There are many myths that claim your body changes after you engage in sexual activity. However, this is not true.
Your body does undergo some changes when you get aroused. For example, your clitoris enlarges when you are sexually aroused, but it returns to its normal size after the encounter.
1. Weight Gain
Despite what people may believe, there is no connection between weight gain and sexual activity. In fact, sex can actually help people lose weight by burning calories through intense physical activity.
This is especially true for men. Studies have shown that deep penetration during sex increases the body’s ability to burn calories. Additionally, sex can also lead to an increase in vaginal lubrication, which helps make the experience more comfortable for both partners.
Another reason why sex can help people lose weight is that it reduces stress levels and triggers the release of feel-good hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones can improve mood and even boost self-esteem.
Many women have heard that having sex causes their breasts to change, such as becoming firmer and larger. However, this is simply a result of hormonal changes during sexual arousal. Additionally, breast tissue can change in size when a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding.
2. Vaginal Swelling
Many people are familiar with bumps and rashes that appear on the face, chest or back but those affecting the vulva can be much more disturbing. Bumpy or swollen areas around the vulva can be due to a variety of reasons including infection, allergies, irritants, cysts and abscesses.
The vulva includes the vagina, urethral opening, labia minora and clitoris, the vulvar canal and mons pubis. It also contains ducts and glands that produce natural fluid for the area as well as lubrication. Inflammation of these structures can cause swollen vulva tissue, itching, pain and discharge.
Some women develop a type of dermatitis known as contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction to certain substances like soaps, douches and vaginal sprays. Mild cases can be treated with over-the-counter antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec but serious cases may require a mild topical steroid cream. A boil, cyst or abscess is another common condition that can occur in the vulva and requires medical care to prevent further complications like infection. Recurring boils may indicate a more severe condition that needs treatment with prescription antibiotics.
3. Vaginal Lubrication
A healthy vagina secretes fluid that keeps it moist and reduces friction during sexual activity. This fluid changes over the course of a woman’s menstrual cycle and provides sperm with a friendly environment during her fertile period to help conception occur.
During arousal, the skin and tissue of a woman’s vulva becomes slick and slippery with lubrication that may be mistaken for cervical mucus (which can be used to track ovulation), or vaginal discharge (a combination of cervical mucus, oil from glands in the labia, and vulvar hair).
However, women can experience dryness of the vulva due to factors like hormones, age, medications, stress, diet, and lifestyle. This can make sex uncomfortable for both partners and lead to pain during penetration. To counter this, a woman can use a lubricant such as a water-based lube or silicone-based lubricant. Water-based lubes are safe to use with condoms and can be rinsed off the vulva easily. Silicone-based lubricants last longer than water-based and are usually safe for use with latex condoms or diaphragms used for birth control.
4. Vaginal Discharge
A healthy vagina produces about a teaspoon of white or transparent liquid every day. This mucus contains cervical secretions, cell debris and other normal bacteria that help lubricate the vulva and keep it clean. It also varies in color and consistency throughout the menstrual cycle, depending on ovulation, sexual activity and birth control use.
During sexual intimacy, the clitoris becomes active, which can lead to a lot of extra lubrication and orgasms. However, it goes back to its usual size shortly after sexual intercourse is finished.
While there’s a lot of myths that sex causes the vulva to become wider and less tight, it actually just stretches to get used to having the penis inside. Over time, this happens less and less.
If you notice a change in the color, smell or texture of your vaginal discharge, talk to your doctor or go to a sexual health clinic. These clinics often offer a walk-in service for patients with genital problems and can get test results much quicker than GP surgeries. They can also diagnose and treat STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
5. Vaginal Itching
Sex makes a woman’s body change in many different ways, and some of those changes are uncomfortable. Vaginal itching is a common problem that many women experience after having sex, but the good news is it is usually caused by something simple and treatable.
If itching becomes a regular occurrence, you should talk to your doctor. They will ask you about your sexual history, and may perform a pelvic exam. This will help them determine if there is an underlying cause of your itching, such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
Yeast infections are often caused by the overgrowth of candida, a microorganism that lives in your vagina. Douching, not wearing condoms and having multiple sex partners can all increase the risk of this infection. Symptoms of candida overgrowth include itching, burning and cottage cheese-like discharge. Bacterial vaginosis can also cause itching in the vagina, along with a fishy odor, burning during urination and discharge that is gray, white or green. Taking antibiotics to kill the bacteria can help with this condition as well.