Women experience a variety of changes in their bodies upon sexual arousal. The clitoris and areolas swell up, the vagina adjusts its elasticity and the nipples become harder due to oxytocin release.
Pain after sex is normal occasionally, but it should not happen every time or be persistent. If that’s the case, talk to a gynecologist about your concerns.
When a woman experiences vaginal dryness, it may feel like her vagina is scratchy or uncomfortable during sex. This is due to a lack of natural lubrication. Using a water-based lubricant, such as KY Jelly or Astroglide, can help ease this problem. A woman can also eat foods that are high in oil to help lubricate her vulva. However, oils are not recommended for use during sex because they can damage latex condoms or diaphragms.
During sexual intercourse, the body secretes cervical mucus to aid in sperm penetration. This fluid also helps with the ripening of an egg so it can be fertilized by sperm. The uterus is a hollow muscular organ with two upper openings to the fallopian tubes and an inferior opening into the vagina.
The cervix is the thin layer of tissue that covers the outside of the uterus. During sexual intercourse, the cervix stretches to allow sperm to pass through and fertilize an egg. The cervix is normally tight and firm, but sex can cause it to stretch temporarily. This stretching is called a hymenal spasm.
Some women notice that they have a little semen leak out after having sex. This is normal and usually does not need to be treated, unless it occurs often or is accompanied by other symptoms. Talking to a doctor can help a person figure out why it is happening and get treatment for it.
Inflammation of the Cervix
The cervix is the lower, narrow end of your uterus that opens into your vagina. Sometimes, your cervix can get inflamed for reasons that don’t include sexual activity. The resulting inflammation is called cervicitis. If you have cervicitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat it.
Inflammation in the cervical cavity can also occur during or after childbirth or surgery, such as when an iud is inserted. It’s most often caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea that ascends from the cervix into the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. This is known as pelvic inflammatory disease (pid).
Pid is most common in young, sexually active women and can be difficult to diagnose. It’s typically caused by multiple types of bacteria, making it hard to pinpoint which bacteria are responsible for the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Seeing a little blood after sex is not something to worry about. Gynecologists see this quite often — a spot here, a dot there. Bleeding after sex is usually caused by inflammation of the cervix, or it can be from a few tiny tears in the vagina if you have particularly rough sex. The spotting is usually bright red, but can occasionally be darker.
Women can experience spotting after sex, although it is not normal. If you are a woman who regularly experiences spotting that doesn’t correspond with your period or is accompanied by pain, a doctor should be consulted. It could be an indication of an STI (sexually transmitted infection) like chlamydia, gonorrhea, or herpes. Other symptoms of STIs include abnormal vaginal discharge and abdominal pain with fever, or pelvic inflammatory disease, which may be diagnosed with a pelvic exam and ultrasound.
Spotting can also occur if you were sexually abused. Similarly, it can be the result of an injury to your cervix or pelvic organs or as a side effect of a medication. In most cases, however, spotting after sex is due to a hormonal change. The spotting usually occurs as your body prepares to ovulate or as your menstrual cycle shifts to its next phase.
Men also experience spotting after sex. This is because when a man reaches climax, blood from the pelvic area is released. During this time, the testicles in the scrotum retract and the muscles of the penis and vulva tighten. The ejaculation occurs as a natural reaction to this. This is why it is recommended that men use condoms for protection against STIs and other infectious diseases.
If you’re experiencing pelvic pain that lasts more than a few days, talk to your doctor about it. It could be a symptom of a chronic condition that requires evaluation, or it may be an indication that you’re suffering from dysmenorrhea, which causes painful periods. Dysmenorrhea occurs when your hormone levels drop and cause extreme pelvic pain during your menstrual cycle. It can also trigger nausea, vomiting, fatigue and depression.
Pain during sex is not normal and should never be tolerated. If you’re a woman, you can get pelvic pain due to STIs (including gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma), PID or other infections of the reproductive tract and gut, endometriosis, fibroids, surgical scarring, UTIs and deep penetration.
The most common cause of pelvic pain after sex is inflammation of the cervix, which can cause bleeding or spotting. It can also occur if you have rough sex or the cervix is irritated by an erection, or if you’re having trouble urinating.
Pelvic pain can be treated by a medical professional by assessing the tightness of the pelvic muscles with one or two gloved fingers, checking the uterus and ovaries for any abnormalities, and completing a rectal examination. Using a multidisciplinary team — including specialist women’s health GPs, gynaecologists and physiotherapists — has been shown to be the most effective way to manage pelvic pain.