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Question: Is it okay to have sex with my husband when I am having my periods?

Answer: There are several Old Testament passages telling husbands not to have sexual relations with their wife during her period. Leviticus 15:19-24 talks about the impurity of a woman during her monthly flow. Verse 24 says, "And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean." (NKJV)

Leviticus 18:19 says, "Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleaness of her monthly period." Leviticus 20:18 "If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people." (NIV)

In describing a righteous man, Ezekiel 18:6 says, "He does not defile his neighbor's wife or lie with a woman during her period." In Ezekiel 22, God is confronting Jerusalem with the sins they have been committing. In Ezekiel 22:10 it says "In you are those who violate women during their period, when they are ceremonially unclean." (NIV)

These are all Old Testament references, which came under the law. We are no longer under the law, but under grace in the New Testament. Does this mean we can ignore the laws that are only stated in the Old Testament? Romans 3:31 says "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law." (NKJV)

God did not give laws just to give a law, but there were reasons for each law given. Since we do not know all of God's reasons, we can only speculate, and here are two possible reasons:

1) Sanitation. There was no running water and it was a lot harder to bathe and clean up. We know that a woman's monthly period is messy and smelly.

2) A woman's monthly period consists of blood. We now know that several infections and diseases are carried and spread through the blood.

There are hormonal changes in a woman during her monthly period. Some women do not want anything to do with sex, while other women have an increased desire for sex. It is the same way with pain. Some women do not have pain if they have sex during their monthly period while others may have an increase in pain. As a matter fact, some women have noted a decrease in cramps if they have sex during their monthly period.

During a woman's monthly period, the cervix widens to allow the uterine lining to leave the body. This widening of the cervix would increase the risk for pelvic infections and HIV.

Remember, having sex during woman's monthly period is not a form of birth control. Women can and do ovulate during their monthly period, so can also become pregnant at this time.

A husband and wife need to study the passages given in this article and seek God in the matter of having sex during the woman's monthly period. If either the husband or wife is uncomfortable with having sex at this time, this should be respected and the couple should refrain from having sex.

Remember, sex is a way of demonstrating your love for each other, and also a picture of two becoming one flesh. A couple should only do those things that the husband and wife are both comfortable with.

Marlene K. Panell

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To view other questions visit our Interactive Bible Study Page or read some of our Christian Literature at Bible-Christian.org

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Gary Tomás Panell
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Keywords: period, menustration, law, sex