Once upon a time, period sex was a full blown taboo. Perhaps it stemmed from the religious practice of avoiding sex during menstruation, or maybe it was part of the culture of misunderstanding around sex. Whatever the reason, menstrual sex was not on the menu.
Happily, the idea of getting it on when you're on your period is no longer a shocking one. Between the period sex song on Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and the many discussions about it on Sex & The City, the general consensus seems to be that if you want to get it on during your period you can.
That said, intimate health brand Intima have found that women lose six years worth of sex throughout their lives.
The workings are a little crude - they've basically added up how long the average woman is on her period in a lifetime and then called that 'six sex free years', which assumes that all these women are in sexually active relationships.
But clunky maths aside, it's generally a fair point. If you are avoiding period sex due to anything other than just not feeling like it, you would be losing out on quite a lot of shagging.
If you do have an lingering concerns about period sex, let's assuage them. Sex on your period is no grosser or more dangerous than sex when you're not on your period. You still need to use contraception to protect from infection or pregnancy, but otherwise, have at it.
Gynecologist Dr Angela Jones says: 'The biggest barrier to period sex is usually the individual on their period. It’s the same reason women don’t want to come to the gynecologist when they’re on their period. They are embarrassed, afraid of making a mess. It’s absolutely normal to have sex during your period.'
Basically, you don't 'lose' six years of sex, unless you wanted to be having sex while you were menstruating but felt uncomfortable or self conscious about doing so.
Not everyone likes getting it on when they're bleeding, and while it's great that we've taught women that period sex is on the menu, it's also important to make sure women feel able to turn down sex in favour of hot waterbottles and crying at advert.s
It should go without saying that if you feel comfortable having sex on your period then you should absolutely go for it.
It should also go without saying that if you don't feel like sex during your period, whether because you're sore, grumpy or just not in the mood, then that's also totally fine.