Q&A: Sex During Menstruation

We received a question from a reader asking about our position on God’s laws regarding having sex during menstruation. The reference for this law can be found in Leviticus 15.

As a bit of a disclaimer I want to say that the points I make here are not meant to persuade anyone from a conviction you have about this issue. If God has convicted you to abstain during menstruation, then you should.

Here are some of the things to consider as you discern how much, if any, physical intimacy you will have during your period.

First, the main issue to me is that there is a separation between laws that the Lord gave us for health reasons and laws he gave us for morality. Restrictions He gave for the purposes of health ought to be followed if you feel convicted about them, but we are not under the law anymore. God said that we should not call anything unclean that he has said is clean and when Christ died for us, all our uncleanliness was removed from us. By way of an example, my husband follows a lot of the food laws because after researching it we learned a lot about why God established those laws, but his conviction to avoid pork and shellfish is not connected to a moral conviction. It is because he learned more about how to live a healthier way. In our research about these health laws we also learned that when a woman is menstruating, sex increases the chance for infections. This would logically be the reason why God told the people to abstain during a woman’s period. As the CN Spice Girls were discussing this question, Sugar and Spice was telling us that she was also taught in her Human Sexuality course in college that it is best to abstain during menstruation. So if you are striving for ultimate health there are legitimate reasons to avoid intercourse during your period.

Having said that, if you were to authentically follow this law as it is written, along with other things, you would need to sleep in a separate bed as your husband, not touch in any way, and if your husband were to come in contact with any belongs that you also touched during your period he would need to be cleansed and would be “unclean” until the end of the day. Remember that they didn’t have the sanitary products that we have now. When they were bleeding there weren’t a lot of options for containing the blood. When God says that she will be “unclean” at this time, he really meant it. No toilets, no tampons, no pantie liners, no diva cups. She really was unclean. Physically, not spiritually. Which is the difference between a health law and a moral law.

The belief that this law is saying that women become spiritually unclean during their period has causes us to think that having a period is something to be ashamed of. Our period is a normal and necessary function that God designed our bodies to go through in order for His creation to continue to advance. It doesn’t make us spiritually unclean. If we believe that having our period requires by law that we not have genital contact, we need to follow the whole law which involves a lot more. I don’t want to put that burden on anyone. I do not see any reason to stop pursuing intimacy during the weeks that the Old Testiment says a woman is “unclean.”

For some women, having an orgasm can really help with menstrual cramps and discomfort. If you do not wish to have intercourse there are some outercourse alternatives which will allow you to have an orgasm and these are also ways for you to bless your husband with an orgasm when you can’t accommodate intercourse because it is simply to uncomfortable.

The bottom line is that if you are comfortable and especially if an orgasm helps relieve pain, I am not opposed to women having some form of sex during their period. I do not see it as a moral sin, but please feel free to discuss this further in the comment section.

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