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Read the expert advice on what to do if you’re feeling a bit icky post-sex
Feeling sick after sex? Sex can leave you feeling many things—relaxed, content, sweaty, and sometimes (a lot of the time) hungry.
But while feeling all of the emotions post-orgasm and working up a sweat or appetite is common, some of the more physical symptoms aren’t, and may indicate that it’s time for you to book a visit to your GP.
Enter stage right, feeling sick after sex: it’s actually a lot more common than you think, however, it’s a post-sex symptom that may be dangerous to ignore, warns Dr Shirin Lakhani, intimate health specialist at Elite Aesthetics.
Shirin says: “Nausea after sex affects both genders. Although it’s impossible to put a figure on exactly how many women are affected, many people across the UK find themselves impacted by this.’”
Keep reading to find out why exactly you’ve been feeling sick after sex and what to do to stop it, once and for all, and don’t miss our guides to the best sex apps, Kamasutra positions, and bondage for beginners, while you’re here.
Am I feeling sick after sex because we’ve conceived?
Trigger warning: topics of baby loss.
There is a (rather worrying) common misconception that feeling sick after sex is an indication that you’ve just successfully conceived.
In Shirin’s expert medical opinion, this is not true or physically possible. “Remember, it takes much longer than five minutes for the sperm to fertilise the egg and implant”, she says. So if you’re feeling nauseous straight after sex, no, our expert does not think it’s a sign that you’re newly pregnant, and similarly no she does not think it’s a sign that you’re suffering a miscarriage, either.
Why you’re feeling sick after sex
You’re not pregnant. So why exactly might you find yourself feeling sick after experiencing sex?
According to Shirin, there are a whole host of reasons that could be at the root of the problem.
1. Vasovagal syncope
One possibility is vasovagal syncope, which occurs when your partner penetrates you particularly hard and hits your cervix. “The cervix is full of nerve endings. The vasovagal response occurs when the vagus nerve is stimulated, causing a lower heart rate and blood pressure. This, in turn, can bring on nausea.”
Plus, it’s important to note that your cervix changes throughout menstrual cycle phases, dropping lower during your period, which means you may be more susceptible if you get intimate during penetration.
Are you one of those individuals who frequently gets home from work only to work out that you actually haven’t drunk a single sip of water all day? That needs to change, as dehydration can cause a whole heap of health problems. Interestingly, feeling sick after sex is one of them.
Shirin says: “Whether it’s dehydration, nerves, or actual anxiety, post-sex nausea could be your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right.”
If you suspect that it is nerves getting the better of you, do read our guide to stress vs anxiety to work out which it may be, and try to implement stress management techniques such as breathwork training, meditation, and temple massage may help, alongside investing in one of these relaxing facials, if you have the money (and time).
It’s not uncommon for women with the above conditions to experience painful intercourse, with other causes including cervical infections and fibroids. Do visit a doctor if you suspect this might be the case.
4. Mental health
Probably not you were expecting to read in this section, but do bear with us.
Shirin says that if you’ve ruled out all of the potential physical medical triggers that could be causing your nausea, it might be time to look inwards and address the psychological ones. More on exactly how to do that further down this article.
How to stop feeling sick after sex
1. Go gently
First things first—and we’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news—but make sure that sexual penetration isn’t too hard. This covers fingering, penis-in-vagina sex and any form of vaginal penetration.
Plus, ensure that the position you’re trying doesn’t feel too forced (this guide to the UK’s favourite sex positions might help).
Remember, your body is a temple and all that, and treating your body with love and respect is pretty essential for making sure you don’t hurt yourself.
2. Stay hydrated
Simple, but essential: make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.
Did you know? Your body is composed of around 60% water, so it’s really key to feeling your best.
Try this: Make keeping those hydration levels high simple by keeping a reusable water bottle at work and in your bag, or investing in one of the nifty hydration reminder bottles, which visually prompts you with how much water you should have consumed by what time.
Chilly’s Bottles 260ml bottle
Ocean Bottle 500ml Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel bottle
Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water bottle
Favofit Water Bottle with Time Markings
3. Get checked
If you’re having gentle sex and keeping hydrated, it might be time you got yourself to a doctor to make sure you haven’t got any underlying conditions that have gone undiagnosed, says Shirin.
This could range from anything like endometriosis to PCOS.
4. Address how you’re feeling
Sometimes, you end up feeling a bit icky because of an orgasm causing your uterus to contract in a certain way, in turn creating a visceral response in the form of nausea, adds gynecologist and medical director Lauren Streicher MD.
Let’s get real for a second. Ask yourself the following: do you honestly feel comfortable having sex? Deep down or subconsciously, are you hiding feelings of unease or unhappiness? Shirin suggests that, if the nausea is really persisting and you’ve addressed all of the above doctors, it might be time to speak to your doctor or specialist.
Is feeling sick after sex something to worry about?
Short answer: it depends. If you’re drinking loads of water, fully relaxing into sex, and don’t see any of the above as red flags, then it may be time to see a doctor.
What to do if you’re continuously feeling sick after sex
If you are experiencing any type of noticeable or recurring pain during sex and feel nauseous after intercourse regularly, do contact your GP or gynecologist.