It’s that time of the month…and yes, you still want to do it. Because, duh: A 2016 survey found that 55 percent of men and women said that period sex was natural or awesome. (Not sure what's up with those other people.)
So there you have it: period sex = pleasurable sex. What’s more, you might really want to get it on. “During your period might be one of your most sexually vibrant times,” says sex therapist Vanessa Marin. In other words, many women find they're super horny during their periods (sound familiar?)
And, if the thought of period sex makes you squeamish, here's a reality check: “It’s healthy and nothing to be ashamed of. It can be like sex any other time of the month.”
But before we get into the how-to, let’s talk about the health concerns, if any. “Medically, having sex when you’re menstruating is just fine,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University Medical School.
The only glitch is that this is the easiest time for nasty bacteria, like a chlamydia or gonorrhoea, to spread, she says. That doesn’t mean that you’re at an extra risk, but generally, the cervical mucus present between periods helps protect against bacteria taking a trip up your cervix. The answer? Condoms, condoms, condoms, she says, on any day of the month, really.
That also addresses the next problem: possible pregnancy. “Some women think they can’t get pregnant on their period. However, sperm can hang around for a long time, and if you ovulate early that month, there’s a chance you can get pregnant if you’re not using contraception,” says Minkin.
Now that we’ve got that covered, here’s how to make period sex toe-curling-level-incredible:
1. USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Instead of worrying about all the extra fluid involved, see it as a plus—after all, it's just extra natural lube. “If lubrication tends to be an issue for you, you might love period sex,” says Marin. And even if it's not, a little extra lube never hurts...
Another perk to period sex, she says: it "can increase your pain threshold,” easing headaches, cramps, and other not-so-fun stuff that you’re dealing with during that time of the month.
2. PREP YOUR BED
If you’re worried about red-stained sheets, put a dark colored towel down, then pop it in the wash after, says Marin. Easy peasy.
3. HIT THE SHOWERS
Still a bit iffy about the whole thing? Try period sex in the shower. You’ll hardly notice a little blood, you both can suds each other up, and try some steamy shower sex positions.
4. BE STRATEGIC
Take out your tampon right before sex. Let's be realistic here: In the time it takes you to get it on, you’re not going to be gushing. The truth is that this likely won’t be as messy of an affair as you expect, she says. What’s more, if you’re doing it on a lighter day (in the beginning or end of your period), you definitely have less to worry about.
5. TRY A MENSTRUAL CUP OR DISC
Menstrual cups and discs sit in such a way in your body that they catch the blood, but you can also have sex wearing them.
When you have one of these in, you don’t have to worry about leaks or spills. And if you do opt for a menstrual cup, just make sure that the instructions for the product you choose specify you can wear it during sex.
6. FLIP OVER
Missionary, or any position that involves you on your back is probably the best bet, because you’re less likely to leak. But really, any position you love and feel good doing can work, no matter where you’re at in your cycle. You got this!
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.