Pain during sex is upsetting and can make you avoid intimacy, but pain immediately after intercourse can be equally frightening–and even more confusing! To get to the bottom of why you may be experiencing stomach pain after intimacy, we’re explaining some common causes for post-coital stomach pain:
What Makes Your Stomach Hurt After Sex
1. You have fibroids.
While fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that form in your uterus, they are known to cause pain during sex. A lesser known, but also common, symptom? Fibroids can cause you to experience cramping, which could explain why your stomach hurts right after sex.
What to do: Fibroids can be diagnosed by a pelvic ultrasound or MRI. If you receive a fibroid diagnosis, know that there are non-surgical treatment options available. Be sure to discuss all treatment possibilities with your doctor.
2. You have endometriosis.
Endometriosis is basically occurs when bits of your uterine lining make their way out of your uterus. When you have endometriosis of the pelvis, your organs in that area may adhere to each other. Deep penetration can thus cause you to experience stomach pain, often severe, during and after sex.
What to do: Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose, so you’ll want to discuss your entire medical history, including your stomach pain, with your doctor. If you have enough symptoms to suggest endometriosis may be the culprit, you will have to undergo laparoscopic surgery to receive a diagnosis. After you are diagnosed, birth control pills or certain other medications can help control your symptoms.
3. You have a pelvic cyst.
While ovarian cysts (typically harmless, fluid-filled sacs that develop in or on your ovary) are usually harmless and don’t require any treatment, pelvic cysts are a different story. They may be a sign of a bigger problem brewing, like an infection or an anatomical issue that will need correcting.
What to do: A pelvic cyst can be diagnosed via ultrasound, and, if detected, it can be removed by a laparoscopic procedure.
4. You have an infection like PID.
Pelvic Inflammatory disease, or PID, is a type of vaginal infection (a.k.a. pelvic inflammatory disease) that can occur when bacteria is spread from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. One common PID side effect is vaginal pain that’s so widespread, it can be mistaken for stomach pain. Unfortunately, if you don’t treat PID promptly, it can leave you with scarring that can cause stomach pain long after your infection clears up.
What to do: See your doctor right away. If you catch an infection early on, symptoms can usually be cleared up quickly with antibiotics. If, however, scarring and/or PID has set in, more invasive treatments may be necessary.
Those are the ‘scary’ reasons that your stomach may hurt after sex. Of course, there are some other, less problematic, causes of post-coital stomach pain—you’ve tried a new position, or you’re not using enough lube. But, since sex should feel good, and since stomach pain after sex doesn’t feel good and could be a warning sign of something more serious, it’s best to talk to your doc right away if pain during or after intercourse is something more than a one-time occurrence.