don’t normally ovulate and menstruate at the same time, your period is not a pregnancy-safe time. And whether you choose to use a menstrual cup or disc during period sex, neither one is a contraceptive. 

Infections/STDs

Having period sex increases your risk for infections. Menstrual blood can transmit blood-borne viruses, such as HIV, and Hepatitis B and C more easily during your period. 

So, unless you’re informed about your partner’s health, take precautions even when enjoying sex on your period. For example, use a dental dam for oral sex, make sure you and your partner have been tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI's), and use a condom.

Endometriosis

A new study shows a correlation between orgasmic period sex and endometriosis. People with endometriosis can have more painful and heavy periods because the tissue that lines their uterus or womb also grows in other places besides their uterus. With the menstrual cycling of hormones, this tissue can swell and cause pain and heavier periods. 

As we mentioned earlier, your body’s helpful natural painkillers, endorphins, and oxytocin may be a natural way to help ease the monthly pain some endometriosis survivors experience each month. However, we still need more studies to better understand whether period sex may help people with endometriosis.   

Tips for sex with a menstrual cup

Though we don’t recommend penetrative vaginal sex with a cup, we’re not ruling out period sex with a menstrual cup altogether. There are other options like anal and oral sex, which are both fine with a menstrual cup.

Or, if both you and your partner agree to it, just remove your menstrual cup, then have sex. There’s nothing dirty about period sex. And if you don’t want to deal with cleaning up afterward, try having period sex in the shower or lay a towel underneath you. And let’s admit it—sex can be messy, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy it!

If your menstrual flow varies, you can also choose to cuddle, kiss, or fondle each other on the days you have a heavy flow and go for period sex on lighter-flow days. But the possibilities don’t stop there. Use these top tips to enjoy sex with a menstrual cup:

Explore new ways to enjoy intimacy

Whoever said that penetrative sex is the best sex, anyway?

You may think your partner is not open to alternatives, but you won’t know until you ask. You can choose from a host of options like oral sex, clitoral stimulation, foreplay, kissing, non-penetrative masturbation, and dry humping.  

As you experiment, remember that sexual pleasure is subjective. What arouses one person may turn off another. For greater intimacy, agree to share your personal preferences without shame. When you communicate openly, without judgment, and let go of your own fears, you can explore new levels of intimacy, trust, and sexual pleasure with your partner. Your sex life will thank you for it. 

Heighten your body awareness

Use your curiosity to increase your body awareness. When you’re open to exploration, you can better understand what you like and don’t like. Try masturbating on your period first to see what turns you on, then share with your partner. Or just decide to start with foreplay and see where it takes you both. Kissing, touching, and fondling can also be powerful tools to discover new horizons of pleasure. 

Spice it up with non-penetrative sex toys 

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Choose healthy sex play and enjoy new sensations with sex toys that can stimulate your clitoris or other parts of your body, without ever penetrating your vagina. For example, vibrators don’t have to mean penetrative sex. 

You can also use a vibrator to stimulate your clitoris and your vulva. When you engage in sexual play through sex toys, you may discover areas of your body that, when stimulated, can take you to new heights of arousal.

Sex with menstrual cups — do what feels good

As you’ve seen, there are no rigid rules when it comes to sex with menstrual cups. And while we don’t recommend penetrative vaginal sex with a menstrual cup, it doesn’t mean you can’t have period sex. 

Remember these key takeaways the next time you want to have sex during your menstrual cycle:

  • We don’t recommend penetrative sex with a menstrual cup: penetrative vaginal sex with menstrual cups could be uncomfortable, or even painful, and make cup removal more tricky.
  • Period sex can be a healthy choice. It relieves menstrual cramps, and period blood can act as a natural lubricant if you suffer from vaginal dryness.
  • Period sex does not protect you against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. Remember: menstrual cups and discs are not contraceptive devices.
  • While period sex can deepen your level of intimacy with your partner, remember pleasure is subjective. The actual key to intimacy and enhanced sexual pleasure is cultivating open, non-judgmental communication between partners. 

 

We hope you’ve found this article useful to understand the benefits and risks of period sex and how to have sex with a menstrual cup. And feel free to share your questions and concerns with us on Instagram. Ruby Cup is always here to help you make educated choices about your sexual health.

 

Zero-waste period

 

FAQs

Can a guy feel a menstrual cup?

Your partner may feel your menstrual cup during penetrative period sex. We don’t recommend penetrative vaginal sex with a cup because of possible discomfort, leakage, and difficult cup removal. Also, remember a cup is not a contraceptive. So even if you do have period sex with a menstrual cup, you could still get pregnant.

Can you have sex with a menstrual cup?

It’s not advisable, but it’s also not dangerous. Penetrative vaginal sex might dislodge your cup, pushing it higher and making removal more difficult. It may also break your cup’s seal and create leaks. And it just might be noticeable and uncomfortable for you both. 

Is it possible to have mess-free period sex with a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup can’t guarantee mess-free period sex because penetrative sex could break the cup’s seal and create leaks. And though period sex with a cup isn’t dangerous, it’s not recommended. If you want mess-free period sex, lay a towel beneath you, use the shower, or wait for lighter-flow days. 

Is it safe to have period sex?

Period sex is safe, but know that STIs and blood-borne viruses can pass to you or your partner through your period blood.