Can Sex Cause Your Period to Come Early?

When Aunt Flo visits, it’s usually at an inconvenient time. Bleeding after or during sex is pretty common and can be caused by lots of things, including a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or pregnancy.

However, sex can sometimes make your period come early due to hormone fluctuations during orgasm and semen softening the cervix. This can happen if you orgasm close to your expected ovulation window.

What Causes Menstruation?

In a typical menstrual cycle, hormones cause the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for an egg to implant in it (pregnancy). When this happens, the ovaries release an egg down the fallopian tubes. If sperm fertilizes this egg, pregnancy occurs. If sperm does not fertilize the egg, it breaks down and is shed from the body through the vagina (period).

This process is called the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. During this period, girls might feel tired, crampy, or bloated and may also have light bleeding. This is normal and should not last for more than a few days.

After the follicular phase ends, the uterus begins preparing for another potential pregnancy. The level of the hormone progesterone rises to help prepare the cervix for an embryo to implant in the uterus. If an egg does not implant, the lining of the uterus begins to break down and shed through the vagina (period).

This is known as the luteal phase. During the luteal phase, most girls will start getting their periods. Girls usually have their first period around the age of 12 to 13, and most will have a period every 28 to 35 days until they reach menopause, which is when a girl’s menstrual cycle stops completely. This is typically in a woman’s mid-40s to mid-50s.

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The Follicular Phase

If you’ve ever had sex that ended in blood-stained sheets, then frantically started Googling how to get period stains out of Egyptian cotton bedsheets ASAP, you’re not alone. But the truth is that sex can’t always (or even usually) bring on your period.

During the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle, your body produces hormones that increase vaginal lubrication. This means that you should be able to have more enjoyable sex and less bleeding.

The follicular phase can last from anywhere between Days 13 and 15 of your menstrual cycle. Around the middle of this period, your ovaries produce a follicle that contains an egg. This follicle will become more mature during the next part of your menstrual cycle, leading up to ovulation.

During this time, if you don’t use birth control, it’s possible to get pregnant. This is because the sperm can reach an egg that’s being prepared for ovulation. During this phase, it’s best to avoid unprotected sex because an egg can be fertilized and implanted. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have sex in the middle of your menstrual cycle. Just be sure that it’s with a trusted partner who has been tested for STDs and is using reliable birth control.

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The Lutural Phase

During the luteal phase, which lasts from ovulation to your period, an egg travels from the ovary through the fallopian tube to your uterus. If that egg is fertilized by sperm, your period will begin. If not, the lining will break down and be shed by the cervix.

The length of the luteal phase can vary from cycle to cycle, as can your ovulation time. It’s important to be aware of your own menstrual cycle and ovulation time, and it can help to start tracking your cycle using a period tracker or app.

When you have sex, the oxytocin and progesterone released during sexual arousal may cause your uterus to contract rhythmically. This might kick-start your period and make it happen sooner than it would have otherwise. Having orgasm can also trigger the release of prostaglandin, which can help your uterus to contract and start shedding its lining.

However, if you are experiencing significant bleeding or are bleeding more than a few days after having sex, it’s worth visiting your doctor. Severe or prolonged bleeding can be a sign of an infection, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis, and it’s important to get tested if you think you might have one of these infections. Bleeding between periods could also be a sign of cancer or non-cancerous growths on the cervix, which are also reasons to visit your doctor as soon as possible.

The Cervix

The cervix, which looks kind of like a neck, connects important body parts, like your uterus and vagina. It is wider in the middle than it is at both ends, and it opens into the uterus (the top part) and into the vagina (the bottom part). It also has an opening in the center called the endocervical canal, which extends from the internal ovaries to the ectocervix. The inner part of your cervix is lined with a thin layer of epithelium that has either squamous cells or columnar cells.

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The cervical canal is a narrow passageway that allows sperm to enter the uterus and possibly fertilize an egg. This process happens around ovulation during the most fertile time of the month, which is why it’s so important to use a condom during sex to prevent pregnancy.

While it’s rare for sex to cause your period to start early, it is possible. The arousal and orgasm that come with sexual activity can help your pelvic muscles contract rhythmically, which could cause the uterus to shed its lining a little earlier than usual.

Of course, this is only true if you have a healthy cervix and aren’t already pregnant or breastfeeding. If you do become pregnant, you’ll likely get your period a lot later because the uterus will need to be protected for the duration of the pregnancy.

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