Stomach Pain After Sexual Activity

Woman Sleeping

A gynecologist can help you figure out what’s causing your pain. Some infections, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause abdominal pain during or after sex. Pelvic and urinary tract infections, like pelvic inflammatory disease and UTIs, can also trigger pain.

Orgasms can also cause stomach pain. This is because of the contraction of muscles in the body.

Causes

Stomach pain after sexual activity could be the result of a few different things. According to Bausic, “The most common cause of pelvic pain is related to uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors that develop in or on the uterus) and/or adenomyosis.” Other possible causes are endometriosis, a condition where the same tissue that lines the uterus grows in other places in the body; a misaligned uterus, which can cause the uterus to tilt backwards, leading to pain and causing cervical issues; and infections like STIs, pelvic inflammatory disease and urinary tract infections.”

For women, sometimes the pain in the stomach after sex is caused by deep penetration. This is a result of the cervix and uterus being bumped over and over again, resulting in cramping that can spread to the lower abdomen. This type of pain typically goes away on its own or with the use of over-the-counter medications.

For men, the pain in the stomach after sex may be the result of an orgasm. During an orgasm, the muscles in the pelvic area can contract intensely. This results in abdominal pain that often goes away after the orgasm ends. In addition, certain bowel issues can also trigger cramping and bloating, such as irritable bowel syndrome, which can lead to constipation and diarrhea. This can lead to a painful anal or even a miscarriage.

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Symptoms

Sex is a fantastic way to work up a sweat, but sometimes it can cause other kinds of pain. Stomach pain after sex is not necessarily life-threatening, but it’s definitely worth mentioning to your doctor to make sure there aren’t any more serious causes for the discomfort.

The location, nature, and duration of the pain will help to narrow down the underlying cause. For example, if the stomach pain is located right at the vaginal opening or deep in the pelvis, this could be a sign of dyspareunia, which affects about 7 percent of sexually active women. The pain is usually triggered by intense or prolonged penetration and might get worse during or after sex.

Another cause of stomach pain after sex is a pelvic infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. These infections, which spread through unprotected sex, can travel from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, causing pain and tenderness in the lower pelvis and stomach.

In men, pain after sex can also be a sign of prostatitis, which is an inflammation of the prostate gland. This condition can cause pain during urination, ejaculation, or sexual intercourse and is more common in men over 50.

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Treatment

If you experience stomach pain after sex, it’s important to see your gynecologist—or at least make an appointment. The first step will likely include a urine test and pelvic sonogram to check your uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and gut. Then, you’ll get the lowdown on what the problem is and how to treat it.

For example, a gynecologist might recommend an antibiotic regimen to treat STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea. These STIs are common and, if left untreated, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which causes lower abdominal pain during and after sex, along with heavier menstrual bleeding and spotting between periods. Fibroids, another gynecologic condition that can cause pain after sexual activity, are also highly treatable with hormone therapy or surgery.

Other medical conditions that can create pain after sex in females include endometriosis and adenomyosis. These conditions occur when tissue that normally lines the uterus grows on other parts of your body, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. In women with endometriosis, this tissue is sensitive to the hormones that are released during orgasm and can trigger pain in the stomach and abdomen.

In addition, Yale New Haven Hospital ob-gyn Mary Jane Minkin explains that stress, anxiety, relationship issues and feelings of shame or embarrassment can trigger pelvic and abdominal discomfort during and after sex. For this reason, she recommends that patients practice breathing exercises, yoga and meditation to alleviate pain after sex.

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Home Remedies

Pain after sex can be caused by everything from everyday bodily responses to serious medical conditions. It can be difficult to pinpoint what is causing the pain, but a healthcare provider will be able to help.

For women, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can cause pain during and after sex. It’s often caused by sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, as well as unprotected sex or douching. Getting regularly screened for STIs and treating them quickly is essential to prevent complications of PID, including infertility.

In addition to PID, uterine fibroids and endometriosis can also cause stomach pain after sex. These conditions require treatment from a gynecologist.

Orgasms can also cause sex-related abdominal pain in some women. The muscle contractions that occur during orgasms can create the same cramping as menstrual cramps. The pain typically goes away once the orgasm stops.

For men, painful sex may be due to a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs can affect any part of the urethra, including the bladder and prostate. They’re usually caused by bacteria but can be aggravated by certain sexual activities, such as deep penetration or anal sex. The good news is that most UTIs go away on their own, but antibiotics can help speed up the process. In some cases, a doctor might recommend staying off of sex until the UTI goes away.

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