Cramps After Sex: Is It Normal?

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Usually, intercourse is a pleasurable activity. Bleeding, vaginal discharge or cramps after sex though are nothing worth being excited about.

You perhaps already know that bleeding after sex is not healthy and is a sign of medical conditions but what about cramps after sex? 

Feeling tingly or slight cramping after sex for some time is not a sign of abnormality. The vagina opening and muscles relax after orgasm.

However, they take time to loosen after the vigorous movements.Fano

Abdominal cramps after sex for a day or 2 are not normal and certainly not a sex after effect.

It can be because of many reasons such as infection or any wear and tear.

Find out why you have cramps after sex and if there is a cause for concern  

Why do I have cramps after sex?

There can be many reasons for having cramps after sex. Sexologists advise that you should empty your bladder before coitus.

After intercourse, emptying your bladder is essential because you already feel like it and it reduces the possibility of getting infections.

If you are not trying to get pregnant, then you must pee after sexual intercourse.

Cramps After Sex: Is It Normal?
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Cramps After Sex: Is It Normal?

Cramps after sex: Is it normal?

It is not normal at all to have severe painful cramps immediately after sex. A slight uneasiness faraway from what are cramps is possible but not beyond it.

Pregnancy cannot happen immediately after sex. Even if the ovum is present at the time of sex, it takes about an hour for sperms to reach there.

Cramps 2 weeks after sex are normal if it is implantation cramps. Implantation occurs after 7-12 days from conception.

Cramps after a week from sex are signs of early pregnancy.

23 reasons for cramping after sex

1) Urinary bladder problems

Some women may have urinary bladder problems such as a history of an infection. In this case, it is common to feel pain during and after intercourse.

Urinary bladder muscles may weaken and cramp after jostling during sex. Squirting during sex is also because of the full bladder or urinary bladder problems.

2) Deep penetration

If your partner hits deep and you had rough sex with less lubrication then you are likely to have cramps after sex.

Hitting deep inside the vagina can lead to contractions of the muscles in response. You can tell your partner about feeling pain during sex.

It doesn’t require treatment and pain may go after 10 minutes to an hour.

3) Pelvic inflammatory disease

Any inflammation makes that tissue vulnerable and sensitive.

Pelvic inflammatory disease patients will have cramps after sex accompanied with burning.

If you have a burning sensation while urinating then tell your doctor about it.

4) Fibroids

Any fibrous tissues present near your cervix will hinder regular sex. It can cause pain after sex as it makes the vagina extremely sensitive.

The movements during sex will cause the fibers to move and cause cramping.

5) Endometriosis or polyps

Any abnormal growth of uterine tissue to other regions is Endometriosis. Polyps are sessile tumors inside the vagina.

If you have this medical condition, then you are at risk of having cramping after sex. Bleeding and cramping after sex is a sign of uterine abnormalities.

6) Cysts

During sex cysts present in uterus or ovaries can twist. The cysts torsion is extremely painful.

Ovaries are like small balloons attached to pipe ends. They can twist over themselves.

This cuts off the oxygen supply and causes abdominal cramping after sex.

7) Tilted uterus

Generally, the uterus is vertical and has a straight path from the vagina. In about 20% woman there is a condition called Tilted uterus.

The uterus is this condition is facing rectum away from the belly. When the penis goes straight in it doesn’t turn.

During erection, the penis is hard enough to hit the walls of the tilted uterus. A tilted uterus is a major problem for sexual wellness.

8) IUD

Cramps after sex IUD or cramps after sex Mirena is because of irritation of the uterine lining. These Intrauterine devices can irritate the uterine lining and cause bleeding after sex.

During sex, there is vigorous movement, and it can cause the IUD to shift a little. These devices can irritate the vagina and cause cramps after sex.

They can even come out unknowingly because of their small size.

9) Orgasm

Having a hangover of the euphoric orgasm is natural. Orgasm is the rapid wave-like motions in the vagina when you are at the epitome of pleasure.

It lasts for few seconds and later the muscles gradually relax. It is possible that some women have cramping after orgasm.

Anorgasmia as defined by Mayo clinic 1 is regular difficulty in reaching orgasm even upon ample stimulantion. Unsatisfactory sex is worse than not having it. Cramps are result of the sudden withdrawal without reaching climax.

Another possibility is not reaching orgasm during sex causes cramps later. This is very common in men if they stop mid session. But it can occur in some women also.

10) Pregnancy

Cramps after sex before the period is a sign of pregnancy. Implantation is the process of attachment of the embryo to uterus lining. This causes cramping and spotting.

Does cramping after sex mean conception? Cramping after ejaculating inside can give most women the feeling of something different is happening.

It will depend on the time of cramps. If they last for sometime after sex and then subside, then that will not be a sign of pregnancy.

But if you have cramping week after sex, then you could be pregnant. After conception, the egg needs at least a week for reaching and implanting in the uterus.

