Why Does My Lower Stomach Hurt After Sex?

Sex is supposed to be pleasurable, but a lot of women experience pain after sexual intercourse. The pain is usually mild, but it could be a sign of serious problems.

Using lubricant, taking a pain reliever, and trying different sex positions may help with stomach pain after sex. However, if the pain persists, see your doctor.

Endometriosis

In this chronic condition, the tissues that line the uterus grow elsewhere in the pelvis, often on the surface of the other organs. This can cause pain, irritation, and other symptoms that resemble menstrual cramps, Yale New Haven Hospital ob-gyn Mary Jane Minkin tells Women’s Health. These issues can also be aggravated by hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, and by certain sexual activities.

Every month, one of the ovaries grows a follicle that contains a maturing egg. About two weeks before the start of a period, that follicle ruptures, releasing the egg for potential fertilization and conception. However, sometimes the ovary can develop a cyst that causes pain and discomfort.

Fortunately, figuring out what’s behind your lower stomach pain after sex is generally a simple process. The first step is seeing a GP, who may refer you to a pelvic specialist, or gynecologist, for further testing.

Pelvic congestion syndrome

Men and women can experience cramps after sex, especially during rough or intense sex. These cramps can be caused by the over-contraction of muscles in the uterus and pelvic floor. This contraction leads to the involuntary releasing of hormones during an orgasm. These hormones cause the uterus to contract and expand. This can lead to stomach pain in the same way that exercise-induced muscle cramps may occur, especially if there is dehydration involved.

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A physical therapist can help alleviate these cramps. In addition to stretches and exercises, the therapist can recommend other at-home tweaks that can ease this pain, like laying a heating pad on the stomach or practicing guided meditation and diaphragmatic breathing.

Several things can cause pelvic congestion syndrome, including varicose veins in the ovarian veins and along the female reproductive tract. These varicose veins are enlarged and knotty due to the fact that the valves that control blood flow in the pelvic veins no longer function properly. This causes blood to pool in the pelvic veins and creates the pain associated with this condition.

Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow inside a woman’s uterus. They can cause cramping and pain in the lower abdomen after sex. Fibroids can also cause heavy periods and may prevent a woman from becoming pregnant.

If you are experiencing stomach pain after sex, it’s important to see your doctor right away. You may need a pelvic exam or a blood test to diagnose the cause of your pain.

For example, if the pain is caused by an infection, like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), you will need antibiotics to treat it. If the pain is due to a uterine condition, your doctor will prescribe medication to relieve your symptoms. The medicine they prescribe will depend on what is causing your pain, such as a hormonal imbalance or the size of your fibroids. They might prescribe estrogen balancing pills or medications that stop menstrual bleeding. They might also perform a hysteroscopy, in which they insert a tube with a camera into your uterus to view the lining of your womb and ovaries.

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Uterine adhesions

While orgasms are a great thing, sometimes they can cause stomach pain in some sexually active women. This is because orgasms can trigger a reaction in the uterus that causes contractions. If you suffer from this condition, it’s recommended to avoid orgasm until the pain subsides.

If you’re not pregnant, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). This condition occurs when bacteria enters your urethra and bladder. This can lead to pain and inflammation.

If the pain is severe, it’s important to see a doctor right away. They can prescribe you with medication that can ease the pain and prevent a serious infection.

Sexually transmitted infections

It’s one thing to feel gassy after sex, but stomach pain could signal a medical condition that needs attention. It might mean you have an underlying issue like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or infections (including UTIs and chlamydia) that need treatment.

In addition, STIs—like chlamydia and gonorrhea—can cause pain during and after sex. Getting screened regularly and treating any STIs early is the best way to prevent pain and other symptoms.

Rough sex can also be a source of pain in the lower stomach after sex. This is because it can put pressure on the vulva, which leads to the uterus tilting and pushing against it, causing the pain. Using lubricant and changing sex positions may help. If the pain persists, talk to your doctor or gynecologist about it. They can recommend estrogen balancing medications or suggest alternative sex positions to ease the pain.

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Other conditions

Sometimes pain after sexual intercourse is caused by something other than physical issues with the uterus. According to ob-gynecologist Mary Jane Minkin of Yale New Haven Hospital, pain can also be caused by emotional issues like insecurity or anxiety about relationships or work.

Other common causes of stomach pain after sex include vaginal dryness and hormone changes. The former can be aggravated by things like menopause and birth control, which change estrogen levels in the body. This imbalance can lead to achy vaginas and irritation, as well as lower pelvic pain after sexual intercourse.

Hormonal changes can also cause stomach pain after sex in pregnant women, and it’s especially important to avoid rough sex during this time. If the pain is severe or consistent, it’s best to see a gynecologist. In the meantime, at-home tweaks like laying a heating pad or doing grounding yoga poses can help.

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