Cramping During and After Sex

Sex is supposed to be the pinnacle of human enjoyment and bliss, and for many of it is; as well as an intimate way to bond with someone we love or to get to know someone that we think we could love.

For these reasons it is a serious blow when our sex lives are blighted for one reason or another, and it’s particularly frustrating if you find yourself wracked with pain when engaging in what is supposed to be a purely pleasurable experience.

I’m talking about cramping, and while many of us experience cramping from time to time, there are few times that are more awkward or more unpleasant than finding ourselves cramping during and after sex. This can be highly embarrassing and kill a moment – particularly if this is a first time partner or someone we are still trying to impress. Furthermore, if it ends up reducing the number of positions we can have sex in, or ends up reducing our enjoyment then it can leave us missing an important part of our lives – and even placing a strain on our relationship.

Rest assured however that cramping during sex is relatively common, and particularly in the abdomen for women and in the legs for women and men (the latter is a problem especially during sex standing up). The pain in the abdomen can be somewhat more severe and has a range of possible causes, following are some possible explanations and some information on how to address the problem.

Reacting to Cramping During and After Sex

The first thing to bear in mind is that cramping during sex is not something that’s your fault, and only need be awkward or embarrassing if you let it be. Try to see the funny side when it happens and your partner should be understanding. In fact this can even be a good opportunity for bonding, and a good way to see if this is someone you can have fun and relax with.

This is true of leg cramps, but part of the problem with abdominal pain in women is that it can be very severe and when it happens it can be scary. If you are experiencing this kind of pain, then recognizing it for what it is can help the experience to be less distressing – and if he’s a keeper then he should tend to you and comfort you.

Dealing With Cramping

However although it need not be the end of the world, it’s still highly painful and will prevent you from continuing as normal. Of course then you will want to stop the cramping as soon as possible. If you notice the cramp starting to come on as you are having sex, then stop moving and gently change into another position. If it is too late for evasive maneuvers, then try standing up and flexing or stamping the leg with cramp. If it’s not in your leg then just try stretching the region. When you are sure that the cramping has subsided, try again but ask if you can use a different position, as it’s otherwise likely to come on again quickly.

If the cramping is in the abdominal region this can be more difficult to address and it may be the uterus itself that is cramping. However massaging the stomach may help, and you should request to go slower. A hot water bottle can also help to sooth the pain.


If you are experiencing a lot of cramping then this can be the result of many things, and it is possible to reduce the problem by making changes to your lifestyle and diet. For instance, make sure that you are getting enough potassium in your diet, as a deficiency can cause you to experience cramping. You can also try massaging and stretching your muscles before intercourse to help stimulate blood flow and prevent a buildup of lactic acid.

Medical Help

If your cramping persists then you should consider seeking medical advice. There are many possible medical causes of cramping during sex in the abdominal region and this might be a result of medication such as the birth control pill. Alternatively it can be a result of a cyst, of haemorrhoids or of an infection. It may even be a sign of pregnancy!

Comments 11
  1. While I appreciate the effort put into this article, talking with a doctor may not solve the problem, especially for women who suffer from sexual or post-orgasmic pain. There are numerous possible causes for women to suffer pain/cramping during or after sexual intercourse or orgasm, namely endometriosis, HPV, uterine or ovarian cysts/fibroids, colon polyps, adhesion from prior surgeries or removal of endometriosis, cesareans, abdominal myomectomy, etc. More often then not a doctor/obgyn simply doesn't know why you cramp or have pain during/after intercourse/orgasm and will run a gambit of tests. 9 times out of 10 they'll inveritably tell you to take Alleve or Advil before sex and if that doesn't work, they'll subscribe an anti-depressant as if the pain is solely in your mind. It's rather sad that our medical system doesn't take this as seriously as they should since cramping or painful intercourse often leads to people simply avoiding the act which is undeniably tied to our wellness of life.

  2. Is it true that on men these cramps happen when ur partner is cheating or sleeping with somebody else?

  3. I know it must be connected with my weight, because when I was much lighter I had no cramps pounding my lady now I'm worried when it's gonna come when I am pounding my lady, even when I'm cuming my stomach starts cramping… Man I hate it.

  4. Not an enlightening article. All cramps may be a potassium deficiency. There wasn't any real help here, as I have found in many recent articles that just skim the surface of a subject after implying they have something to contribute.

  5. Agree with comments from Rae.

    Good beginning information, but offers little applicable insight into how to deal with this or highlight the realities that contribute to this situation.

    Obgyns and doctors have virtually zero knowledge about how to actually care for women's health conditions.

    Painkillers and hormonal contraceptives are insufficient and may indeed be very dangerous to the women who do not have sufficient knowledgeable physicians. E.g. hormonal birth control can cause severe blood pressure concerns. And pain killers/hormonal contraceptives do not fix the underlying cause in conditions like endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

    Furthermore, this can lead to both avoidance and the development of vaginismus. Which is both psychological and physical.

  6. The same thing happened to me, and what my doc told me that there is actually a chemical in semen that causes the braxton hicks, in some cases, a woman can experience painful intercourse if she has one of the following issues: vaginal infections, problems with the cervix or uterus, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or sexually transmitted diseases. I was told to try using the herbal therapy fuyan pill if this diseases cause the problem.

    Good luck and if you are still nervous definitely ask your doctor. I know it can be embarrassing but well worth it if they can put your mind at ease.

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