Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 05:09 pm
Are you worried why you have mild or severe pain after sexual intercourse? Do you feel severe pain during sexual intercourse?Are you concerned cramps after sex may be due to vaginal infections or a serious health issue?
Vaginal intercourse should be enjoyed and be a way to express your feeling. However, it’s possible you may sometimes experience some discomfort after intercourse.
Pain after sexual intercourse can sometimes occur in women; Though persistent vaginal or lower abdominal pain may indicate something more serious.
Causes of severe cramps after sexual contact are endometriosis, vaginal infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cancer, ovarian cyst, or uterine fibroid.
Nevertheless, pain after sexual intercourse may be due to pressure symptoms, lack of sexual appetite, psychological perception of pain or inadequate vaginal lubrication. If your vagina is not well lubricated, it could result in tear, bleeding, and pain after intercourse.
During pregnancy, cramps may also occur either during or after intercourse. This may not mean any harm as it subsides on its own.
The truth is most common causes of cramps after sexual intercourse may not mean a serious medical issue. SO DON’T PANIC.
This article explains the possible causes of cramps after intercourse and when to worry.
What causes cramps after sex?
If you are currently having cramps during or after intercourse, here are the possible causes.
1. A rough sexual intercourse
Sometimes, sexual intercourse can get very rough; This may result in a vaginal tear or slight trauma to your cervix.
The uterus is made up of different parts. The body of the uterus houses a baby if you get pregnant. The neck of the uterus (which is medically referred to as the cervix) connect the vagina to the uterus.
Depending on when you have sexual intercourse during your menstrual cycle, your cervix may be hard, soft, high or low down in your vagina.
A low-lying cervix means you can comfortably feel the cervix down in your vagina, while a high cervix may be difficult to feel or high up in your vagina.
Your menstrual cycle is made up of 2 parts. The first part occurs before ovulation while the second part of the menstrual cycle occurs after ovulation has occurred.
During the first part of the menstrual cycle and after our period ends, it’s normal for your cervix to be low in your vagina and hard. Having sexual intercourse at this time may cause pain when your man’s penis hit the cervix.
During ovulation, which occurs when your ovaries release an egg, your cervix gets soft and high up in your vagina. During your ovulation period, it is unlikely you will have cramps and pain.
Also, just before your period will begin, your cervix will be low and hard again and may result in pain.
Other reasons cramps may occur are reduced sexual arousal, poor vaginal lubrication, and fear of pain.
2. You had an orgasm
It possible you are having cramps due to an orgasm. If you had an orgasm, it’s not abnormal to feel mild discomfort and cramps in your lower abdomen.
Some women may have mild pain that will last for few hours. Nevertheless, it’s not normal that you have cramps for days.
Women who have endometriosis may complain of different problems; Pain after sexual intercourse is one of them.
Endometriosis means uterine endometrium, which is a blood thickened layer that covers the inner surface of the uterus, is found in other parts of the body.
Commonly, endometrial tissues can be found on the ovaries; though can be seen in the abdomen, broad ligaments and rarely in the vaginal wall.
Symptoms of endometriosis are
- Severe lower abdominal pain that occurs throughout your menstrual cycle. Pain can be located anywhere in the abdomen – on the right, middle, left or lower abdomen.
- Severely painful menstrual cramps that occur days before your period will start.
- Severe painful intercourse
- Pain while urinating
- Increase frequency of voiding
If you are currently having these symptoms, it’s possible you have endometriosis. Chances are higher if your mother or sister was diagnosed with the disease.
Endometriosis is quite common. According to Endometriosis UK, 10% of women globally currently have endometriosis – that is 176 million worldwide.
What to do?
It’s important you talk to your doctor about possible reasons you have pain down there and in your lower abdomen.
If you’ve also been experiencing severe painful period and sexual intercourse, your doctor will request for an ultrasound or a laparoscopy.
Sometimes, it’s possible to identify an endometriosis mass during your clinical examination.
If your doctor thinks you have endometriosis, you will be placed on pain relief medications or oral contraceptives to ease symptoms.
However, the truth is endometriosis has no cure; though severe symptoms can be managed.
5. You are ovulating
Ovulation occurs during your menstrual cycle. It is the release of an egg from your ovaries. In fact, if you do not have ovulation, it’s impossible to conceive.
During ovulation, women may experience vaginal pain; However, this only lasts for a few hours or days and occurs about two weeks from you next period.
Low abdomen pain for days to weeks may mean something more serious. Other signs of ovulation are
- Occasional brownish colored discharge a week after your period ends
- Mild abdominal pain which is more on one side of your abdomen
- Breast pain
- Watery stretchy discharge
- Tightening, distended and painful abdomen (bloating)
6. You have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Vaginal infections can easily occur due to poor hygiene. Also, unprotected sexual intercourse increases your chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
Gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomonas infections are commonly transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. This implies that if you do not practice safe intercourse, you may have an infection.
