Can I Continue Having Sex After A Missed Period?

A missed period is always concerning, especially if you’re trying to get pregnant. But there are a lot of reasons that your period might be late.

Things like intense exercise, changes in body weight, stress, hormone imbalances, and medication can all cause a late or missed period. Having unprotected sex can also delay your period.

Your menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is a series of hormone-based changes that occurs in your body every month. It consists of two phases, the follicular phase and the luteal phase, which ends with your period. During the follicular phase, one of your ovaries releases an egg. Your uterus gets ready to help the baby grow if the egg is fertilized, but if it isn’t, your body sheds the lining of your uterus through your vagina, and this is your period.

During this time, your hormones are low, especially estrogen and progesterone. Many women feel a drop in their sexual desire during this time, though it varies from person to person. However, intercourse during this time can have a positive effect on your libido by triggering orgasms. Orgasms help relieve the painful cramps that can accompany your period by releasing mood-boosting endorphins.

Your libido will increase during the luteal phase, which begins when your ovary releases an egg and a hormone called progesterone spikes. This is when ovulation typically occurs, and it is the most fertile part of your menstrual cycle. It is believed that your body’s natural urge to reproduce leads to a boost in libido during this time. In addition, ovulation can also cause orgasms, which are known to increase libido by releasing oxytocin. But a number of non-hormonal factors can affect your libido throughout the menstrual cycle, including how well rested you are, what you eat, stress levels, the state of your mental health, drug or alcohol use and exercise.

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Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that control a range of important functions including sexual desire, pregnancy and breastfeeding. They are made in two glands called the adrenal glands which sit on top of each kidney, and in the ovaries in females and in the testes in men. The hormones produced by these glands are mainly steroids and peptides. For example, estrogen is known as the female sex hormone and helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, controls the development of female sex organs, and causes a surge in libido near ovulation. It’s also involved in the thickening of the uterus lining every month to protect against pregnancy, and it lowers as women enter perimenopause and menopause. Other sex hormones include progesterone and testosterone.

Other hormones are secreted from the pancreas and are primarily peptides like insulin which is responsible for regulating blood sugar.

Spotting

If you’re spotting between periods, or after sex, it’s important to speak with your doctor right away. It could be a sign of infection or pregnancy, both of which require medical treatment. It could also be a sign of uterine polyps, which are usually benign and only rarely cancerous. Other symptoms of uterine polyps include heavy vaginal discharge, pain during sexual intercourse, and abdominal/pelvic pain. Spotting after sex can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which may cause symptoms such as bleeding during sex, spotting between periods, and painful urination or vaginal discharge.

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Spotting during sex can also be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is when bacteria from sex spread to the cervix, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. Symptoms of PID include spotting between periods, spotting after sex, abdominal/pelvic pain during and after sexual intercourse, and heavier vaginal discharge.

When you see your gynecologist, they’ll ask about when and how often you’ve been bleeding and what the cause has been. They’ll then recommend assessments to pinpoint the underlying cause of your spotting. This may include a pelvic exam, a Pap smear, a urine test, and an ultrasound of your pelvic organs to check for abnormal cells or pregnancy. In addition, they might recommend a colposcopy to get a better look at your cervix.

Pregnancy

While pregnancy is a joyful time for most women, it can also cause changes in their sexual desire. It’s important to discuss sexual desire and pregnancy with your partner as early on as possible, so you both know what to expect.

In the first trimester, many women report less libido than usual as fatigue and morning sickness take hold. During the second trimester, as these symptoms fade and hormone levels rise, some women may experience an increase in libido. This may be linked to increased vaginal lubrication and a hypersensitive clitoris caused by the extra genital blood flow.

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By the end of the third trimester, women can usually feel their baby’s movements, which can bring up feelings of protection and empathy. Some women may then have less sex, especially if they worry that their sexual activity will harm the baby.

It’s important to remember that if there are no complications with the pregnancy, having sex is perfectly safe for both you and the baby. It’s also worth noting that there is no evidence that miscarriage is linked to sexual activity, as the fetus is protected by the pelvic bones and the muscles of the uterus. Women who are at risk for preterm labour should not have sex, as it can trigger contractions and cause bleeding. This is most common in women who have a history of miscarriages or have placenta previa, a condition where the placenta is attached to the lower part of the cervix.

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