#Sexual Health

Girl Talk: Sore After Sex? Don’t Worry, We’ve Got You

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Girl Talk: Is feeling sore after sex normal? Why is this happening to me? Is there something wrong with my body? Today we address all reader questions about getting sore after sex.

#GirlTalk is SheThePeople’s advice column. Have a question? Send it to us [email protected] – It can be anonymous if you’d like it that way. Women from different walks of life share advice and their personal experience to help you overcome your own inhibitions.

Dear Girl Talk, 

I’ve had sex before. But last night, after a round of hot romance with my partner, my vagina was throbbing so hard as if it would throb itself off my body. Not to mention, there was extreme soreness and pain. This is not something usual for me. I’m scared it might be an infection or something else. Is it normal to be sore after sex? How should I fix it? 

– So Sore 

Dear So Sore,

First off, know you’re not alone in what you’re facing. For women to be sore after sex is more common than you’d think. While you may have heard of soreness after first-time sex, it is also possible in cases where one has been sexually active.

So, breathe in, breathe out, relax and read on what this is, why it is and how best to deal.

Ideally, sex shouldn’t hurt for either partner. But with conditions like vaginismus, endometriosis, or just general hormone non-cooperation, it may bring pain or soreness on occasion. Does that mean you can’t enjoy sex just as much as the next person? Of course, it doesn’t!

If you’re feeling sore after sex, you can well be sure there’s a reason for it that can be treated or worked around. And when that’s fixed, girl, go break that bed.

Here are some reasons women feel sore after sex:

1. Rough Sex… A Little Too Rough?

As sweet spooning turns to gentle kissing, which turns to slow disrobing and then sensuous lovemaking, you think you know where things are headed. But it takes half a second for the tide to turn and for that lovely, storybook romance to turn w-i-l-d.

And even though that wild, raw sex may take you and your partner to ultimate passions, it can take the vagina involved by surprise. Rough sex, with its unrestrained movements, thrusts and frictions, can cause tiny tears in the vagina or pressure on the cervix.

Ouch! That’s one sure way to get yourself sore after sex.

In such cases, you can let the wounds heal for a bit before you have sex again or if it hurts too much, see your gynaecologist at the earliest. Remember, your body knows what it wants. Don’t shove anything it doesn’t want down the throat, err… vagina.

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2. Lube It Up, Baby

Arousal and sex go hand-in-hand. If you’re aroused, you’ll want to get cosy and the most enjoyable way to have the full experience of that cosiness is if you’re aroused. Once you’re turned on, your vagina knows to self-lubricate, which makes the sexual experience smooth.

But often, for more reasons that one (age, hormones, menopause or if you’re just not turned on enough), the vagina may fail to get wet. In case of vaginal dryness, penetration causes friction and sex becomes hella painful. (It’s like your body saying – dude, wait not yet.)

Try increasing the foreplay duration.

It’s also best to turn to market lubes and/or jellies created precisely for maximising your experience in bed. Lubes come in different forms (oil, water, even vegan) and flavours. So you can choose what’s best for you down there.

Sore after sex? Don’t worry, Girl Talk has got you

3. It’s Not Me, It’s You (And Your Penis)

Size, it turns out, does matter. Sometimes, at least. It’s possible for you to feel sore after sex if your partner has a big penis that hits against your vaginal muscles and pelvic floor when they’re thrusting. Or if your vaginal opening isn’t that large to accommodate their male parts. It can leave you paining long after sex is done and dusted.

A large penis, in pop myth, has held the title of the object with most superpowers to pleasure another person. Sore sex proves: not always.

Can male anatomy be changed? No. But your sex position can. With positions like the straddle or missionary or plain standing, which give you – the one with the vagina – control over how much penis enters your body, sex can hurt less.

Note, deep penetration in the whereabouts of the cervix may be pleasurable for some women. But you always have to try and see if it works for you. You have the agency to tell your partner to go slow and even go no.

Reasons you may be getting sore after sex

4. Pardon Us But… You May Be Constipated

Yes, it’s true. Sounds like a party pooper (see what I did there) but having unclean bowels during sex may cause some hurt. In the female anatomy, your rectum (from where stools pass into your anus and out) is positioned right behind the vagina.

So bumping a penis up there when you’re plugged up may put pressure on those parts. Doctors say in some cases, that might actually be a good way to help that pesky waste along on its way to the anus. But if not, then you’re in for some sore pain.

In worst-case scenarios, sex during constipation may even foster bacterial infections. So you might want to hit pause on sex when you are not sure you’re fully relieved or if there’s too much horny in the air, try a different sex position.

5. Infections & Allergies? Possible

The mere thought of infections or diseases down there seems chilling, but it’s widespread and most often easily curable. Vaginitis, UTIs (urinary tract infections) and yeast infections are common conditions that may leave you feeling sore after sex or irritate your vagina with itching/burning sensations or induce strange vaginal discharges.

Causes for such infection range from hormone imbalance to stress to other bodily changes and the best recourse would be to see a gynaecologist at the earliest. Maintaining vaginal and sexual hygiene becomes paramount.

When it comes to allergies during sex, they may be caused either by the latex condom your partner is using or even your partner’s semen. Change the products being used. Both (or more?) parties involved in bed must also get checked for STDs and STIs as a safety measure.

Want to know more? Watch this explainer on how best to prevent vaginal infections: 

Views expressed are the author’s own.