What Are The Best Sex Positions for Your Cycle?
Medically Reviewed by: OBGYN Dr. Heather Bartos
The Best Sex Positions During Your Period & Other Phases of Your Cycle
- Sex positions can feel different depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
- There are three distinct body changes that occur during the menstrual cycle that may affect how a sex position feels: Cervical changes, changes in natural lubrication, and changes in your mental/emotional health due to your hormones.
- Orgasms can help relieve cramps, but period sex is all about how comfortable you feel inside and out. Some don’t mind the extra mess to get to the promised land and others may be turned off by it. If you’re curious but want to minimize the clean-up afterward, having sex in the shower or wearing a menstrual disc during sex can help keep things from getting messy.
- Experiment with the same positions at varying points in your cycle. You may find it feels different depending on where your body is at.
The Full Read:
What Are The Phases In A Menstrual Cycle? Let’s break it down:
- Follicular phase: This includes menstruation (your period), and lasts until ovulation. During this time estrogen levels increase as your body gets ready to release an egg.
- Ovulation: This is when a mature egg bursts through the ovary and is swept up by the uterine tube. It marks a big hormonal transition, and leads you into the next cycle phase.
- Luteal phase: The days post-ovulation when your body prepares for a pregnancy or until bleeding starts again. Progesterone is a major player during this phase.
Through each of these different parts of the cycle, there are three main body changes that can influence how you experience pleasure and enjoy various sex positions: Cervical position (yes, your cervix changes throughout your cycle, not just during childbirth!), natural lubrication levels, and emotional/ mental health and libido fluctuations caused by your hormones.
Period Sex AKA Sex During Menstruation
Is period sex even safe? Yes, definitely! You can have sex while on your period. In fact, according to OB-GYN Dr. Heather Bartos, orgasms can even help relieve those menstrual cramps. Body changes during this phase tend to be:
- Cervical position: Lower, firmer, slightly open.
- Natural lubrication: More fluids to play with (hello, period).
- Libido and mental health: Different for everybody. Some people like to take advantage of this time - extra slippery fluids can turn people on. Others might prefer to be left alone, either because of hormonal changes or because the need to tend to an aching, bleeding uterus makes them feel more drawn to their couch than their crotch.
Period Sex Tips
- Worried about staining your fav sheets or rug? Have sex in the shower! You can also put a towel down wherever you are getting it on.
- Not as comfortable with your blood getting on your partner’s parts? A menstrual disc might be the what you’re looking for. You can keep it in even during foreplay, oral, and penetration.
- If you are playing with a partner, keep your hands on their waist or wrist to give physical cues if penetration feels too deep. Remember your cervix is a bit lower during this time, so for some, it can be uncomfortable when it is bumped.
What Are The Best Sex Positions During Your Period?
- Masturbate, solo or with a partner. Sometimes penetration is just too much sensation during this time. And, you may not feel like being touched by somebody else. Get out your vibrator and play around with what different pulses and speeds feel best. You may surprise yourself!
- Spooning. Sex Coach Myisha Battle recommends this low-impact position because you can stay in a cozy, fetal-like position while having some more control over the depth of penetration. By adjusting the angle of your upper body you can find which spots feel good.
- Cowgirl. If you are someone who gets turned on by period sex, Battle recommends you get on top. This allows you to use that energy while also maintaining some control over speed and depth of penetration. Play around, tilting your hips at different angles. You can also try this position without penetration. Lube up and enjoy some gential-to-genital humping and bumping.
- Octopus. In this position, both partners sit. Have your partner wrap their hands and legs around you from behind. Menstrual fluids can be used as lubrication as your partner gives you a big ole cozy snuggle and a hand job at the same time. Yes please!
Sex During Your Fertile Window
Your most fertile times are the days leading up to and around ovulation. All of the days during which conception is possible are called your Fertile Window. Body changes during this phase tend to be:
- Cervical position: Cervix is higher up in the body (you may not even be able to touch it!), and softer.
- Natural lubrication: You have increased cervical fluid during this phase, which means extra lube au naturale, and it won't stain your sheets!
- Libido and mental health: Libido, creativity, and energy levels tend to be higher in this phase; this is where, whether you want to procreate or not, your biological, evolutionary drive tends to kick in.
Fertile Window Sex Tips
- With creativity peaked, get out that Kama Sutra and pick a new position that challenges you.
- If you experience more energy during this phase, experiment with some multiple Os. If your partner has a penis, try using a cock ring which can help them last longer.
- If you are in a hetero relationship and not looking to get pregnant, be sure to use protection and take extra precautions during this time.
What Are The Best Sex Positions During Your Fertile Window?
