Does Sex Help With Cramps And Other Period Pain Relief

Written by: Dr Dmitry Loktionov



Time to read 10 min

Cramps got you down? There may be a way to take the edge off the pain by having sex.

Many women have wondered does sex help with cramps or if it's just an old wife's tale. Let's dig into that. We'll look at why your body might be giving you a thumbs up to sex for cramp relief.

Plus, we've rounded up real talk from women who swear by this method and other natural hacks they use when things get tough each month.

We won't leave out the basics either – think over-the-counter quick fixes and pro tips to tackle period pain head-on.

Sex produces natural endorphins which can help with period pain

Sex helps to reduce stress and feel better about yourself

There are ways to have period sex with less mess

Understanding Menstrual Cramps and Period Pain

Menstrual cramps are the result of your uterus contracting during menstruation to help expel the blood lining if there has been no fertilized egg implantation.

Hormone-like substances called prostaglandins trigger these contractions—think of them as the body's natural alarm system telling muscles to contract.

The cramps' intensity is usually proportional to the amount of prostaglandins present. For some women it can feel like a constant ache; for others, it comes in sharp spasms.

Symptoms vary from dull and annoying to debilitating pain coupled with nausea and headaches. While research suggests nearly half of all menstruating women experience these pains, many women have their own unique ways of dealing with the pain [1].

One such way of relieving period cramps is by having period sex—or so the advice goes. But is it true?

Relieve Menstrual Cramps: Does Sex Help With Cramps?

Woman with period cramps
Woman with cramps having sex
Happy woman after sex

Ever wonder why some women reach for their partner instead of a hot water bottle when cramps hit? It turns out, there is solid science backing up the relief sex can bring to menstrual discomfort. Period sex releases endorphins, which are our body’s natural painkillers that help relieve period cramps.

These chemicals called endorphins flick the switch on your body's opioid receptors, which give you a break from the pain. This network of opioid receptors is part of the same pain management system affected by pain medication such as Ibuprofen [2].

A study from The Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that sexual activity can lead to partial or complete alleviation of period pain in some women [3].

This is because when you experience vaginal orgasms, the muscles of your uterus also contract and then relax, which can help shed the uterine lining more quickly—so not only does it potentially ease cramps but might even shorten your period.

"This action of shedding the uterine lining quickly only happens when there is an orgasm. So if you are having sex to ease period camps and shorten your period, you need to have an orgasm."

Dr Dmitry

Beyond just orgasms, sexual arousal increases blood flow to your pelvic region; this extra circulation helps soothe cramps by relaxing tense muscles. While having sex you can try using a CBD lube for period pain for extra lubrication. CBD has been shown to increase blood flow and provide further period pain relief.

And let's not forget about oxytocin—often dubbed 'the love hormone.' This hormone boosts overall well-being and reduces stress levels—a double whammy against menstrual pains.

How To Have Mess-Free Period Sex

Does sex help with cramps, yes, but let's be honest a lot of women avoid sex during their period as it can get messy. So what is the best way to have sex during your menstrual cycle without period blood getting everywhere?

The best answer is shower sex as the menstrual blood can wash down the drain easily and quickly.

There is also no need for prep time as the shower is ready for you to jump in any time you want to get freaky.

If shower sex is not your thing because let's be honest, it's not the most comfortable, then doing it on the bed is fine just remember to prepare.

Having sex on your period in your bed requires more prep than the shower. You'll need to put down a towel or a waterproof pad so as not to ruin the sheets. Have some wipes nearby to deal with any mess and if you experience vaginal dryness (yes it happens) have some water based lube ready.

Real Women's Experiences with Sex for Cramp Relief

So we now know that sex does help with period cramps, this isn't just pillow talk. Here are real accounts of women who swear by a good romp to ease those pesky period pains.

Take Sarah, for instance—a 28-year-old teacher from Seattle—who says that orgasms work like a charm against her cramps.

"It seems counterintuitive when all you want to do is curl up with a hot water bottle,"

But she insists the natural painkillers released during sex make it worth ditching the fleece blanket fort.

Then there’s Jamie from Austin who uses sexual activity not only for physical relief but also as an emotional uplift to battle menstrual blues. She finds that intimacy can be both soothing and distracting—like hitting two birds with one stone if you will.

The anecdotes stack up and while they don't replace medical advice or speak for everyone's experience—they shed light on how diverse period pain management can be.

So next time cramps have you feeling down and out, consider that among heating pads and ibuprofen, there might be a solution lying between the sheets (consensually and safely of course).

Other Natural Remedies for Period Cramps

Diet Tweaks

Because the endocannabinoid system is affected by CBD, which can increase sexual desire, when using CBD lube users report:

  • Heighten sensitivity
  • Promote better climaxes
  • Improvement of mental state prior to sex
  • Improve blood flow to muscles
  • Reduced pain and discomfort during intercourse
Healthy diet during period

Exercise and Relaxation

Gentle movement like yoga stretches not only keeps blood flowing but also releases endorphins—those feel-good hormones we mentioned before that double as natural painkillers. If you'd rather stay still, deep breathing exercises can help too by lowering stress levels.

Exercising during period

Massage Therapy

A good rub-down may sound divine when you're cramped up, but there’s more than just comfort at play here—a proper massage can increase blood circulation to your pelvic region helping ease those cramps. A few drops of essential oils like lavender or clary sage add an extra punch to this remedy since both have been celebrated through the ages for their ability to soothe aches.

