Many women wonder if sex can delay their period. If you’re confused too, here’s everything you need to know about sex and its effect on periods.

When you are sexually active, it is normal to have questions about how it will affect your body. One common question that many women have in mind is “Can sex delay your periods?” Ladies, sex will only cause your period to be delayed if you become pregnant. This is because you do not get a period while pregnant. However, changes in your period from month to month are common, and a variety of factors might contribute to the delay. Some months you may not have a period, or you may have one at unpredictable or irregular periods, which could happen for various reasons. Here’s how sex affects periods and which factors delay your periods.

Can sex delay periods?

The answer is no! “The timing or regularity of a woman’s menstrual cycle is not directly impacted by sexual activity, including intercourse or other forms of stimulation. The menstrual cycle is mostly regulated by hormonal changes in the body, and sex cannot affect these changes. However, it is worth noting that sexual intercourse during menstruation can cause a brief pause in bleeding. This is because the contractions of the uterus during orgasm can assist discharge of menstrual blood more effectively. It is crucial to note that this temporary pause in bleeding has no effect on the menstrual cycle and does not postpone the onset of the next period, says obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Sunita Goyal.

A woman experiencing female sexual arousal disorder
Sex cannot cause changes in your hormonal functions. Image courtesy: Freepik

How are sex and period connected?

Although sex does not affect your menstrual cycle, there is some link between these two. Here’s how sex and the menstrual cycle are connected.

1. Hormonal fluctuations

Throughout the menstrual cycle, hormone levels fluctuate to regulate ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary) and prepare the uterus for potential pregnancy. Key hormones involved include estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can affect sexual desire (libido) and arousal, according to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research. Some women may experience increased libido around ovulation due to rising estrogen levels, while others may feel more sexually responsive during different phases of the cycle.

2. Ovulation and fertility

Ovulation typically occurs around the middle of the menstrual cycle (approximately 14 days before the start of the next period), when an egg is released from the ovary, as found in the study published in the StatsPearl Journal. This is the most fertile window for conception. Sexual intercourse during ovulation increases the likelihood of pregnancy, as sperm can fertilise the released egg within this timeframe.

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3. Menstruation and sexual activity

“Menstruation, or the shedding of the uterine lining, marks the beginning of the menstrual cycle. Some women may experience changes in sexual desire or comfort during menstruation due to hormonal fluctuations, physical discomfort, or personal preferences. Sexual activity during menstruation is safe for most individuals and can offer relief from menstrual cramps or other symptoms for some women, explains the expert.

4. Cervical mucus changes

The consistency and volume of cervical mucus change throughout the menstrual cycle in response to hormone levels. Around ovulation, cervical mucus becomes thinner and more slippery, facilitating sperm transport and increasing the chances of fertilisation, found a study published in the Encyclopedia of Reproduction.

5. Emotional and psychological factors

“Emotional and psychological factors, such as mood changes, stress levels, and relationship dynamics, can influence sexual desire and responsiveness throughout the menstrual cycle. Communication and understanding between partners regarding changes in libido and comfort levels can enhance sexual intimacy and satisfaction,” says the expert.

Also Read: These 7 hacks will help you deal with your period mood swings

Other factors that can delay your periods

1. Medication and contraceptives

Certain medications, including hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, injections), can affect menstrual cycles by suppressing ovulation or altering hormone levels. Discontinuation or changes in contraceptive methods may temporarily disrupt menstrual regularity, as found in a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

2. Medical conditions and illnesses

“Underlying medical conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can cause irregular periods or menstrual abnormalities. Chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, or reproductive system disorders may impact hormone levels and menstrual function, explains the expert.

3. Body weight and BMI (body mass index)

Significant changes in body weight, whether weight gain or weight loss, can disrupt hormone levels and affect menstrual cycles. Women with low body weight (underweight) or high body weight (obesity) may experience irregular periods or amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) due to hormonal imbalances, according to a study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.

Natural remedies to prevent period delay

While natural remedies can support overall menstrual health and hormonal balance, it is essential to note that individual responses may vary. These home remedies are not guaranteed to prevent delayed periods or menstrual irregularities. However, incorporating natural remedies may contribute to menstrual regularity and support reproductive health. Here are some natural remedies that may help promote menstrual regularity, as explained by the expert.

1. Ginger tea

Ginger is useful for regularising your periods and preventing delay in your menstrual cycle. Consuming raw ginger regularly can help control your periods. Ginger includes gingerol, which helps reduce inflammation in the body. It helps contract the uterine muscles and maintain hormonal equilibrium. On an empty stomach, drinking a glass of hot ginger tea in the morning speeds up metabolism and promotes menstruation health.

Also Read: 3 reasons why you need to brew ginger tea to ease your PMS symptoms

A glass of warm beverage
Drinking ginger tea can help avoid delay in periods. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Papaya juice

Unripe papaya is well-known for treating irregular periods. It stimulates uterine contractions, which aid in menstruation. Drink unripe papaya juice on a regular basis for a few months, but avoid it during your period.

3. Aloe vera juice

Aloe vera juice is a wonderful way to control your menstrual cycle as well as weight loss. It also boosts your metabolism and keeps your digestive system healthy. Aloe vera helps to repair hormonal imbalances, cure menstrual abnormalities, and avoid period delays. However, you should never consume aloe vera during your period. It may cause more uterine contractions.

Keep this in mind!

It is important to approach natural remedies with caution and consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you have underlying health concerns or medical conditions. Individual responses to natural remedies can vary, and professional guidance can ensure safe and effective use for menstrual health support.

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