7 Craaaazy Things That Happen To Your Body Right AFTER You Have Sex

Sex is weird.

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We'd like to say everything about sex is always wonderful and perfect, but sometimes weird stuff does happen. You may feel a bit strange after or see odd physical reactions. You may even feel some burning or pain.

According to the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, as many as 75 percent of women will experience painful sex at some point in their lives. We like to joke about having had sex so good we can't walk the next day, but what about if things are severely painful or inflamed? Or if there's burning? Or bleeding? When do we start to worry?


We asked the experts and sex therapists about what happens when you have sex — before, during and after — as well as how to determine if you need to see a doctor or if it's a natural response from your body.

What happens to your body before sex?

1. Your body releases more nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide triggers effects like increasing blood flow to various parts of your body like the vagina, cervix, and penis. This is the part where males increase the blood pressure in their penis to get erect.

2. Tenting occurs.

This is particular to females. Before sex, the vagina will dilate and the vaginal tube will expand in what is called "tenting." The purpose is to make it easier for a penis to fit inside, with as little pain as possible.


3. Parts of the genitals swell.

For men, the penis will swell and become slightly more erect. For women, the clitoris, labia minora (the inner vaginal lips), the vaginal walls, and sometimes breasts engorge with blood.

4. The body becomes sexually aroused.

You start to feel the tension building in your neither regions, regardless of whether you're a man or woman.

Males' testicles are drawn up to the scrotum and the penis is fully erect. Nipples may become erect and sensitive as well, while vaginal lubrication increases and the vagina lengthens and expands to make room for the penis.

This is the first major part of the sexual response cycle.

RELATED: What It Means If Your Body Aches After Sex


What happens to your body during sex?

5. Your heart rate increases, along with a lot of other things.

Heart rate, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure increase during sex. Anything that raises your heart rate counts as cardio, and sex is a great workout, with each orgasm equivalent to between 60 and 100 calories.

"The more energetic you are during your session, the more cardio benefits you receive and will keep your heart pumping harder, longer. Another common reason for an elevated heart rate is dehydration, so increasing water intake after a robust round of sex will help get you cooled down and back on track," advises cardiovascular surgeon David Greuner of NYC Surgical Associates.

6. Your body becomes flush.

A "sex flush" may appear on both your bodies during sex due to the heat and rise of your body temperature. You may notice the flush, or a red or pink color, on the stomach, chest, shoulders, neck, or face.

7. You tense up.

Muscles tense in the thighs, hips, hands, and buttocks. This is where you can sometimes have spasms, or cramps can occur.


8. You eventually reach orgasm... or not.

Both men and women experience a series of contractions in their genitals while they are climaxing.

"A series of rhythmic contractions occur in the uterus, vagina, and pelvic floor muscles. The sexual tension caused by lovemaking or self-stimulation releases, and muscles throughout the body may contract. A feeling of warmth usually emanates from the pelvis and spreads throughout the entire body," says Greuner.

RELATED: 101 Super Sexy Quotes That Get You In The Mood

What happens to a woman’s body during sex?

A woman's body will flush and tense until she's ready to orgasm. For a woman, the first third of the vaginal walls contract rhythmically every eight-tenths of a second, which is what makes women feel good during an orgasm


The muscles of the uterus also contract but are barely noticeable to the woman.

What happens when a woman is sexually excited?

When a woman becomes sexually excited, her pulse and heartbeat speed up, and her blood pressure rises.

The woman's blood vessels dilate, including the ones in her genitals. Her vagina and vulva swell and become wet to help lubricate the genital area for penetration.

What happens to a man’s body during sex?  

A man's body will also flush and tense, but his penis will throb as his blood pressure rises during sex.

For men, the seminal fluid will collect in the urethral bulb before the semen is ejaculated from the penis at its climax. Contractions occur in the penis during the entire orgasm, inducing sexual pleasure.


What happens to your body after having sex?

9. You sweat profusely.

You may find yourself sweating heavily for a long period after a vigorous session.

"As with all forms of exercise, sexual activity causes your body temperature to rise. Your heart will slow down after sex and deliver less blood to the skin. As the heat accumulates in your muscles, it causes your blood temperature to rise, which is why you may sweat much more after sex than during," Greuner adds.

10. You can experience lingering pelvic pain.

Feelings of pelvic pain and pressure can linger way after intercourse, with some causes being less serious than others.

"Particularly in women who have had children, a condition called 'pelvic congestion syndrome' can cause severe pain, particularly on the left side, and most commonly with deeper vaginal penetration," Greuner warns.


"A situation analogous to varicose veins can occur in the pelvis, and due to the hormonal surges occurring during intercourse, veins can become engorged, leading to increased sensitivity and pain. While not a dangerous condition, you may want to have it checked out if the pain inhibits your pleasure."

11. You might bleed.

Sometimes you think your period ended and those contractions bring a few last drops out. But it's nothing to worry about. If it happens often, though, see your doctor for medical advice; it could be a variety of pelvic conditions.

"It can be totally normal; it is pretty amazing that your body knows what to do every month. But if it persists, it's a good idea to talk to a doctor to make sure there isn't another pelvic condition causing it," advises OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson.  

Bleeding after sex doesn't happen often, but it can occur from rough sex. 


12. You feel burning.

It's not super-common, but it doesn't mean anything terrible if it happens. It could just mean your vagina is inflamed. But if you are worried about it being an STI or if symptoms continue, see your doctor.

"Nothing should be burning in that area. So if it is burning and painful, contact your doctor," warns Masterson.

13. Your vaginal secretions increase.

After having sex, excessive vaginal secretion is normal.

"It means that you might have experienced orgasm. Your body has just secreted a lot of 'happy juice,'" says Dr. Renjie Chang. For older women after menopause, due to estrogen reduction in the body, the vaginal secretion becomes less, causing dryness and vaginal atrophy (shrinkage).


14. You get cramps.

Painful sex doesn't happen often, but sometimes it does. This is sometimes just cramping from uterine contractions related to your orgasm and is nothing to worry about.

However, if it happens all the time, talk to your doctor. You could have fibroids or other more serious issues, such as uterine cancer.

Once sex is over, take a moment to see if anything is wrong. Is there pain somewhere? Are you bleeding? Burning? What feels uncomfortable? Make sure you are okay and then make sure your partner is, too.


Sometimes, men's mental health plummets after sex.

A new study asked 1,208 men to complete an anonymous online questionnaire about their feelings after sex. Researchers found that 41 percent said they felt symptoms of postcoital dysphoria (PCD). The symptoms ranged from "not wanting to be touched and the desire to leave the room, to feeling annoyed, fidgety, emotionless, and even empty."

Guys also feel sleepy after sex and there's a good reason for it. According to Live Science, "during male ejaculation a cocktail of brain chemicals are released — and one of these hormones is called prolactin. While prolactin is linked to feelings of sexual satisfaction and the refractory period in men, it’s also a hormone that is present in higher levels during sleep." 

So it's not your fault he's sleepy.


RELATED: 30 Pieces Of Sex Etiquette Every Woman Should Know Before 30

What should you do after sex?

To keep yourself healthy, hydrated and satisfied, be sure to urinate after sex, drink a glass of water, wash your hands and your private area, and refrain from douching.

Do these things every time after sex means you won't have to worry about your sexual health. And if you're having sex every day, it's completely normal — just make sure you take yourself, and practice safe sex to prevent pregnancy and STDs.

RELATED: 10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Stop Having Sex

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.