Pain after sexual activity, known as dyspareunia, is not uncommon but it’s not always serious. The pain is usually cramp-like or sharp.
If you are having upper stomach pain after being sexually active, consult a doctor to find out the cause. They will perform a physical exam, ask about your symptoms and sexual practices, and recommend tests.
Stomach pain after sex, also known as dyspareunia, is fairly common and can be caused by a number of things. These include deep penetration, muscle spasms, or even an emotional response to sex. Dyspareunia can also be a sign of a pelvic infection, like uterine fibroids or polyps. These infections can be easily treated with a prescription for antibiotics.
Other reasons for stomach pain after sex are less serious and may be related to digestive issues, like gas or constipation. Women can also experience lower abdominal pain after sex due to certain health conditions, such as endometriosis or ovarian cysts. Pelvic inflammatory disease or urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be caused by unprotected sex and can cause severe pain in the lower abdomen.
Men can also experience pain in the groin, which can be a result of unprotected sex or sexually transmitted diseases and infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. These STIs can be transmitted through vaginal, oral, or anal sex, as well as by skin-to-skin contact. Symptoms of these STIs include pain during and after sex, vaginal discharge, and abnormal periods. These can be treated with a course of antibiotics, which will help alleviate the pain and any other symptoms associated with them.
It’s a little weird that something so pleasurable can also be painful, but reaching orgasms during sex can trigger pain in the pelvic area. That’s because orgasms create uterine contractions, which can lead to pelvic and stomach pain, explains gynecologist Dr. Mary Jane Minkin of Yale New Haven Hospital, per Women’s Health. “This is called dyspareunia and it’s not uncommon,” she says. “The pain is typically felt during penetration, when the cervix and uterus are being bumped repetitively.” It’s rare that this occurs during unprotected sex, but if it does, it might require modifying your technique.
Dyspareunia is triggered by the movement of a woman’s uterus and pelvic muscles, but it can also be caused by certain sexually transmitted infections, like chlamydia or herpes. If you’ve had an STI in the past and you’re experiencing symptoms like stomach pain and fever, you should go see a doctor as soon as possible, because that means you could have a serious infection that needs to be treated immediately.
Sometimes a gynecologist won’t be able to find what’s causing the pain, so they might refer you to a pelvic floor specialist, like Dr. Gelman, who can assess your sex life and see what the problem is. But until then, there are a few at-home tweaks you can try to ease the pain.
The good news is that stomach pain after sex is usually not caused by anything serious and goes away on its own. But it’s important to talk to your gynecologist about it, especially if the pain is severe and continues for long periods of time.
Gynecologists are trained to spot and treat issues that can cause post-sexual pain, like ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), anal or vaginal infections, UTIs, a tilted uterus, arousal disorders, sexually transmitted infections, or the prostate gland, which is common in males. Marchand says a gynecologist can test your urine for an infection and do a pelvic exam to see what’s going on inside of the body, including checking your uterus and tubes.
If the problem is caused by orgasm, they can tell you to take a warm shower after sex, which will help flush out bacteria and relieve your uterus from sperm irritation. They can also refer you to a pelvic floor specialist, such as Dr. Gelman, to address the issue of tight muscles.
Other things you can do to help ease pain after sex are changing up your sexual positions, taking hot showers, drinking lots of water, and avoiding spicy foods that can trigger digestive symptoms. Also, try putting your partner on the woman’s side instead of the man’s to take some pressure off the urethra and bladder.
Seek medical attention
A lot of people freak out when they have stomach pain after sexual activity, but a little bit of knowledge will go a long way in resolving the issue. For starters, it’s important to understand that the pain doesn’t always originate in your abdomen and may not even be related to sex at all. Often, what people mistakenly interpret as abdominal pain is actually lower pelvic pain.
The first thing you should do is take a trip to the doctor, especially if you’re unsure of what’s causing the pain. If the pain is severe, make sure to visit a specialist to get an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will take a detailed history and run some tests to check if there’s any serious cause for the pain.
Sometimes, certain STIs like chlamydia can lead to pain after sex and even stomach cramping. It’s very important to get tested for STIs regularly to prevent infection.
Other causes of sex-related pain include anal and vaginal discharge, a bad period or menstrual cramps, painful ejaculation, and pain while urinating. It’s also very important to visit a medical professional if you have pain with sex for any reason other than pleasure. The pain can indicate an infection or other problems like adenomyosis, endometriosis, or urinary tract infections. These conditions are treatable and should be diagnosed as soon as possible.