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7 Possible Reasons You're Experiencing Pain After Intercourse

7 Possible Reasons You're Experiencing Pain After Intercourse

While it is common to sometimes feel pain after sex, if it persists for days or weeks you must not ignore it. Seek medical help for it could be something as simple as an allergy or as serious as endometriosis.

Sex is supposed to be a pleasurable experience, one that should leave you with a satisfying feeling once you're done. The last thing you want to experience at that point is pain.

Many women experience pain or cramps after sexual intercourse, but is that normal? Experiencing any kind of pain may not be normal but it also doesn't mean that it is caused by something severe. However, if the pain is prolonged and occurs every time you have sex, you should seek the help of a medical professional because there could be multiple reasons behind it.

Mostly, we focus on how to have safe sex and how pleasurable it is but not enough attention is given to other effects of sex that some women experience. "One in three women have pain during or after intercourse,” Dr. Michael Ingber, director of urogynecology for Saint Clare’s Health System in New Jersey and clinical assistant professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York tells Health. Sometimes, the pain persists for hours or days or weeks. If it does stay that long or recur, don't ignore it. 

There could be multiple reasons behind the pain. Some common and some rare. Here are the possibilities that could lead to painful sex:

1. Ovarian cyst

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Most ovarian cysts are benign but they can cause pain during periods or after sex. Usually, they go away in two or three months without you knowing about it. However, if you're experiencing pain post sex in your lower right or left of the pelvis, which is where the ovaries are located, you should get checked up for ovarian cysts. "If they’re large enough, ovarian cysts can cause abdominal pain and cramping during and after sex,” Dr. Kecia Gaither, ob-gyn, maternal-fetal medicine doctor, and the director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, tells Health.

If the larger cysts get twisted it can be very painful, she said. To find out if you have a cyst, an ultrasound would have to be done. After the doctor confirms that it is an ovarian cyst and if the pain is too much, you could get surgery to remove it.

2. Endometriosis

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In this condition, there is abnormal growth of menstrual tissue outside the uterus. It could be growing in the abdomen or pelvis or ovary. It acts the same way as normal menstrual tissue during the menstrual cycle. It grows and responds to the hormones and just like in menstruation it starts to peel off and shed like the uterus lining. This can cause internal bleeding, scar tissue, and severe abdominal or pelvic pain, according to Medical News Today.

Not every woman with the disease would experience pain during or after sex, according to Health. If you do feel pain, it would be sharper like a stabbing pain. Unfortunately, it is not curable so medication and surgery are the only options available.

3. Size matters

If your partner is well-endowed, then the muscles around your vagina and other pelvic organs could cramp during sex and stay that way afterward too. “Anatomy plays an important role in pain after sex,” explains Dr. Ingber to Health. “The average female vagina is no longer than five inches or so, therefore, the ‘average’ male, who may be six inches long, may still cause significant trauma to the pelvic floor that can cause post-sex cramping,” he says.

If your vagina feels too sensitive and raw despite using lube, try different positions that could fit a larger penis comfortably like spooning or woman on top. 

4. Intrauterine device (IUD)

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You can experience cramping till some weeks after an IUD, which is a birth control method, is inserted. This is regardless of whether you are having sex. The cramps could feel more intense once you have sex but it is no reason to feel alarmed, according to Healthline.

However, in case you are experiencing cramps more than a few weeks after the IUD is inserted you should speak to your doctor.

5. Fibroid tumors

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These are non-cancerous tumors in the womb. They are common for a woman during the reproductive years. It is not known why they take form. Usually, there are no symptoms but you could experience lower backache, constipation, and excessive or painful uterine bleeding leading to anemia.

It can cause fertility problems and hurt during and after sex. They usually shrink after menopause, which is when the estrogen levels shrink, according to Medical News Today.

6. Allergic to semen

This is a rare occurrence but as many as 40,000 women in the US are allergic to their partner's semen, a University of Cincinnati study, Seminal plasma hypersensitivity reactions: an updated review, revealed.

You could experience anything from swelling to itching. “Women may feel severe burning, develop a significant discharge, and even have whole-body reactions such as chills, fever, and low blood pressure,” Dr. Ingber says.

You could attempt having sex with a condom on and if you don't have the symptoms, you could actually be allergic.

7. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

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If you have this condition, it is because sexually transmitted bacteria spread from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, according to Cosmopolitan. It would reach this state if the sexually transmitted infection, like gonorrhea or chlamydia, is left untreated.  This could lead to pelvic pain, scarring, and even infertility.

You could feel pain deep inside the pelvic region where the upper reproductive organs are. If you suspect this, see your doctor immediately. “PID needs to be treated with antibiotics,” says Dr. Ingber.

References:  

https://www.healthline.com/health/cramps-after-sex#iud

https://www.cosmopolitan.in/relationships/features/a17365/everything-you-need-know-about-post-sex-cramps-according-experts

https://www.health.com/sexual-health/pain-after-sex

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320408.php

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151405.php

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21913207

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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