Cramps 2 weeks after sex is also a sign of pregnancy provided you see other symptoms.

Cramps after unprotected sex immediately don’t confirm anything and are not pregnancy symptoms.

11) Dry vagina

If you have a dry vagina and your partner also doesn’t have enough secretions then you will have a dry sex.

Rough sex and dry sex are two different things. Rough denotes the physical movements, and dry is for the lack of lubrication.

The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2012 2 had conducted a study of women using lubes for pain after sex.

As we know women and men use lubes for foreplay and deep penetration but some do for preventing sex cramps!

In this case the women who did not have cramps or any pain performing sex were control. Conjectures about use of lubes among women were not many. Without natural lubrication, women use lubes not only for orgasms but to relieve cramps.

Sex without lubrication can lead to bleeding and spotting after sex because friction and heat are generated during rubbing of vagina and penis.

12) Losing virginity or Defloration

Cramping after first sex is normal and happens with almost every woman. Defloration of the hymen causes pain and bleeding.

The vagina is very narrow, and muscles are not used to such rubbing. It takes time for the vagina to get habitual to sex.

First, three-four times contrary to the popular beliefs sex isn’t very pleasurable. The hymen is a membrane that partially covers the vagina.

During first sex, this membrane tears off but some parts may persist even after it. It will lead to cramps after second-time sex.

Stomach cramps after first sex are very common because the body is new to it. After sex cramps also depend on the age you lose your virginity and the mental state at that time.

13) Psychological causes

The last line above brings us to the second cause. Psychological causes such as arousal, willingness, and mental preparation also influence cramping after sex.

Rape victims have severe cramps post-coitus, they might not be able to go to the loo. If you are not prepared for having sex and undergo a traumatic incident, then you can have abdominal after sex cramps.

Cases of child abuse have a different kind of brain trigger whenever exposed to sex. In such cases after sex cramps are due to psychological makeup.

14) Vulvodynia

A constant pain in the tissue near mouth of vagina is Vulvodynia. Inflammation of the tissue tenses and stretches it chronically.

The National Vulvodynia Association 3 has an outlined the detailed guide for patients regarding hygiene, sexual practice and clothing.

Avoid wearing pantyhose, remove wet clothing quickly and use water soluble lubes for sex are some effective lifestyle changes suggested by NVA.

15) Vaginal atrophy

When a woman approaches the stage of Perimenopause her estrogen levels decline. Estrogen levels are responsible for maintaining the vaginal lining.

During vaginal atrophy, the wall of the vagina becomes extremely thin. It is prone to bleeding and cramping even due to mild rubbing.

After sex cramps with bleeding are a sign that vagina walls are not able to bear the jostling.

16) Cancer of ovaries or uterus

Twisting and pain beyond tolerance at random time is a symptom of cancer. Women who have cancers experience unbearable pain during and after sex.

After sex cramping is also a sign that you could be carrying cancer. But the pain should also occur at other times like during ovulation.

Cramps after having sex during cancer will be very painful.

17) Uterine prolapse

When muscles become weak to support the uterus it fails to remain in position. It constantly moves like a wobbly structure.

Uterine prolapse can be because of aging or any other reasons. Mild cramps after sex are because of uterine muscles being weak.

18) Sexually transmitted diseases

Gonorrhea and Syphilis have one of their symptoms as cramps after having sex.

Mild cramps after sex are normal. But if cramping after having sex is with bleeding or spotting, then you may be having STD.

Other symptoms of STD include greenish vaginal discharge, rashes, and pus or bleeding from the vagina.

19) Allergy to semen

Semen (grey liquid containing sperms) has prostaglandin that causes contractions and is responsible for inducing labor.

If your body is reactive to such chemicals from your partner, then you will have cramps after having sex and itching.

Any allergic reaction causes the release of histamine. It leads to redness and itching.

20) Thrush or yeast infection

Cheesy thick white vaginal discharge is a sign of yeast infection.

Many women once in their lifetime have a yeast infection in the vaginal area. Cramps near vagina after sex can be because of thrush. 

21) Cervical stenosis

In this condition, the cervical pathway becomes too narrow. If your partner penetrates deep then it may momentarily stretch to normal size.

Later on, when it returns or is not able to return it causes after sex cramps.

22) Menopause

As you approach Menopause, pain after sex is common. Cramps after having sex is a common problem in the group of above 40s women.

The muscles become weak and are no longer agile. They take longer to come back to their normal place.

23) Allergy to contraceptive jellies

Some sperm jellies may alter the pH of your vagina. Allergy to any kind of lubricants or oils you try while having sex is a red signal for it.

Immediately discontinue the use of such jellies or crèmes.

24) Vaginismus

In Vaginismus the women’s vagina contracts as soon as something is going to enter it.

It has a burning sensation and painful cramps as symptoms. Sex is painful and ineffective as the penis also feels choked.

