What It Means If Your Body Aches Or You're Sore After Sex

We've all been there.

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We've all been there. You just had amazing sex and you're cuddling with your partner when you start to feel cramps or pain you haven't felt before.

It takes the mood right out from under you and you find yourself on Google desperately wondering what it could be.

One common thing we all forget is a huge factor in our lives and will always come into play? Water.

Stay hydrated during the day so when night comes, you're not left feeling sick or having body aches. Staying hydrated fuels your muscles and relieves a lot of tension in your body, and it can prevent a lot of the issues listed below.


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We chatted with doctors and health experts to bring you a list of the common causes of feeling sore after sex.

Of course, consult with your doctor about any pains going on in your body (but don't panic).


12 Reasons Your Body May Feel Pain or Soreness After Sex

1. Your pelvic floor needs a workout.

While your mind may jump to some scary conclusions, let's be rational for a second. Sometimes if you're sore after intercourse, it's just plain ol' muscle cramps. If you have a weak pelvic floor, this could leave you with some discomfort during and after sex.

You can exercise these muscles by tightening and then releasing 10-15 times.

2. You're putting too much strain on your back.

If your back is causing problems after sex, it may be time to reconsider some positions in bed and maybe pay a little more attention to core and upper body workouts at the gym.

According to Floyd N. Keller Jr., the National Director of the Pan American Sports Federation, back pain can be caused by a number of different positions during sex:


"Keep in mind some positions like the woman on top can put stress on your lower back. Although you may feel you are not expending too much energy in this position, depending on the weight of your mate, you can be pushed deeper into the mattress and your lower back muscles will try to compensate trying to lift your hips up to balance you out.

Now, depending on how adventurous you and your partner are with positions, having sex while standing and carrying your partner (picture piggyback ride but the passenger is in the front) can also put a heavy demand on your lower back. Both these positions will limit you to primarily hip movements involving the lower back, whereas some positions allow for more of your body to be included in on the motion (think missionary or doggie)," Keller said in an interview.

Keller advises strengthening your core and lower abdominal muscles to help combat pain in these areas.

3. You may be dry down there.

Samantha Morrison, a health and wellness expert at Glacier Wellness, suggests women be more aware of vaginal dryness.


"While it is most commonly associated with aging women due to decreased estrogen production, vaginal dryness can happen to anyone suffering from dehydration. Besides for causing flaky skin, itchiness, and infections, vaginal dryness can severely hamper any sexual pleasure and lead to post-coital bleeding. Fortunately, a dry vagina can easily be solved by increasing foreplay or by incorporating sexual lubricants," Morrison advises.

4. Your body may be telling you something more serious is going on.

Multiple Sclerosis is an immune disorder in which the protective covering of your nerves gets eaten away.

Morrison explains, "Because sexual arousal begins in the central nervous system (CNS), multiple sclerosis can play a major role in one's sex life. In addition to altering mood and energy levels, MS often causes impaired sexual sensitivity or painful intercourse. In fact, studies show that nearly 7 out of 10 women with multiple sclerosis experience vaginal dryness."

5. Things may have gotten a little too intense.

Lindsay van Clief, a certified sex educator, says that sometimes we don't always realize how intense things can get in the moment.


"Our bodies' pain tolerance is increased during sex by endorphins which are released from the physical activity and excitement you are experiencing. This is the biochemical excuse for being 'swept away in the moment'. You may over-stretch or over-exert yourself and not realize 100 percent the effects of your body. It might not be until after or even the next day that you understand how it affected the body."

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6. You could be dehydrated.

Lindsay van Clief also can't say enough about the importance of water and the effect it has on your muscles. Her point? Drink more water!

"One of the leading causes of muscle aches is dehydration. Make sure you are hydrated before and after sex to help your body take care of itself. Particularly if you have been out drinking and dancing, you need water to support all the sweat, and fluids that leave the body during sex (as well as keeping your body normally hydrated)," she warns.


7. It could be an allergic reaction.

If you are feeling pain down there you could be sensitive to condoms. All skin allergies cause the skin to become inflamed and incredibly sensitive. Therefore, if you have an allergy to condoms your vaginal walls may be inflamed making intercourse painful.

You can find solutions with polyisoprene or lambskin condoms. Look for the "non-latex" label.

8. You could have a Bartholin's gland cyst.

Bartholian's gland cysts happen when a gland next to your vaginal opening develops a small growth because it's been blocked. It looks like a small bump on one side of your vulva, but if infected can become red and engorged. The cyst can then become tender and make sex painful.

You can usually treat this cyst with a warm-water soak at home, but if it doesn't go away in a few days you should go to your doctor for further assistance.


9. You might have a yeast infection.

Yeast infections are common, so don't be surprised when you get one. A yeast infection is usually caused by having an excess of the fungus candida within your vulva.

This type of infection can cause discomfort in the form of itching, swelling, and slight pain. If you have sex with a yeast infection it can cause more irritation causing you to be sore or feel some pain afterward.

Experts advise against having sex while dealing with a yeast infection. You can treat one with over-the-counter medications or visiting your OBG/YN for a prescription.

10. Or you could have an STI.

Certain sexually transmitted infections can cause serious irritations in your vagina that can lead to body aches after sex. To name a few chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause internal irritation, and herpes can cause sores on your vulva.


If you believe you have an STI you should consult a doctor for treatment as soon as possible. Also, avoid having sex until your doctor gives you the all-clear.

11. You may also have a UTI.

A urinary tract infection is an irritation anywhere along the urinary track including the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. Symptoms include burning, cloudy urine, and always feeling like you need to pee.

If not treated, a UTI can cause a cyst to grow in your bladder. This can cause pain as the bladder fills, and since the bladder sits right above the vagina, sex can cause more irritation of the infection. Therefore you can feel pain or soreness after sex.


If you suspect you have a UTI, go see your doctor as soon as possible.

12. You might have vulvodynia.

Vulvodynia is a chronic condition that causes pain in your vulva that lasts more than three months. It causes the area to burn, sting, and itch. This sensitivity of your vulva can cause extra soreness around the opening of your vagina after sex.

Experts don't know exactly what causes vulvodynia but have several theories: inflammation, injury to nerves in the area (neuropathic problems), hormonal factors, musculoskeletal problems, and genetic (inherited) factors.

Treatment of vulvodynia can take time. Most treatment plans include topical medications, oral medication, a nerve block, physical therapy, vestibulectomy, and counseling.


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Shelby Slaughter is a reporter and multimedia journalist for KYOUTV on Fox and NBC. She's written for a variety of publications, including InStyle, Martha Stewart, HelloGiggles, Insider, and more.