Why Does Stomach Hurt After Sex? Explore The Main Causes

May 01, 2024 | 3 min read

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Experiencing stomach pain after sex can be distressing and confusing. This pain may stem from various causes, ranging from physical conditions like deep penetration or muscle strains to medical issues such as fibroids, endometriosis, or urinary problems. Emotional factors like stress or anxiety also play a role.

why does my stomach hurt after sex

Detailed Causes of Stomach Pain After Sex

Common Causes

These are general factors that can affect anyone, regardless of gender:

Deep Penetration

  • Physical Impact: Can press against internal organs such as the cervix, ovaries, or even the bladder, causing temporary discomfort.
  • Diagnosis: If pain persists, imaging studies like ultrasound may be recommended.

Muscle Strains and Inappropriate Positions

  • Physical Discomfort: Overexertion or awkward positions can lead to muscle strains.
  • Inappropriate Positions: Certain sexual positions may lead to unnatural bending or stretching, causing discomfort or pain.
  • Diagnosis: Typically diagnosed based on physical examination and patient history.

Stress and Anxiety

The link between mental health and physical comfort during sex can’t be overstated:

  • Emotional Factors: Can cause muscle tension, particularly in the pelvic floor, leading to discomfort.
  • Psychological Impact of Past Trauma: Previous negative sexual experiences can also manifest as physical pain during sexual activities.
  • Diagnosis: Emotional factors can often be discussed and identified in therapy sessions.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Sometimes, the cause of abdominal pain after sex is related to the gastrointestinal system. Conditions like:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Can cause cramping and bloating that might worsen during physical activities, including sex.
  • Constipation: This common digestive issue can lead to abdominal pain and discomfort, which may be exacerbated by physical activity or certain positions during sex.
  • Diagnosis: IBS is diagnosed based on symptoms, along with a physical exam and, if needed, diagnostic tests such as blood tests to rule out other conditions.

Stomach Pain After Sex in Females


Fibroids are non-cancerous growths on the uterine walls can cause pressure and pain during sexual activity.

Symptoms include:

Diagnosis: A pelvic ultrasound or MRI can be used to diagnose fibroids, identifying their size, location, and impact on surrounding tissues.


Endometriosis involves tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus developing outside of it, causing significant pain during and after sex.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), it is estimated that around 10% of women of reproductive age are affected by endometriosis.

It often manifests as:

  • Painful periods
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Infertility issues

Diagnosis: May require laparoscopy for a definitive diagnosis

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

An infection of the female reproductive organs that can cause severe pelvic pain and discomfort during or after intercourse.

Symptoms include:

Diagnosis: Diagnosed through pelvic examination, analysis of vaginal discharge, and cervical cultures.

Ovarian Cysts

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that forms on or inside an ovary, often during ovulation.


Diagnosis: Ultrasound can help identify cysts on the ovaries.

Stomach Pain After Sex in Males


Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland, causing discomfort and urinary issues.


  • Pelvic or lower abdominal pain
  • Painful urination.

Diagnosis: Diagnosed through physical examination, urine tests, and sometimes imaging studies.

Interstitial Cystitis

A chronic condition characterized by bladder pressure, bladder pain, and sometimes pelvic pain.


  • Pain in the bladder and pelvis
  • Frequent urination

Diagnosis: Involves cystoscopy and urine tests to rule out other conditions.


A hernia occurs when an internal part of the body pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall.


  • Pain may increase with activity, including sexual activity, and might present as a noticeable bulge in the abdomen or groin.

Diagnosis: Typically diagnosed through physical examination and may require imaging tests like an ultrasound or CT scan to confirm.

If you suspect any of these conditions could be causing your symptoms, it’s advisable to use the Symptom Checker to help identify potential issues before consulting with a healthcare professional. Remember, while online tools are useful for gaining insights, it is not a substitute for a consultation with a real doctor.

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When to See a Doctor

  • Persistent or Severe Pain: If stomach pain after sex is persistent, worsening, or severe, it’s important to consult a doctor.
  • Accompanying Symptoms: Symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, or signs of infection (like unusual discharge or bleeding) warrant immediate medical attention.
  • Impact on Quality of Life: If pain during or after sex affects your quality of life, seeking professional help can provide relief and prevent further complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Key Takeaways

  • The pain can arise from a variety of causes, including physical issues like deep penetration, medical conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, or urinary problems, and emotional factors like stress or anxiety.
  • Effective preventative strategies include hydration, exploring comfortable sexual positions, and managing pace during intercourse.
  • Persistent or severe symptoms necessitate a consultation with a healthcare provider to prevent complications and manage the condition effectively.
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