- Doggy Style. Battle shares that because the cervix is slightly more raised, this is a fantastic time to try deeper penetrative positions. Doggy Style is a fun sex position to work with because you can do it in so many ways! Try it on all fours, against the bed, standing up...you can even try different variations of Doggy Style such as Frog Leap (the person being penetrated squats instead of rests on their knees), or Turtle (the person being penetrated stays resting on their knees, but wraps their arms around their thighs). If your knees are sensitive, and you’re not on a bed, put a pillow down beneath them.
- Reverse Cowgirl. If you are looking to stimulate your G-spot, try this! Similarly to Cowgirl, you are on top, except in this sexual position, you face away from your partner, and lean forward a bit. For those who are more shy, this gives you some privacy to unabashedly feel all the feels, “ugly pleasure face” and all.
- Pretzel Dip. This position is all about catching the feels because it allows for deep penetration while still getting to lock eyes with your lovah. Eye-gazing can lead to a feeling of even deeper connection! You lie on your side, while the penetrating partner scissors you. Added benefit? Both of your hands are free! So you can also give and receive pleasure at other sites like the clitoris, nipples, testicles, etc.
Sex During The Luteal Phase
The days post-ovulation, until bleeding starts again. Body changes during this phase tend to be:
- Cervical position: The cervix moves back down to its pre-fertile window position.
- Natural lubrication: You tend to be the most dry during this phase, thanks to a bump in progesterone levels.
- Libido and mental health: This can really vary from person to person. Some hetero folks, especially those who track their cycles, may feel their highest libido here—knowing you can’t get pregnant can be a total turn-on! For others, post-ovulation progesterone levels can create calming vibes, while for others, the post-ovulatory time might include both physical and emotional PMS symptoms that make intimacy with others feel totally unappealing.
Luteal Phase Sex Tips
- Use lube to help conquer the dry spell.
- Play with your saliva. This not only lends some extra moisture, but it can also be a major turn-on. Try licking and/or sucking your or your partner's finger before stimulating your vulva. And, of course, we always love us a good ole fashioned make-out sesh, or some oral.
What Are The Best Sex Positions During The Luteal Phase?
- Erotic Massage. While you might experience vaginal dryness during this time, you still have glands, called the Skene’s and Bartholin’s glands, that can produce arousal fluid when, well, aroused. These glands are located near the urethra and the bottom or back of the vaginal opening, respectively. So, lube up, and have your partner gently stroke different parts of your vulva. The goal here isn’t to climax, but to start getting the juices flowing (quite literally).
- Tired Doggy or Classic Missionary. If you get the luteal chill vibes, try these positions, as they both allow for your partner to do most of the work. For Tired Doggy, you get to lie on your stomach (yes!) stacking pillows under your pelvis so that your butt tilts up some. Your partner enters you from behind. While you have less control in this position (cervical bumping beware!), at least you don’t have to move so much. And, for some, cervical bumping actually feels good. See how it feels for you! For missionary, you get to lay back (you actually lay flat on your back), relax and enjoy the show. Lazy sex for the win.
- Slip and Slide: If you get PMS-y and crampy in your luteal phase, this one's for you. Lube. it. up. We’re talkin’ everywhere. Your thighs. Your partner’s thighs. Your genitals. Your partner’s genitals. Anywhere else you’d like. It’s called “Slip and Slide” for a reason! Then, have your partner get on top of you and start bumping and grinding - no penetration needed. Just make sure your clitoris is well tended to.
- Lotus position: Where one partner sits cross legged, and the other sits on their lap, wrapping their legs around them. Then start rocking back and forth.
Other Things To Consider:
If you have a tilted uterus: Just as all vulvas are different, people can have uteruses that tilt in different directions. Sometimes, when the uterus is tilted "backwards" or "retroverted," it can cause pain with deep thrusting. In this case, positions like doggy style and reverse cowgirl that move it forward can lessen discomfort.
Pee before play: Dr. Bartos shares that a full bladder can change the position of the cervix, so you may want to empty out.
Pee after you play: Peeing after sex can help decrease chances of contracting UTIs and other vaginal infections.
If your partner also has a menstrual cycle: Remember that you may be in different cycle phases, so your needs may not align. Check in!
If you are on hormonal birth control: Because hormonal birth control alters your hormones, and therefore menstrual cycle, what is outlined above may not fit with your experience. Some forms of hormonal birth control stop ovulation altogether, and most alter cervical fluid secretions. (1) It can also cause decreased libido overall. (2) Always check in with your body and remember you have options, if your current birth control isn’t working for you.
Ready, set, O!
- Wolf, Don P., Luis Blasco, Mohammad A. Khan, and Mitchell Litt. “Human Cervical Mucus. V. Oral Contraceptives and Mucus Rheologic Properties**Supported by United States Public Health Service Contract N01-HD-4-2838.” Fertility and Sterility 32, no. 2 (1979): 166–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0015-0282(16)44174-9.
- Castleman, Michael. “The Latest on Birth Control Pills and Women's Libido.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, February 15, 2019. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-about-sex/201902/the-latest-birth-control-pills-and-women-s-libido.