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Can having period sex really raise your chances of developing endometriosis? Let’s find out

Endometriosis is a serious and painful condition affecting the reproductive health of women but is it caused due to period sex? Here’s what you need to know.
endometriosis and gut health
Know how to recognise the symptoms of endometriosis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Published: 31 Jul 2021, 12:00 pm IST
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Most women will admit to having a love-hate relationship with their menstrual cycle. We might not like the pain and discomfort but we also know that our periods give us an into our overall health. A regular period with normal flow and only mild pain means we’re healthy. On the other hand, an irregular period with abnormal flow and pain that interferes with daily life may point to diseases like endometriosis.

It is believed that about 10 per cent of women suffer from endometriosis. So, it is fairly common and many women experience the difficulties associated with it. To understand whether period sex may lead to endometriosis, we must first understand what the medical condition entails.

What is endometriosis?

Menstruating is the body’s way of discarding the monthly buildup of the lining of your uterus which is called the endometrium. But, something quite different happens when you have endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a serious and painful condition. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In endometriosis, the tissue which is similar to the tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity. It may grow on your ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining your pelvis. The symptoms of endometriosis include:

-Heavy period
-Cramps that start a week or two before menstruation
-uncomfortable bowel movement
-Extreme pain during or after sex
-Back pain

Does period sex raise your risk of developing endometriosis?

There are many dos and don’ts women come across with regard to what to do during Aunt Flo’s visitation. Some of them are absolute myths that can easily be overlooked but some are definitely true and require us to understand our reproductive system better. One thing many believe women should abstain from while menstruating is sex.

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Having sex during your period is a personal choice but it’s absolutely normal to do so. However, one may wonder if it could lead to endometriosis.

A study provides insight into the link between period sex and endometriosis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Truth be told, the exact cause behind endometriosis isn’t clear as of now but researchers have been working on finding whether certain factors may raise one’s chances of developing this disease. Over the years, many medical professionals have come to believe retrograde menstruation may lead to endometriosis. In retrograde menstruation, menstrual blood starts to flow back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of out of the body.

A study published in the International Journal of Fertility and Sterility found that “It seems that sexual activity leading to orgasm during menstruation increases the retrograde menstruation, sending endometrial tissue to an abnormal sites and thus increasing the risk of endometriosis.”

So, having intercourse while you’re still riding the red wave may contribute to raising your risk of endometriosis. Nonetheless, there’s still more research required into the matter.

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