Do you suffer cramps after sex? It could be a reaction to your bloke's sperm
So it's understandable you'd be annoyed or confused if they were happening after sex.
Not to worry though, it doesn't necessarily mean anything bad.
For some women cramps after sex after just a normal part of life, which can put a real downer on the pleasure that comes before them.
It may be caused by an adverse reaction to your partner's sperm, or it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Here's what may cause cramping after sex.
1. His sperm
Semen contains a hormonal called prostaglandin, which some women have an adverse reaction to.
Prostaglandins are found in almost every tissue in the body and play a role in processes like inflammation, blood flow and the formation of blood clots.
It also plays a major role in the induction of labour, which can cause some serious uterine cramps!
So that's why some women react with cramps to their partner's sperm.
2. Uterine fibroids
A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth that can occur anywhere in the uterus.
Symptoms vary depending on their size – the bigger they are the worse the symptoms can be.
Most women experience irregular bleeding, heavy periods, pain and cramps in the pelvis – and those cramps can strike after sex.
In some cases, if they are left untreated, they can cause infertility so if you have any symptoms speak to a GP.
3. Your period
It seems like an obvious point, but cramping could be a sign your period is about to start.
Period pain occurs when the muscles in the womb tighten, ready for the lining to shed each month.
FIND OUT MORE The 8 reasons you might suffer cramps AFTER your period – and when to see your doctor
In the lead up to your period these cramps tend to start lightly, becoming more intense during your period.
While your body is going through this process it also produces prostaglandins, as mentioned above, which can make the cramps more intense.
Some women find they might cramp more when they have sex during their period because of these hormones, and the uterus is already working hard to get rid of the menstrual blood.
Other women find sex eases their cramps because of the feel-good hormones that are released.
Check where you are in your cycle if you start to experience cramping after getting down and dirty.
4. You're ovulating
Ovulation cramps are a real thing.
Some women might not notice them, but others can pinpoint the days they are ovulating.
Put simply, ovulation is when your body releases an egg during your menstrual cycle in preparation for getting pregnant.
Part of the ovary called a follicle releases the egg which travels down the fallopian tube and hopes to be met by sperm.
TIME OF THE MONTH The 4 signs you’re at your most fertile point each month – including ovulation cramps
Just like when you have your period, you might experience cramps when you are ovulating.
Some women describe them as pelvic cramps, others may experience lower back pain.
If you are someone that suffers really bad period pain – think pain shooting down your upper legs – you may experience stronger ovulation cramps than others.
The exact cause of ovulation cramps isn't known, but several theories suggest it may be caused when the follicle stretches before releasing the egg or when the follicle ruptures when releasing the egg.
Fluid released by the follicle when it ruptures may also irritate the lining of your abdomen causing pain.
Again, it's a good idea to check where you are in your cycle if you have cramps after sex.
5. Your orgasm
What? Isn't that supposed to be pleasurable?
In short, yes, your orgasm will take you to heady heights.
But afterwards some women are brought back down to reality with cramps.
Here's something you might not have know – orgasms not only trigger contractions of the vaginal wall, it can lead all the way up into the uterus.
These contractions, while pleasurable at the time, can cause tension in the uterine muscles and therefore cause cramps.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition which occurs when tissue which behaves like the lining of the womb is found outside of the womb – in areas of the body including the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, the abdomen and the bladder.
Symptoms of endometriosis can vary, but the most common include painful or heavy periods, pain during and following sex, bleeding between periods, pain in the lower abdomen and difficulty conceiving.
It can cause cramping all month long, including during and after sex.
Endometriosis can sometimes cause damage to the Fallopian tubes or ovaries, leading to fertility problems.
Other complications can include painful ovarian cysts and adhesions – areas of tissue which can fuse organs together.
Speak to your doctor about ways to manage the condition.
7. Your contraception
If you're using an IUD then it's not uncommon to experience cramping after sex.
This is a small plastic and copper device that is fitted in a woman's womb, and can last for between five and 10 years.
The coil, or intrauterine device, is more than 99 per cent effective against unwanted pregnancies, but can cause heavier or painful periods in some women.
When you first have one inserted you may experience cramping for several weeks, regardless of whether it's your time of the month or not, while the uterus gets used to having it there.
These cramps may be more intense after sex, but eventually they go away.
But if it lasts longer than a few weeks you should speak to your doctor to be on the safe side.
It's unlikely that you have a ruptured ovarian cyst, but it's still a good idea to be aware of the symptoms in case you have one.
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on a woman's ovary.
Most ovarian cysts occur naturally and disappear in a few months without needing any treatment.
Ovarian cysts may affect both ovaries at the same time, or they may only affect one.
An ovarian cyst usually only causes symptoms if it ruptures, is very large, or blocks the blood supply to the ovaries.
Then you may experience pelvic pain, pain during and after sex, difficulty doing a poo, a frequent need to week and heavy or irregular periods.
You may also have some bloating and a lack of appetite.
It's perfectly safe to have sex when you're pregnant, right up until your water breaks.
Pregnant women often experience cramping after sex, for the same reason an orgasm can cause pain.
Orgasms set off contractions in the womb, which can lead to cramps.
They are particularly common for women in their third trimester because their body is already preparing for labour.
Relaxing for a few minutes can ease the cramps but always see a doctor if you are worried about anything during your pregnancy.
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