Is It Normal to Cramp After Sex?

Medically Reviewed on 11/17/2021
is it normal to cramp after sex
Cramping after sex can occur for a wide variety of reasons and is not always a sign of an underlying medical condition. Learn about potential causes

Cramping after sex can occur for a wide variety of reasons and is not always a sign of an underlying medical condition. For example, orgasm and ejaculation can cause the release of substances called prostaglandins, which cause muscle contractions that may feel like cramps. In most cases, the pain is temporary and fades away on its own. 

However, if you are frequently experiencing pain after sex, you may want to seek medical advice. Contact your doctor if you experience:

  • Severe pain that interferes with your sexual life
  • Increasing pain intensity
  • Bleeding or spotting during or after sex
  • Lesions or bumps in your genital area
  • Fever
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Uncontrolled or involuntary contractions of the vaginal muscles
  • Irregular or heavy periods
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Cramping during or after sex in pregnancy

What causes cramps after sex?

Causes of cramps after sex may include:


Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes and Treatment See Slideshow

How to treat cramps after sex

Treatment of cramps after sex depends on the cause or underlying health condition. Your doctor will take a detailed medical history, perform a physical examination, and order relevant investigations to confirm a diagnosis.

  • If no underlying medical condition is found, the cause of cramps may be due to psychological factors, for which counseling may be recommended.
  • If an infection is causing your symptoms, your doctor will prescribe antimicrobial medications (antibiotics, antifungal, or antiviral medications depending on the cause of infection).
  • Hormone replacement therapy may be advised if menopause is causing your symptoms. Ospemifene is an oral medication approved by the FDA to treat painful intercourse in menopausal women.
  • If certain medications are causing vaginal dryness, your doctor may prescribe suitable replacements for the medications.
  • For vaginal dryness, your doctor may recommend topical estrogen or vaginal lubricants.
  • Skin conditions may be addressed by suitable therapy prescribed by a dermatologist. Your doctor may advise you to avoid synthetic panties, vaginal douching, or the use of fragrances, including scented creams, pads, or toilet papers in your genital area.
  • Surgery may be needed to treat certain conditions, such as fibroids or endometriosis.

Your doctor may also recommend some home-management tips, such as:

  • Relaxation and de-stressing techniques
  • Application of cold packs in the genital area
  • Avoiding sex positions that cause pain
  • Vaginal lubricants or jellies
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Couples counseling
Medically Reviewed on 11/17/2021
Image Source: iStock Images

Heim LJ. Evaluation and Differential Diagnosis of Dyspareunia. Am Fam Physician. 2001 Apr 15;63(8):1535-1545.

Cleveland Clinic. Dyspareunia (Painful Intercourse).