When your stomach hurts after sex it’s frustrating, especially since you’re in pain after something that’s supposed to be pleasurable. It can be caused by different things, but most of the time it’s harmless.
Sometimes, the uterus reacts to sperm and causes pain. Other times, pain can be a sign of an STI or endometriosis.
If your stomach aches after sex, it could be because you’re reaching an orgasm. Orgasms trigger uterine contractions that can make your stomach hurt. The pain will subside once you’re done orgasming, but it’s best to avoid extreme positions that put too much pressure on your uterus in the future.
Alternatively, your stomach ache might be because of deep penetration from certain sexual positions such as missionary and doggy style. Using anal lubricants or switching to different positions might help with this pain. Lastly, your stomach might be hurting because of an infection or bacteria that’s entering the urethra from sperm. This isn’t a common cause for pain after sex, but if you have one, consult your doctor about treatment options.
More serious causes of post-coital abdominal pain include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, or pelvic cysts. These conditions can affect a woman’s bowel, bladder, and other organs in the lower part of the abdomen and pelvic region. If you have a history of sexual trauma, that may also create pelvic pain, especially after sex. In some cases, your pelvic pain might be caused by scar tissue that connects organs that shouldn’t be connected; this condition is called adhesions. If this is the case, a laparoscopic procedure might be required to diagnose and treat your symptoms. Taking anti-inflammatory medication or using anal lubricants can also reduce your pain after sex.
Many women experience pain or discomfort in their lower stomach after sex, and this is usually caused by an underlying gynecological condition. A gynecologist can help to identify the cause of this pain and recommend treatments, medications or other therapies to provide relief.
For example, if the pain is due to uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous growths in the wall of the uterus, these can be treated with medications. If the pain is due to PID, an infection of the uterus, antibiotics can be prescribed to clear the infection and alleviate symptoms. In cases of endometriosis, hormone therapy may be recommended to reduce the growth of tissue that lines the uterus, which can cause pain after sex.
Another cause of stomach pain is when the uterus reacts to sperm during intercourse. This is common in young females and is usually not a cause for concern, but in older females it can trigger cramping and pain.
In some cases, abdominal cramps after sex can be a sign of sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Getting regularly screened for these infections and seeking treatment quickly can help prevent painful intercourse. STIs can also cause symptoms such as discharge from the penis or vagina, and pain during urination and diarrhea. These symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication.
Women with pelvic inflammatory disease often experience pain during and after sexual activity. Unprotected sex with an infected partner can spread chlamydia or gonorrhea, which cause a painful inflammation of the reproductive organs called PID. Regular STI screening can help detect and treat these infections before they cause serious complications.
In some cases, stomach pain after sex is simply caused by deep penetration of the cervix and uterus by the penis. This pain is usually brief and improves with a change in position.
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, may also cause abdominal pain after sex. A burning sensation in the lower abdomen, along with a swollen bladder and vaginal discharge, are common symptoms of a UTI. Unprotected sex with infected partners can also spread the bacteria that cause a UTI. Medications for UTIs can treat the infection and relieve stomach pain.
Fibroids, non-cancerous uterine tumors, can also cause pain during and after sexual activity. If your pain is accompanied by bleeding or signs of infection, you should see a doctor right away. Treatment options for fibroid pain include lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery. For more information about treating uterine fibroids, talk to your doctor or gynecologist. You can find a physician near you using our Healthline FindCare tool. Practice safe sex by using barrier methods and communicating with your sexual partner.
While sexual pleasure usually dominates discussions of sex, painful sex is often overlooked. But if your lower stomach pain after sex is frequent, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms like bleeding or vaginal discharge, you should see a doctor.
A gynecologist can run tests to check for infection and identify the root cause of your pain. This may include a urine test, pelvic sonograms to check the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, and a stool sample to check for inflammation of the bladder or bowel.
For infections, the gynecologist can prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection and alleviate symptoms. Hormonal therapy may also be recommended for conditions such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis to control inflammation and reduce the size of the growths.
If the pain is caused by the menstrual cycle or by vaginal dryness, you can try a different type of lubricant or switching intercourse positions with your partner. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers an hour or two before sex to reduce the amount of pain you experience.
Irritable bowel syndrome can also cause abdominal cramping during and after sex. Your gynecologist can recommend treatments such as diet changes, medication, and exercise to help manage your condition. If the pain is due to a cyst or other physical issue, your gynecologist can use medications or surgery to treat it.