Pain and pleasure often exist in connection with one another, and for many women, nowhere is this truer than in the experience of sex. An article published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology earlier this year revealed that approximately one in 10 women experience some form of pain during sex. There are a number of possible causes for cramping after sex, and, as you might expect, some of these causes are serious while others are nothing to worry about. In either case, it’s important to take a look at possible causes and courses of action, both for your health and your peace of mind.
Read on to learn about some of the major causes of cramping after sex, how to assess the situation, and what you should do next.
One of the most common causes of cramping after sex is sex itself. Depending on the angle and depth of penetration, there’s potential for the ovaries or uterus to be impacted during sex. While this is typically nothing to worry about, it’s a good idea to track the pain and be aware if it persists.
For some women, cramping after sex may be caused by an allergy to prostaglandins, a molecular substance contained in semen. To determine whether this is the cause of your pain (or just to be on the safe side), using a condom may be the best course of action.
Another possible cause is irritation of the bladder as a result of friction during intercourse. This can often be avoided simply by emptying your bladder prior to sex.
Pain during and after sex can be exacerbated by vaginal dryness, which is often experienced in conjunction with spotting after sex. This can often be avoided by using a lubricant or simply taking it slow.
If you find yourself experiencing pain during intercourse, it’s always a good idea to adjust—ignoring the pain isn’t doing you or your partner any favors and can make matters worse. As with most things in life, communication is key.
If you experience cramping after sex, start by recording the time, duration, severity, and nature of the pain. If the pain is frequent, ongoing, or severe, it may be wise to seek the help of a doctor. In the event that you do take your problem to an OB/GYN, you’ll be more confident and well equipped to receive proper care.
Up next, keep reading to learn how to overcome orgasm anxiety.