Have you ever had amazing sex with your partner, only to experience discomfort and bloating in your stomach afterwards? You’re not alone. It may seem strange to bloat after sexual intercourse — of all things! — but it’s not as uncommon as one may think. Unfortunately there isn’t a quick fix to ease your bloating, but understanding more about your anatomy may help you get down to the bottom of your postsex bloating.
Editor’s note: We recognize that not everyone who has a vagina identifies as a woman. For this particular story, the expert we interviewed referred to those with vaginas as women.
A Retroverted Uterus Can Cause Bloating
If you have a retroverted uterus (the uterus is tilted backwards), sex can cause your uterus to move and make contact with other organs surrounding it. As a result, you may experience pain and bloating. “Signs of a retroverted uterus are pain during sex and painful menstruation, but often it has no symptoms,” women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD, told POPSUGAR. In order to find out if you have a retroverted uterus, you’ll have to visit a doctor and get a routine pelvic exam administered.
Your Menstrual Cycle Can Cause Bloating
Hormones can cause a lot of changes within our bodies, and if you get a period, it may be why you’re experiencing bloating after sex. “Oftentimes, women will experience bloating before and/or during menstruation, so if they have intercourse around that time of the month, it is likely to play a role,” Dr. Wider explained.
You Have Digestive Issues
A more serious issue that can be the culprit behind bloating involves the gut. If you have a history of digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and indigestion, Dr. Wider said that you may be prone to experiencing bloating after sexual intercourse. To help ease and manage any bloating that you may experience, she recommends avoiding foods that tend to make people more gassy like beans and legumes before sexual intercourse. If you still experience bloating, Dr. Wider also recommends consuming ginger as it has been shown to reduce abdominal pain and bloating.
You’re Having Unprotected Sex
Having unprotected sex with someone who has a penis is another possibility as to why you’re experiencing cramping and stomach pain after sex. According to Dr. Wider, if semen enters your vagina, the prostaglandin found in semen can cause uterine contraction and discomfort.
Like we stated before, there isn’t a quick cure for any bloating you may experience after sex. If you’re bloating does not dissipate after a few hours, Dr. Wider recommends consulting a healthcare provider.