Why Does My Lower Stomach Hurt After Sex?
For most people, sex is a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. Usually, discussions of sex revolve around physical pleasure. However, sometimes sex can be painful, and painful sex gets less attention than pleasurable sex.
If you are a woman experiencing pain in your lower abdomen after sex, you may be wondering, "why does my lower stomach hurt after sex?"
This article will discuss the most common causes of pain after having sex in the lower abdomen. Additionally, we will advise what you can do to treat the issue and when to see a doctor. Read on to get informed!
Generally, experiencing pain in the lower abdomen after having sex indicates an issue in your pelvic area where your reproductive organs are. The common causes of lower abdomen pain outlined in this article involve either the vagina or uterus.
One of the most common causes of lower abdomen pain after sex is vaginal dryness. This underlying cause is also the least invasive and most manageable.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, vaginal dryness causes irritation, burning, and pain in your lower abdomen after intercourse. Usually, vaginal dryness links to hormone imbalances since estrogen maintains vaginal lubrication.
Menopause, birth control, and even a woman's menstrual cycle affect a woman's hormones and estrogen levels. Thus, estrogen levels become imbalanced, cause vaginal dryness, and lead to lower abdominal pain after sex.
A cyst is a benign pocket of tissue that can form anywhere on one's body. Usually, pus, fluid, or air fills cysts. As a mass that can grow anywhere, women can develop cysts in their ovaries.
Ovarian cysts are common in women. Sometimes, they may not cause any symptoms and go away without medical treatment. However, if they do not go away after a few months, patients often experience a dull, sharp pain in the lower abdomen, especially on the side of the cyst. The lower abdomen pain from cysts often worsens after having intercourse.
Of course, your menstrual cycle can cause pain and discomfort in your lower abdomen. Pain and discomfort are the most common problems women have with their menstrual cycles.
Sometimes, women have a tight, heavy pain in their pelvis right before or during their period. Other times, women experience severe cramping linked to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Depending on the time of your menstrual cycle, lower abdomen pain may be exacerbated by sexual intercourse and cause discomfort.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious cause of lower abdomen pain after sex. PID primarily affects the female reproductive organs and develops from untreated sexually transmitted infections (STI).
The STI spreads from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. Sometimes, the pain can be mild. However, women start to notice they have PID after they experience mild to severe pelvis and lower abdomen pain that worsens after sex. Additionally, women with PID have difficulty getting pregnant.
Although fibroids are different from cysts, they are also abnormal growths that develop in a woman's reproductive tract. Fibroids grow in or on a patient's uterus and are typically benign.
Fibroids may become large and cause extreme pain and discomfort in the abdomen and heavy periods. For example, if you notice intense pain in the lower abdomen after sexual intercourse, you may suffer from fibroids.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder that stems from a tissue called the endometrium growing outside of the uterus. Usually, the tissue grows inside the uterus rather than outside the uterus.
Usually, endometriosis affects fallopian tubes, ovaries, and tissue that lines the pelvis. Typically, the endometrium that properly develops inside the uterus bleeds with each menstrual cycle. With endometriosis, the tissue sheds outside of the uterus and has no way to exit the body.
It causes irritation, scar tissue, and adhesions in a woman's reproductive tract. Often, the process is quite painful for women who have endometriosis. In addition, women who suffer from the condition report painful sex, especially in the lower abdomen.
How To Get Rid of the Situation?
If there is no serious underlying medical condition and your lower abdomen pain stems from vaginal dryness or your menstrual cycle, try using gentle lubricants or switching intercourse positions with your partner.
Deep penetration from certain sex positions and vaginal dryness are common causes of lower abdomen pain. Additionally, you may take other-the-counter pain relievers an hour or two before having sex to relieve lower abdomen pain.
If lubricant, other-the-counter pain relievers, and alternative sex positions do not help your lower abdomen pain, you should go to the doctor. First, make sure you have no other underlying medical conditions. If you do not have any other medical conditions that cause lower abdominal pain after sex, your doctor can prescribe estrogen balancing medications to help vaginal dryness.
What If the Pain Is Persistent and Severe?
If the pain becomes persistent and severe, seek medical help as soon as possible. Some causes of lower abdomen pain, like ovarian cysts, require immediate medical attention if they rupture. An ovarian cyst that ruptures causes extreme pain and internal bleeding, especially if the cyst is large.
Vigorous activity that affects the pelvis, such as vaginal intercourse, increases the risk of an ovarian cyst rupture. If your lower abdomen pain is severe after sexual intercourse, go to the doctor immediately.
Warning Signs to See a Vascular Doctor - Not a Gynecologist
Vascular surgeons are people who make sure that your veins, arteries, blood cells, and circulatory system are working efficiently. If your pain is due to varicose veins in your upper thigh or vaginal region, you will want to seek help from a vascular doctor rather than a gynecologist.
Some warning signs include:
- Painful and/or heavy menstrual cycles
- An OBGYN cannot find the problem
- You experience pelvic pain, heaviness, pressure, aching, and/or bloating.
- Heavy feeling in the groin region.
- You have noticeable varicose veins to your pelvis, labia, or legs
Warning Signs to See a Gynecologist Concerning Your Pelvic Pain
If you cannot rule out any 'other causes' for dyspareunia, including emotional trauma, chronic stress, sexual position, and vaginal dryness, you may need help from a gynecologist.
Considering the wide range of problems that revolve around painful intercourse, your gynecologist will be able to seek diagnosis and treatment.
If your gynecologist does not find any issues regarding your reproductive system or pain, seek advice from a vascular doctor.
Warning signs include:
- Pain is too severe to have sex
- You cannot become aroused out of fear of the pain returning
- The pain disrupts your daily activities
- Pain is almost unbearable during your menstrual cycle
- It is accompanied by other symptoms
So, why does my lower stomach hurt after sex? There's a variety of reasons why you might be experiencing pain in the lower region of your stomach after sex. Most of these have a connection to the female reproductive system and require medical attention. If a doctor rules out any of these conditions, the pain in your lower stomach could be pelvic congestion syndrome.