From dehydration to infections, here are all the reasons you may be experiencing cramps after intercourse
Cramps during or after sexual intercourse, especially around the abdomen or genitalia could be an indication of an underlying problem
In the ideal scenario, sex is supposed to give pleasure. But, in reality, many people often experience some pain during and after sex. While pain during sex is known as dyspareunia and knowledge about it — and, more importantly, how to handle it — is becoming more widespread, one actually might not know enough about the pain that may occur after sex.
However, if one starts cramping up, especially around their abdomen or genitalia, they need to get to the bottom of it, since it could be an indication of an underlying problem. And here’s something even more important that one needs to remember: it’s not just women who may experience pain during or after sex — men do too.
Gender differences in painful cramps after sex
A study published in The Journal of Pain in 2009 evaluated available literature on pain thresholds of men and women and found that most studies concluded that women have a higher sensitivity to pain than men. This is primarily because of differences in anatomy — a woman’s reproductive organs are more complex. However, this does not suggest that men don’t experience pain at all or that it’s any less serious of a problem.
Women usually experience painful cramps after sex due to a number of reasons, like deep penetration during sex, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovulation and anatomical issues like a tilted uterus. The only known unique cause of cramps after sex in men is prostatitis, where the prostate becomes inflamed during or after sex, which leads to pain and occasional cramping.
Common reasons behind cramps after sex
Apart from these uniquely gendered reasons, there are a number of causes behind cramps after sex that both men and women might experience. The following are some of the most common ones:
- Excessive exercise: Yes, sex is a type of exercise and it can strain the muscles and cause cramps, especially if one already had muscle stiffness to begin with. In fact, sometimes even orgasms can lead to contraction of the pelvic floor muscles after sex. This type of cramp is more likely to dissipate soon, but if it occurs too frequently or persists, one should call the doctor.
- Dehydration: Like with most exercises and types of exertion, not drinking enough water can lead to cramping during or after sex. Proper hydration is therefore very important.
- Digestion issues: Common digestive issues like constipation and gas can cause abdominal cramps after sex, and so can an irritable bowel syndrome. One should consult their doctor about getting their digestive system back on track and this type of cramping will stop in all likelihood.
- Urinary tract infections: If one has an underlying urinary tract infection (UTI), bladder issues or interstitial cystitis, the pressure caused on the organs during sex can lead to cramping after it. It’s best to get the UTI treated properly and resume sexual activity after one is better.
- Sexually transmitted infection: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause abdominal cramps not just during sex but after it too. It’s best to get an STI treated and also get one's partner screened for it if both of them experience cramping. Pause all sexual activity until the doctor has given the go-ahead.
For more information, read our article on Pain during sex (Dyspareunia).
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
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