abdominal pain after sex could be related to the nervous system

Why do I get abdominal pain after sex? Professor suggested dysorgasmia could be related to the nervous system

Although sex is generally considered pleasurable, some people experience pain during or after intercourse. This pain can occur in the abdomen, pelvis, or lower back. It can be sharp or dull and may come and go.

There are many possible causes of abdominal pain after sex. Some reasons are related to the reproductive organs, while others are due to other conditions. However, painful orgasms result in dysorgasmia, which is fairly common, likely affecting more than 20 percent of women.

In some cases, the cause may be unknown. If you experience abdominal pain after sex, you must see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. This article will discuss some possible causes of abdominal pain after sex and how to treat them.

What causes abdominal pain after sex?

There are many possible causes of dysorgasmia, defined as pain during or after orgasm. Some potential causes include the following:

- Pelvic muscle spasms: These can be caused by conditions like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, as well as other conditions that lead to muscle spasms in the pelvic area.

- Vaginismus: This is a condition in which the vaginal muscles involuntarily contract, making sex painful or impossible. It can be caused by psychological factors, such as anxiety or trauma, or physical characteristics, such as vaginal atrophy (thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls).

- Vulvodynia: This condition is characterized by chronic vulvar pain with no known cause. It can be extremely debilitating and make sex very painful.

- Interstitial cystitis: This condition results in inflammation of the bladder and/or pelvic floor muscles, which can cause pain during sex.

If you are experiencing dysorgasmia, it is essential to see a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions and to get treatment. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of the dysorgasmia but may include pelvic floor physical therapy, medications, or surgery.

dysorgasmia, defined as pain during or after orgasm

Dysorgasmia and the nervous system

Professor Whiteley suggests an alternative theory for dysorgasmia, relating it to the nervous system.

When looking for the cause of painful orgasms, it’s important to also consider the mental and emotional factors. It is generally accepted that sexual arousal is due to parasympathetic nervous activity, whereas orgasm is due to sympathetic nervous activity. As dysorgasmia is pain during the orgasm, it could be that dysorgasmia is related to an abnormal response to sympathetic stimulation or overstimulation, which may include an enhanced response to adrenaline.

Professor Whiteley has found that dysorgasmia is associated with other conditions linked to sympathetic overactivity, including irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and anxiety disorders.

“There is a body of evidence to suggest that sympathetic nerve activity is increased in people with dysorgasmia,” he said. “We don’t know if this is causal – so whether the increase in sympathetic nerve activity causes the problem or it’s an effect of dysorgasmia. However, this theory could explain why many women find relaxation techniques helpful. Relaxation is associated with a decrease in sympathetic nerve activity. And indeed, some women report that their orgasms become more painful during times of stress. This would fit in with the idea that they have a higher sympathetic activity than usual when trying to orgasm.”


Relaxation and dysorgasmia

Relaxation and dysorgasmia

To test the hypothesis that dysorgasmia can be caused by abnormal sympathetic responses, Professor Whiteley examined the role relaxation might play in reducing problems with pain during orgasm. In one study, he used a simple relaxation technique and found it reduced pain for women who suffered from regular painful org.

“We found that women who practiced a relaxation technique before they attempted to orgasm had a significantly lower pain score than women who didn’t,” he said.

acupuncture can be beneficial to abdominal pain after sex

“This is a fascinating finding, as it suggests relaxation techniques may be helpful for dysorgasmia.I have also found that acupuncture can be beneficial.” 

“Another approach I recommend is learning to exercise control over your orgasms. This means learning to generate an orgasm without the autonomic nervous system becoming involved – rather than having an orgasm by letting go and letting your body take over. One way to do this is to learn to keep your heart rate up during sex so you don’t reach the point where you allow it to drop to experience orgasm. When doing this, you may eventually find you can reach climax but still maintain control of your heartbeat and breathing – which means no autonomic effects occur in the body during the climax period. Women report that this orgasm feels much deeper and less associated with muscle tension or pain than an autonomic-type climax.”

A woman who suffers from dysorgasmia shares her story:

The problem began about three years ago when I was in a new relationship. I’d been with my previous partner for four years, and our sex life was great – but once the novelty of the new relationship wore off, I started to have pain during orgasms about 30 percent of the time. The pain wasn’t unbearable, but it was enough that I first assumed something was wrong with my vagina. A gynecologist told me there wasn’t anything physically wrong, though. When I did some research online, I discovered many other women were experiencing similar problems – so I thought it must be psychological.

I tried everything from counselors to yoga and massage therapists, but nothing worked – and after a while, the pain got worse until it started happening all the time. At this point, my partner became extraordinarily frustrated and left me, saying there was no reason why we couldn’t just have regular sex if everything was working correctly physically. This made things worse for me emotionally because now I felt like not only could I not enjoy sex myself, but it was also ruining my relationships! I almost gave up hope when a friend recommended Dr. Whiteley’s book Pelvic Congestion Syndrome - Chronic Pelvic Pain and Pelvic Venous Disorders.

How to treat abdominal pain after sex

The most common cause of abdominal pain after sex is uterine cramping. This can be caused by the uterus contracting in response to sexual activity. Cramping is usually mild and lasts for a short time. There are a few things you can do to help ease the pain:

- Place a heating pad on your abdomen or take a warm bath.

- Take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

- Try using a water-based lubricant during sex to reduce friction.

- Avoid having sex during your period when cramping is likely to be at its worst.

Contact your healthcare provider if you experience severe abdominal pain or cramping lasting more than a few minutes. They will be able to determine if there is another underlying cause and provide further treatment if necessary.


There are several things you can do to prevent abdominal pain after sex. First, make sure you are adequately lubricated. This will help reduce friction and make sex more comfortable. Second, take breaks during sex if you need to. You don't have to go at it non-stop – take a break now and then to catch your breath and relax your muscles. Third, use a position that is comfortable for you. If one part is causing you pain, try another. Finally, don't be afraid to talk to your partner about what works for you and what isn't. Communication is key in any sexual relationship.

If you are still experiencing abdominal pain after trying these tips, you must see a healthcare provider. There may be an underlying medical condition causing your pain that will need to be treated.


If you experience abdominal pain after sex, it's essential to see your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. There are a few possible explanations for why you might experience abdominal pain after sex, including infection, endometriosis, or dysorgasmia. In some cases, the cause may be unknown. Relaxation techniques may be helpful if you're experiencing abdominal pain after sex. You can also try to exercise control over your orgasms. 

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