One easy way to tell if you have an infection is the way your vaginal discharge smells or looks like. Most women will have whitish discharge from their vagina that is without odor.
A smelly discharge that is now yellowish or greenish in color is abnormal and due to an infection.
If vaginal infections – chlamydia, gonorrhea, are left untreated for years or months, it may cause inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and abdomen. This is called pelvic inflammatory disease and may cause lower abdominal cramps after sexual intercourse.
Other symptoms of PID are
- Pain after sexual intercourse
- Difficulty in getting pregnant
- Yellowish-green vagina discharge
- Ectopic pregnancy if fallopian tubes are affected
- Pain while urinating
- Abnormal smelly odor down there
- Long-term low abdomen pain
What to do?
If you experience these symptoms with severe cramps after intercourse, you should inform your doctor. Vaginal infections can be treated easily by taking oral antibiotics.
However, treatment delays may result in damage to your fallopian tubes. This can lead to infertility or an ectopic pregnancy in the future.
7. You have a Large fibroid
Uterine fibroids are well-known to be common among reproductive girls. They are non-cancerous tumors that grow on the uterus. Uterine fibroid may be located within the wall of the uterus (interstitial fibroid) or beneath the endometrium (submucous fibroid)
It’s also possible you may have a cervical fibroid, where the fibroid mass grows in the cervix. This may result in pain during intercourse.
In some women, fibroid will be very huge, extending into the cervix. This may lead to a painful sexual experience and low abdomen cramps.
If you have a fibroid, you may experience any of these symptoms
- Mass or swelling of your belly (if fibroid is huge)
- Heavy persistent vaginal bleeding between periods
- Cramps after intercourse
- Frequent urination with occasional constipation
- Prolonged menstrual periods that last for more than seven days
What to do?
Depending on the location and size of a fibroid you may not have any symptoms. However, if you have these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor.
If a fibroid is not quickly treated, it may result in infertility or a miscarriage.
8. You have an ovarian cyst
If you are having cramps after sexual activity, it could be due to an ovarian cyst. Though, this is rare.
The female reproductive system is made up of the uterus and two ovaries on both sides – the right and left ovaries.
During ovulation, follicles will develop, rupture and get filled with fluid. This will form a cyst.
A lot of women will have had a cyst in their lifetime without even knowing. This is because an ovarian cyst is usually harmless with no symptoms at all.
Most common symptoms you may experience is a pain in the lower part of your abdomen, which may worsen after sexual activity.
Other symptoms of ovarian cyst are
- Bloated abdomen
- Occasional fever
- Breast pain
What to do?
Talk to your doctor. It’s possible to feel an ovarian cyst during a clinical examination. However, your doctor will request you do an ultrasound.
You should know that, though ovarian cyst is mostly harmless, a large cyst may twist your ovaries resulting in severe abdominal pain and dizziness.
9. You are having sexual intercourse for the first time
In young girls, who have never had intercourse, the vaginal opening is covered partly by a hymen.
During your first intercourse, the hymen breaks open with severe discomfort and sometimes vaginal bleeding.
Within the first few months and years after losing your virginity, pain during intercourse will subside.
10. Your vagina is unfriendly to intercourse
Normally, you should get wet when stimulated or aroused. This is due to secretions from the Bartholin’s gland located on the sides of the vaginal wall.
When aroused, the Bartholin gland will secrete a whitish fluid that helps lubricate your vagina and prevent vaginal tear during intercourse.
However, this may not occur for some reasons. Women with low body estrogen, hormone imbalance and perimenopausal will experience vaginal dryness.
What to do?
It’s important you discuss with your partner on the need to get wet before intercourse. This can be achieved through adequate lubrication and other techniques listed here.
11. During pregnancy
If you are pregnant, you may get very concerned when you get cramps after intercourse. However, you shouldn’t.
When pregnant, women may experience low abdominal cramps that occur due to uterine contractions during an orgasm. It’s unlikely you will have this pain for days. Talk to your doctor if the pain is lasting longer and severe.
Treatment of cramps after sexual intercourse
Depending on the cause, you are better off talking to a specialist close to you.
Uterine fibroid, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, cancer, and vaginal infections will require further investigations.
Sometimes, a large fibroid or endometriosis-mass may need surgery. Likewise, vaginal culture is necessary for a suspected vaginal infection.
Most commonly, you have an important role to play. Talk to your boyfriend, use a condom and get a lubricant.
Proper vaginal lubrication will prevent pain during penetration and after sexual intercourse.