Getting massage for menstrual cramps

Menstrual Heating Pad

Electronic mental heating pads can be a lifesaver for easing menstrual cramps. As we know these spasms within the lining of the uterus are triggered by prostaglandins and while period heating pads don't stop prostaglandins, they are pretty good at taming those cramps. They work by helping the blood vessels and uterine muscles to relax therefore boosting the blood and oxygen flow to the muscles and of your womb.

Menstrual hating pad

Hot Water Bottle

The tried and true hot water bottle—a woman's best friend during that time of the month. They're easy to use, cost-effective and come with no unnatural side effects.

Just like a menstrual heating pad they help to relax the muscles surrounding and in the uterus. This makes period cramps less intense. Plus the warm water inside the hot water bottle helps to relax blood vessels for more blood flow to the muscles during contraction. Which is a good thing.

Hot water bottle for period pain

Over-the-Counter Medication and When to Use Them

When menstrual cramps strike, the first line of defense for many is often found right in the medicine cabinet. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen can be game-changers, but knowing when to pop a pill matters just as much as which one you choose.


Ibuprofen works wonders with its anti-inflammatory powers kicking in within 30 minutes. To maximize the efficacy of Ibuprofen, timing is key. To get ahead of those nasty cramps, take it at the first twinge; don't wait until you're doubled over in discomfort. And remember, sticking to recommended dosages ensures relief without any unnecessary risks.


If your periods have more sequels than a blockbuster movie franchise, naproxen might be your best bet. It lasts longer than ibuprofen so you won't need refills every few hours—it's like that reliable friend who sticks around through thick and thin.

Magnesium Supplements

Sometimes Mother Nature throws us a bone or—in this case—a mineral. Magnesium has the potential to relieve relentless cramps due to its muscle-relaxing properties [4]. Although it isn’t an instant fix, starting a supplement regimen could make next month’s visit from Aunt Flo less dramatic.

The Importance of Consulting Healthcare Professionals

When cramps hit hard, it's tempting to try just about anything for relief. But before you become your own doctor, remember that professional guidance is key.

Healthcare professionals, like Gynecologists, have the know-how to spot red flags—things like endometriosis or fibroids aren't on our everyday radar but can be serious game-changers when it comes to menstrual health.

A quick chat with your Gynecologist could help pinpoint if your cramps are garden-variety annoyances or signs of something more concerning.

Beyond diagnosis, Gynecologists wield an arsenal of options from hormonal treatments to non-invasive procedures to help with debilitating period pain—and they're not shy about sharing their knowledge so you get back on track fast.

All said and done; there’s no substitute for solid medical advice—it’s simply the best bet for beating those monthly blues safely and effectively.

Creating a Personalized Menstrual Pain Management Plan

Every woman's body is different, especially when it comes to period cramps. So let's cut straight to the chase and talk about tailoring your very own menstrual cramp management plan.

Finding Your Cramp Comfort Combo

Finding relief from cramp pain is usually a combination of things. It might mean pairing a hot water bottle with some gentle yoga or syncing up your favorite playlist with deep breathing exercises. The key is to mix and match until you hit that sweet spot of relief.

We're talking trial and error here, but don't worry—once you've found what works for you, it'll become your goto for the rest of your life before menopause.

Tuning Into Your Body's Rhythms

Your body isn't shy about telling you what works if you listen closely enough. Maybe it’s whispering for chocolate (dark chocolate has magnesium which could help), or perhaps it’s nudging you towards light exercise, which has been shown to help [5]. Start noticing these cues and keep them in mind as you craft this personalized plan.

Key Takeaway:

Cramp relief isn't one-size-fits-all. Mix, match, and listen to your body to find what eases your pain—like a puzzle you're solving for comfort. And if DIY methods fall flat, your doctor can offer customized solutions.

Does Sex Help With Cramps FAQs

Does sex help your period end faster?

Yes, sex can potentially speed up the process of shedding the uterine lining during contractions caused by orgasms.

Does sex relieve muscle cramps?

Oxytocin and endorphins released during sex can ease muscle tension, potentially softening cramp severity.

Does sex help regulate periods?

No scientific proof links bedroom activities with a more regular cycle. That’s more hormone territory than habit.

Does Sex Help With Cramps; Yes! A Reason To Thank Your Sex Drive

So, does sex help with cramps? Absolutely, many women report finding relief from cramps after having period sex due to the feel-good hormones released that can act as natural painkillers. Orgasms help to increase uterine contractions that help to shed the lining quicker.

But sex isn't the only way to find some relief; hot water bottles, light exercise, and even slight diet changes are ways to ease period cramps.

And let's be real, sometimes you just need to reach for over-the-counter relief when things get too intense. That's okay too.

Talk it out with your family doctor or gynecologist if your cramps get too intense or throw a wrench in your plans regularly. Together, you'll map out a plan that fits just right.

In the end, mix and match until you find what works best for you to tackle menstrual discomfort like a girl boss, and don't be afraid to drag your partner to the bedroom if you need it. We're sure they won't mind helping out.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is intended for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your doctor in the area of your particular needs before making any medical decisions.

Dr Dmitry

Dr Dmitry Loktionov - MB. BCh. OB-GYN

Dr. Dmitry is an accomplished doctor, women's health advocate, and founder of Quanna, a next-generation sexual wellness brand. With a background in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he works towards empowering women with knowledge and improving access to holistic sexual health care.

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