We’ve all heard the rumor that having sex can make you start your period earlier than expected. Finding yourself a day or two late can even make you wonder if doing the deed would be enough to get the ball rolling.
Discussions about sex and your period can get a little intense, but at Rael, we’re all about normalizing things that are normal, including talking about having sex around your period.
Whether you’re trying to kickstart your cycle or worried you’ll end up with an inconvenient (read: messy) situation the next time you’re intimate, we’ve got all the information you need to know. We’ll talk about what makes your period happen, how sex affects it, and what you can do to be prepared for any period situation.
What Makes You Start Your Period Each Month?
Your monthly cycle is a complex function that involves numerous hormones and body parts. Every month, your body goes through four distinct phases that help you prepare to have your period. They are the menstruation period, follicular phase, ovulation phase, and luteal phase.
The menstruation phase is the phase of your cycle when your monthly period occurs. It’s the first stage of each cycle but happens as a result of the end of the previous cycle.
Your period happens when an egg that was released is not fertilized. When the egg is not fertilized, both the egg and the thickened lining of your uterus will be shed through the process of menstruation. Lower levels of estrogen and progesterone trigger another hormone, prostaglandin, to cause the uterus to contract.
The contraction of the uterus is what triggers your body to begin having your period. Menstruation usually lasts an average of five to seven days.
The follicular phase begins on the first day of your period but lasts until you ovulate. During the follicular phase, hormones trigger the ovaries to produce small sacs called follicles. Each follicle holds one immature egg.
Only one healthy, mature egg will be released at the end of the follicular phase and travel down the fallopian tube to the uterus, where it will be available for fertilization.
The ovulation phase is very short. It lasts about 24 hours each month. The ovulation phase happens when one mature egg is released from a follicular sac on either ovary and travels to the uterus.
Ovulation happens around day 14, or one full week after your period. This is the only time you can get pregnant during the month, but that doesn’t mean that pregnancy can’t occur when you aren’t expecting it to happen.
You can still get pregnant during any time of the month because there’s always a chance you haven’t calculated your cycle correctly. If you aren’t trying to become pregnant, always use a form of birth control.
The luteal phase happens after the mature egg has been released. If you don’t get pregnant, levels of estrogen and progesterone will decrease so that both the egg and the thickened lining of your uterus sheds, resulting in your period for the next month.
The changes in your hormones from one phase to another is what causes your period to happen. That leads to the question of whether or not having sex can affect those hormones and cause you to have an earlier period.
Does Sex Make Your Period Start Earlier?
The shortest and most dependable answer to this question is no. Having sex can’t change your period or cause you to get your period earlier. Having sex can only affect your period if it results in you becoming pregnant.
If you become pregnant, you will no longer have a period until after you’ve had a baby.
What sex can do is help a body that is already about to start its period start it a fraction faster. Even then, it probably won’t be that noticeable to you. When you have sex or any type of sexual activity that causes you to have an orgasm, you will experience uterine contractions.
When you orgasm, the pelvic floor uterus contracts rhythmically. Suppose prostaglandin has already been released in your body in preparation for your monthly period. In that case, the contractions you experience during orgasm may help speed up the process of starting your period.
This rhythmic contraction may help your uterus contract and kick-start the shedding of the uterine lining. Technically, however, your body was already in the process of starting, so having sex does not actually make you start your period earlier.
What Can Make You Start Your Period Early?
Sex might not make you start your period sooner, but there are events and reasons why your period might show up sooner than you expect.
Some levels of stress are healthy for us, but chronic, extreme stress can be bad for your health and even interfere with your period. Stress can change the way your body releases hormones, which can cause your period to start sooner, last longer, or be different than it usually is.
High levels of stress can even cause you to skip a period, which might make you think you’ve become pregnant.
Perimenopause is the age just before you enter menopause or the end of having your period. Perimenopause usually starts in a woman’s mid to late forties and can last between five to ten years.
During perimenopause, your hormones undergo a lot of changes. The fluctuations in your hormones can cause you to start your period early, late, or skip them altogether.
Changes in Routine
Major changes in your routine can cause your body to adapt to your new schedule. It’s a common issue experienced by shift workers whose shift changes from day to night or vice versa. You can also experience a change in your cycle simply by moving from one time zone to another.
When It’s Not Your Period
Sometimes you can experience bleeding before your period that isn’t related to your period. While some spotting between periods can be normal, it could indicate a bigger issue.
If an egg is fertilized during the ovulation period and implants in the lining of your uterus, you can experience implantation bleeding. This bleeding is usually very mild and resembles spotting. It would happen most like about a week and a half after your last period.
Having a miscarriage can cause bleeding, no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy. Miscarriage bleeding will normally be heavier than implantation bleeding and may contain clots. If you have a miscarriage, you’ll need medical attention, so call your doctor immediately if you suspect you’ve had one.
How To Be Prepared for an Early Period
Getting your period a day or two early isn’t a big deal as long as you're prepared. With Rael, you can be prepared for anything your monthly cycle throws your way. Rael offers products that help you stay ahead of the game and are ready to handle an early period with some serious finesse.
Period panties. The definition of preparedness. Period panties feel and look just like your normal, everyday underwear but are made to catch your flow. Each pair of Rael’s period underwear can hold the same amount of fluid as three tampons.
Slip these panties on a few days before your period, and if your monthly visitor surprises you early, it won’t even be an issue.
- Pads and liners. Rael’s pads and liners are great for keeping in your bag or in your bathroom for unexpected surprises. Even if you usually use a different type of period protection, our pads and liners are super comfortable and work with every type of flow, so they’re ideal for keeping on hand to avoid minor emergencies.
- Soothing Feminine Wipes. When you find yourself in a slightly messy situation, you need the right tools to clean it up without leaving behind seriously irritated skin. Rael’s soothing feminine wipes make it easy to clean up any situation and are formulated with gentle, plant-based ingredients to help soothe your skin and help you avoid irritation.
With the right tools in your arsenal, an early period (with or without sex) won’t cause you to skip a beat.
Having sex won’t make you start your period early, but if your body is in the process of starting your period, having sex might speed it up a little. The best thing you can do is be prepared for any period situation with products from Rael.
Our period care products are natural, holistic, and never contain ingredients that could harm your body or cause irritation to your most delicate areas of skin.
With Rael, you can feel empowered by your period, even if it comes at an unexpected time.
Orgasm - an overview | Science Direct
Rotating Shift Work and Menstrual Cycle Characteristics: Epidemiology | LWW Journals