Sex Advice

Can You Masturbate Your Way Out of Period Cramps? A Doctor and Sexuality Expert Advise

Mary Grace Garis

Photo: Getty Images/YakobchuckOlena
If you’re of the mind that masturbating during your period—or menstrubation—isn’t likely to yield much more than a big mess, get ready to stand corrected. Sexual wellness company Womanizer and menstrual cup brand Lunette recently released its 2021 menstrubation study investigating the link between getting off and getting rid of aches and found that menstrubation can be an effective salve for menstrual cramps. Of the 341 participants, 90 percent recommended masturbation to combat period pain while 70 percent share that regular masturbation had an impact on the intensity of their period.

While masturbation on your period might be a more fun alternative to a heating pad for treating pain , how does the strategy actually work? “Masturbation, which leads to orgasm, causes the release of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin,” says board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, Lucky Sekhon, MD, OB/GYN. “These are substances that act as natural pain relievers in our bodies. In addition to improving one’s mood, sleep, and sense of well-being, it may help to alleviate aches and pains, including migraines and menstrual cramps.”

“In addition to improving one’s mood, sleep, and sense of well-being, [masturbation] may help to alleviate aches and pains, including migraines and menstrual cramps.” —Lucky Sekhon, MD, OB/GYN

So it’s not about the act of getting off itself that holds potential for knocking out period aches. Instead, it’s about the chemical release that can feel soothing. In fact, sex play has even been noted to egg on your period if you’re within the window of it starting, or it can speed up the flow if it’s already in process. That’s in part because with solo sex, non-penetrative sex acts, and penetrative sex alike, orgasm can cause uterine contractions, which can quicken the breakdown of the uterine lining.

As a bonus, masturbation on your period, or any other sex act for that matter, actually doesn’t need to lead to ruined sheets. For this, sexologist Shamyra Howard, LCSW, suggests you use clitoral sex toys instead of a penetrative toy. “You don’t have to insert anything, and if you have a device like a wand or a bullet, you don’t even have to have any skin-to-device contact,” says Howard.

Remember, clitoral orgasms are the quickest way for most vulva-owners to orgasm, and with that in mind, Howard’s top recommendation is the Womanizer Premium ($200), the sleek gold standard of a suction sex toy. With 12 intensity levels and air-based clitoral sucking technology, this can have you reaching your climax in seconds flat. When it comes to bullet vibes, Dame’s Zee ($30) is an economical high-quality option, and Le Wand Bullet ($85) comes with multiple attachments and offers the feel of a massage wand in a tiny, powerful package. And if you’re really trying to expedite things, the Zumio X ($110) or Bess Clitoral Massager ($99) will target your pleasure point and ease your pain points. Best of all? All of these toys are waterproof, for a squeaky-clean, pleasure-filled shower sesh.

And if you want rely on manual masturbation to ease period pain, that’ll work, too. Ultimately, no matter your menstrubation method of choice, it’s worth a shot to see if it may help your period flow smoother.

Looking for other ways to help ease your period pain? Here’s how to eat for every phase of your menstrual cycle:

Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Loading More Posts...