Everything you need to know about menstruation (it’s sexier than it sounds)

First, let’s put the obvious question aside: what the heck is “menstruation”? For the uninitiated, which probably includes most of us, the term combines the words menstruation and masturbation. Menstrual is masturbating when you are in the throes of PMS and your period.

As far as the acronym is concerned, it’s clunky and might need some work. I don’t think I’m going to take advantage of brunch “menstruation” anytime soon! – but as a practice, it is quite magical, especially if you are someone who has painful periods.

The term was coined last year when sexual wellness company Womanizer and menstrual cup brand Lunette partnered to carry out a small study on “menstruation”.

They found that of the 341 participants who had menstrual periods, 43% said that over-the-counter menstrual pain relievers best addressed menstrual pain, while 42% said masturbation was the most effective pain reliever. Overall, 90% said they would attest to solo sex to combat period pain.

Yes, this survey was conducted by a sex toy company with a keen interest in keeping people masturbating with their toys, but the science supports the suggestion: Orgasms can ease the cramps and cluster headaches that many menstruators experience. in their periods, one of 2013 study found.

“You may experience the best orgasm of your life, alone or with a partner, during your period.”

– Lisa Masterson, OB / GYN

Orgasms increase blood flow to the uterus, which can increase your tolerance for cramps, explains Kate White, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine.

“Additionally, orgasms can trigger the release of chemicals oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and even endorphins,” says White, author of the forthcoming Your Guide to Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss. “These feel-good hormones and chemicals are related to relaxation and improved mood so that your body and your mind may feel better after orgasm. “

Menstruation does not change your periods (if your flow is heavy, it’s likely still heavy) and the effects may be limited to hours after orgasm. But still, White says, a little solo play is a great way to combat monthly cramps without drugs.

Orgasms in general are actually a powerful pain reliever, says Jennifer Lincoln, OB-GYN and author of Let’s Talk Down There: An OB-GYN Answers All Your Burning Questions … without you feeling embarrassed to ask.

A study showed that women who masturbated had higher pain thresholds compared to when they were not masturbating, which means that you may not worry as much about menstrual cramps if you are showing self-respect, ”she says.

Also, some people experience increased sex drive while they’re on their periods, why not take advantage of that? Many menstruators report that internal sensations are different during menstruation because their natural lubricant mixes with period blood, the sex and relationships coach said. Keeley Rankin.

“If you find that the sensations are not as pleasant, consider adding a little lubricant,” she says.

Tanja Ivanova via Getty Images

According to a recent survey, 43% of people who have had periods said that over-the-counter menstrual pain relievers better address menstrual pain, while 42% said masturbation was the most effective method of pain relief.

As an obstetrician-gynecologist Lisa Masterson sees it, masturbating at the height of your period is also a great way to promote positivity about periods and get rid of ideas of dirt or embarrassment with periods.

“If you’re not masturbating during your period yet, it might be time to take advantage of the change in hormones,” says Masterson, host of the YouTube podcast and series. Health in heels with Dr. Lisa. “You could experience the best orgasm of your life, just or with partner, during your period. “

All that being said, if the last thing you want to do is touch yourself during your period, of course that’s fine too. However, one last health benefit. If you are prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), masturbation comes with another hidden benefit: masturbation can help prevent cervical infections and urinary tract infections through ‘tent’ process, which is the opening of the cervix that occurs as part of the arousal process, said Jacques Moritz, New York City medical director for Tia, a nationwide women’s health care startup.

“The carp stretches the cervix and therefore the cervical mucus,” he explained. “This allows fluid circulation, allowing bacteria-laden cervical fluids to be flushed out.”

6 Expert-Backed Tips to Get the Most Out of Solo Sex During Your Period

Get down to business as soon as you start to feel bad

As with any pain reliever, the sooner you use it, the more effective it will be.

“Consider masturbating as soon as menstrual cramps start and not waiting until they are severe,” White said.

If you want to keep it a little less complicated, do these things

You can keep your tampon or menstrual cup in and focus on stimulating the clitoris with your hand or vibrator, he says Megan Fleming, a psychologist and sex therapist based in New York City.

If you are concerned about staining your sheets, a towel can help contain any messes you may experience.

“Some clients have a blanket or blanket for menstruation, as if they have underwear for menstruation, something that is easy to throw in the washing machine,” she said. “Others prefer the shower or the bathtub. Bring lubricant too. “

Additionally, Lincoln says that emptying the bladder beforehand can also help flush out blood or clots found in the vagina before masturbating.

If you want to put a dildo into play, consider using a condom to make cleaning easier, says White.

Or try the shower

If you’re still worried about clutter, showering or bathing is also a great place to menstruate because you can easily wash off when you’re done.

“You may want to bring lube into the shower, as the water will wash away your normal lubrication,” says White.

If your partner is involved, practice safe sex

If your partner is involved, be sure to use separate toys, use condoms to protect the toys, or wash the toys if you share them.

“Bloodborne viruses, such as hepatitis and HIV, can be spread through menstrual blood, so be sure to take extra precautions if this concerns you.”

Remember: pleasure is your right, whether or not you are on your period.

To get back to the point one of the experts made earlier, there is no reason for you to put pleasure, with a partner or alone, on the back burner just because you have your (incredibly inconsiderate) monthly visitor.

“Some women feel that they cannot or are not allowed sexual pleasure during their menstruation cycle,” says Rankin.

“I often remind clients that there are no good times or bad times to lean on their pleasure,” he says. “You menstruate every month and unless you don’t want to have sex, there is no reason not to explore what makes you feel good.”

Sex education for adults is a series that addresses everything you didn’t learn about sex in school, beyond the birds and the bees. Keep checking back for more Expert-based articles and personal stories.

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