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Sex doesn’t cure menstrual cramps — Gynaecologist

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An Obstetric Gynaecologist with the St Dominic Hospital at Akwatia, Dr John K. Bosomtwe, has refuted claims that having sex during menstruation could cure the pain and discomfort women go through during their periods.

He however explained that during sex, the body released some “pleasure hormones” which could relieve the level of pain in that moment. “These hormones will blunt the pains you may be going through.

The pleasure from sex, can take your mind temporarily off the pain and shift the attention to the pleasure going on in the body. Some ladies claim after that, the level of pain is reduced, others say they don’t experience any form of pain but most of the conversations around menstruation are either myths or observational. So for instance what lady “A” may experience will be different from what lady “B” will experience.”

In an interview with The Mirror last Tuesday, he said some men who for reasons best known to them wanted to experience sex during menstruation, preyed on some ignorant young girls telling them sex during their periods could cure their pains.

The gynaecologist said it was time parents, especially fathers, made more effort to understand menstruation and educate their daughters and female relatives about the topic.

“This year my message goes to the fathers; they should get involved in the education, know what menstruation is so they are able to explain to young girls. People have wild fantasies and would say anything to satisfy themselves. However, if the young person has the right knowledge and can freely talk about it, they won’t fall victim to such antics,” he explained.

Sex during menstruation

Dr Bosomtwe discounted claims that women were safe during their menses and could have unprotected sex throughout that period. He said each woman’s cycle varied and could change without them knowing and so if they are not trying to conceive, they must insist on protection during sexual intercourse.

“Sex during menstruation can be messy but if you must have sex during this period, insist on condoms not just as barrier against pregnancy but also against sexually transmitted diseases.

The prevalence rate of HIV keeps increasing and a lot of people don’t know their status. When you have unprotected sex during your menses, you are highly at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

“When you have sex during your menses, you predispose yourself to pelvic inflammatory diseases. During that period, the neck of the cervix is open and any bacteria or organism that have easy access to enter the upper part of the uterus easily implants itself and starts causing a lot of havoc.

This in the long term can lead to infertility. Some pelvic inflammatory diseases can lead to ectopic pregnancies,” he explained further.

Individual experiences

On issues like effects of sugar, diary and other beverages on menstrual cycle, Dr Bosomtwe said these were all observational and had no scientific backings.

“Some women claim taking in certain drinks can halt or delay their flow and it has worked for them for long but others take these same drinks and nothing happens. For others, taking sugar increases their flow and discomfort.”


Dr Bosomtwe said although menstruation was a natural occurrence in females, it was still shrouded in many myths making it difficult for women to freely talk about. “People still believe a girl or woman must never say it aloud that she is menstruating.

It is treated like a dirty secret and expressing discomfort is prohibited. In some settings, a menstruating woman must not touch anyone, or even cook as they will contaminate the food,” he lamented.

He was of the view that even before girls start menstruating, there must be a conscious effort by parents or guardians to educate them on the subject and provide the needed support.

World Menstrual Hygiene Day

World Menstrual Hygiene Day, observed annually on May 28, is dedicated to raising awareness of the critical issue of menstrual hygiene management. The day highlights the challenges that millions of women face worldwide due to inadequate hygiene.

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