These Symptoms Are (Fairly) Normal After Sex.

I hope you feel blissfully frazzled after sex and don’t worry too much about what happens to your insides afterwards. But since sex is a whole body activity, it makes sense that you might experience some physical symptoms later on.

“Sex means many things, takes many forms, and can affect each of our different bodies differently,” says Dr. Lindsey Harper , OB/GYN and founder of Rosy , Lifehacker. “There are a lot of variables in the game that can lead to a lot of different symptoms and experiences.”

Below is a list of some of the most common physical symptoms your body may experience after sex, and why it’s usually nothing to worry about.


“Touching the cervix (the lower part of the uterus, located at the top of the vagina) during sex can cause uterine cramps,” Harper explains. “It can feel like cramps, which you might get before your period starts or after a pelvic exam or a Pap test.”

Most spasms go away on their own within 30 to 60 minutes, Harper says. She recommends putting a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower abdomen, or taking ibuprofen. If the spasms persist, are severe, or are accompanied by a lot of bright red bleeding, then she advises seeking medical attention.


Does your stomach feel full after sex? TBD Health physician Lauren Haynes advises not to worry: Bloating is quite common during and after sex. “A lot of people can get bloated from penetrative sex,” she tells Lifehacker. “Penetrating sex can force air into the vagina or rectum. Air can get trapped and you may feel some abdominal discomfort or a feeling of bloating.”

If you have a uterus, Haynes explains, bloating can be more or less frequent depending on the location of your uterus. “You may need to try different sex positions to reduce your risk of bloating and improve overall comfort,” she says. “Poses like cowgirl allow for better control over the depth of penetration and may reduce bloating and discomfort.”

Luckily, bloating is usually harmless, Haynes says, but if the bloating or pain is severe, see your doctor for an evaluation.

Vaginal soreness

If the sex is rough or deep, or if you’ve had penetrative sex with a larger partner or sex toy, Harper says it’s normal for your vagina and pelvic floor to feel sore after sex. Similarly, if there wasn’t enough lubrication, rubbing during sex can also cause some soreness afterwards.

Luckily, Harper says vaginal soreness usually resolves on its own in 24 to 48 hours. “To speed up healing, avoid sex during pain and be sure to pay attention to what may have triggered it so you can avoid it in the future if possible,” she advises. “Lubrication is never a bad idea, and if deep penetration is causing soreness, a product like OhNut can help. If the soreness persists or worsens, is accompanied by vaginal discharge or heavy bleeding, then it is time to seek medical attention.”


Does your skin turn a little red after sex? Blushing is a very common symptom that can occur during and after sex, Haynes says. “Hot flashes are reddening of the skin that typically occurs on the face, neck, and chest and is often caused by increased circulation and blood flow during arousal,” she explains. “There is no cure to prevent flushing, but flushing is completely harmless and normal.”

Sometimes the redness can look like a rash, says Haynes, but the redness should never be itchy or cause bumps or hives. “If you have redness and itching or hives, it could be an allergy sign,” she advises. “Allergies can be caused by sex toy materials, condoms, lubricants, or even your partner’s semen. If you develop an itchy rash, see your doctor.”


Getting a UTI after sex is fairly common, says Harper, because penetrative sex and clitoral stimulation “can sometimes introduce bacteria into the urethral opening during sex. These bacteria can sometimes take hold, multiply, and cause a urinary tract infection.”

UTI symptoms include pain when urinating, lower abdominal cramps, and frequent urination, Harper said. “If you notice these signs, be sure to drink plenty of water and call your doctor to help you get on the fast track to recovery,” she advises. “If left unattended, UTIs can progress to more serious infections such as kidney infections.”

Muscle pain

Do you feel a little pain after sex, like after a hard workout? Again, completely normal. “All people who engage in sexual activity may experience muscle tension or muscle soreness after sex,” says Haynes. “Some research suggests that sexual arousal and orgasm can increase pain tolerance, so you may not realize that certain positions cause discomfort or tension in muscles or joints.”

To help manage pain, she suggests paying attention to your body and changing positions frequently. If you have any muscle or joint problems, such as arthritis, Haynes suggests using sex aids such as wedge pillows, a Kama Sutra chair, or a sex chair.

Usually, mild discomfort can last up to several hours or even days after sexual activity. If you’re experiencing severe pain or chest pain during or after sex, Haynes recommends calling 911. “If you continue to experience muscle pain or soreness after sex, you may want to see your primary care physician for further evaluation,” she advises. .


If women notice blood on their underwear after sex, Harper says most of the time it’s due to insufficient lubrication, which can cause small tears in the labia or vagina. “In other cases, light spotting may come from uterine blood if you are about to start a period or are pregnant,” she says.

Fortunately, Harper says, spotting usually goes away on its own after sex within about 24 hours. However, if you experience heavy, bright red bleeding after sex, she recommends seeking medical attention. And if you notice spotting every time or even more often after sex, she also suggests visiting an ob-gyn and getting an examination. Also, she says, “if you have spotting during pregnancy, tell your doctor at your next appointment, or sooner if it doesn’t go away.”


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