What causes stomach pain after sex?
Lower abdominal pain after sexual intercourse is not uncommon.
Why does the stomach hurt after sex? The stomach hurts whenever it is disturbed. While sexual intercourse is usually an act of pleasure, there are those who may experience pain in the stomach immediately after.
What causes this pain? There are multiple causes. Regardless of the reasons, it can be a sign of severe complications and shouldn't be ignored. Let me explain some causes that you need to know before visiting a pelvic pain clinic.
Orgasm and ovulation
For women, the orgasm is linked to strong uterine contractions, which can be strong enough to cause pain afterwards. Another cause could be the release of an egg (ovulation) during copulation. An egg release is accompanied by fluid secretions and tonic changes in the uterus. Deep penetration can also cause pain in the abdomen.
To learn more about orgasm and ovulation, click here.
Tilting of uterus
Almost 20% of women have a tilted uterus, which means that it has turned backwards. When a penis or inserted object puts excessive pressure on this retroverted uterus, you will experience pain and cramps. To solve this issue, explore different positions to find the most comfortable one for you.
The uterine reactions to sperm
When semen is released into the uterus, the sperm - or other parts of the semen - can irritate the uterine walls, leading to forceful contractions causing cramps and pain.
This issue is seldom experienced during protected sex. However, check if you are allergic to any materials used in condoms, which can also cause this issue.
You may try various positions in the quest for more pleasure without knowing that they might cause abdominal pain. The doggy-style or missionary-style positions can cause pain after sex. So it might be wise to try other positions and avoid excessive and forceful thrusts. Try sexual positions that are less painful and give you better control over penetration.
Pelvic inflammatory disease and vaginal infections
There is a possibility for the entry of dangerous germs during sex which can irritate your uterine lining leading to pain.
Any vaginal infection, previous pelvic inflammatory disease or a sexually transmitted infection, e.g., gonorrhoea, Chlamydia etc., can spread from the vagina to the other organs of the reproductive system, causing pain in the vagina and pelvis and pelvic floor region in severe cases. The pain can aggravate after sex as you are irritating an area which is already inflamed and irritated. Even a healed vaginal infection will leave scar tissue, becoming a new focus of pain.
We have solutions for you if you have a bacterial infection in your vagina. Click here to view our products and online consultation.
Check with your doctor if you have endometriosis, a condition in which the tissues of the uterine lining grow outside the uterus. A 2017 study published in the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care found that the incidence of endometriosis in the UK is just 0.102%.
Pelvic pain after sex is one of the important signs of this condition. In severe cases of endometriosis, the adhesions (sticking together) develop in the pelvic organs. Deep penetration or forceful thrusts during sex can disturb these adhesions, leading to severe pelvic pain. Local inflammation can occur at the site of endometriosis, which can become another cause of pain.
The cause of dryness in the vagina can be many, e.g., contraceptive birth control pills, menopause etc. Women of all ages can experience it before and after menopause. Irrespective of the cause, sex with a dry vagina can irritate the local tissues leading to abrasive damage and pain. Consult the physician to treat vaginal dryness or use safe lubes during sex. You may need hormone replacement therapy.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus. Middle-aged women mostly experience them, and according to a 2016 study published in the BMC Women's health, the incidence of fibroids in the UK is 5.8 per 1000 women.
Depending upon their location and size, they can cause pain during and after sex. They can also cause cramps in the local muscles. An MRI or ultrasound of the pelvic region can diagnose the issue. Consult the gynaecologist for treatment.
Click here to read more about fibroids, their types, signs and symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Pelvic or ovarian cyst
Ovarian cysts are the fluid-filled pockets or sacs in or around the ovary. These cysts develop due to various causes, e.g., nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, infections etc. Most cysts develop and regress spontaneously within a few months without any treatment. However, some cysts may persist and grow large, causing pain during or after sex.
Similar pelvic cysts can also develop in the pelvic region due to various causes, with the same outcome. An ovarian or pelvic cyst can cause pain in the lower abdomen with or without sex.
The take-home message
Pain during or after sex can develop due to various causes. You need to trace the cause of the issue. Address each issue individually and consult the gynaecologist who may prescribe pain medications. However, some causes of pelvic pain are more deep-rooted and need more thorough treatment.
At Welzo, we have a range of sexual health products for women. Click here to view our products and to consult our health experts.
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