One of the main reasons for Vaginismus is a psychological trigger to the brain to contract the muscles.

Cramping after sex while pregnant

Cramping after sex during pregnancy is natural because your body is changing. But you don’t have to stop sex during pregnancy if you have mild cramps post-sex.

Cramps after sex in early pregnancy may be because of bloating. The gas distress already causes pain and sex can aggravate the condition.

You can try different positions for sex while pregnant. Make sure your partner does not put his weight on you.

Do you have cramps after sex in period?

The period cramps are at times is because the gut gets squished by the contracting uterus. All you feel is discomfort in the lower region of body. Sex can complicate the perception of pain. Other way round pain can also increase when you have intercourse while on period. It’s best to avoid sex during heavy flow period days.

Vigorous movements in the lower vagina during sex causes cramps.

How does ovulation cause cramps after sex?

The gnawing pain in stomach can also be while having ovulation cramps. Similar cramps with a lower intensity occur when you ovulate. Having sex in the fertility window can cause a twinge. Mistaking it for a pregnancy sign people label them as early pregnancy cramps. If the pain lasts for long as in early pregnancy, you need to ask your doctor about cramps after intercourse.

Now that you are aware of the every possible cause of cramps after sex, read to find the right treatment option.

How to treat cramps after sex?

Cramps after sex not lasting for long or interfering with your pleasure are negligible. When the thing starts to thwart your sex life you need to get a checkup. Until then pain relievers and some stretching will suffice.

As printed in the The Medical Letter 4 Imvexxy approved in US since September, 2018 is an estradoil insert for extreme cases of sex pain.

Ways to cure or prevent cramps after sex

1) Massage your abdomen

Massaging helps the muscles to quickly get back to their non aroused state. The movement in the area, distributes the muscular tension. Be gentle while massaging and follow unidirectional motion.

2) Use lubes for smooth sexual experience

When you’re vagina is dry, sex becomes painful. Those women who have sex erratically they are more prone to pain and cramps. Make sure you’re not allergic to the lube you’re using.

3) Have sex when you’re fully aroused

Foreplay comes first for a reason. Arousal sends blood in the area and softens the tissues. Often women who complain of pain during sex jump straight to penetration. Discuss with your partner about it.

4) Take pain killers

Over the counter pain killers are effective in treating cramps after sex. When the pain continues for more than 12-24 hours then take a OTC pain killer. Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen work well and are easily available. Using NSAIDs is also advisable.

5) Use heat to soothe your stomach

Either take a hot bath or place a hot water bottle to raise the temperature of the area. As the area will receive heat more blood will flow towards it and relax the muscles.

6) Eat a well balanced diet

There are supplements that can substitute for the missing nutrients in food. Vitamin E, calcium and magnesium play a crucial role in reproduction and muscle movement. Take supplements of vitamin E and omega fatty acids.

7) Try stretches and calm down

Gentle beginner stretches will work to cure the pain after sex. Yoga is another form of exercise for cramps after sex.

You need to address the psychological barriers that you’ve. Let your muscles loose and lay back and enjoy.

When to call a doctor for cramps after sex?

If the cramps after sex are not long lasting or stabbing you need not consult a doctor. If you’re pregnant and have cramps after sex, tell your doctor. These signs need you to tell your doctor about cramping:

  • Bleeding along with localized pinching pain
  • Discharge while you have cramps
  • Pain during urination and burning
  • Cramps that feel like torsion of cysts

American Academy of Family Physicians have divided sexual dysfunction into 4 types 5: Desire disorders, arousal disorders, orgasmic disorders and sexual pain disorders. The last category includes pain during or after sex.

Taking a warm bath, sensate focus and emptying your bladder before sex helps. Use of viagra by women for sexual activity is under study. AAFP 6 recognises viagra’s side effects and warns against OTC use.

Your doctor might perform an ultrasound to examine the organs. Other than that he would ask you about the kind of contraceptive or lubricant you use. Make sure you have the medical history along regarding any sexually transmitted diseases in past.

Summary

Cramping after every sexual intercourse is not normal and is a sign that you need to see the doctor. Sex is merely an act lasting for few minutes. The after sex cramps must also go with time.

Some infections destruct the membrane and cause contact bleeding every time you have sex.

Burning after sex is a sign of many STDs, and you need to talk to your doctor about it.

Footnotes

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anorgasmia/symptoms-causes/syc-20369422?p=1
  2. https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)33711-5/fulltext
  3. https://www.nva.org/for-patients/self-help-tips/
  4. https://m.medicalletter.org/article-share?a=1555b&p=tml&title=Imvexxy%20-%20Another%20Estradiol%20Vaginal%20Insert%20for%20Dyspareunia&cannotaccesstitle=1
  5. https://familydoctor.org/condition/sexual-dysfunction-women/?adfree=true
  6. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0701/p127.html

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