Why Do I Feel Bloated After Sex?

You just had mind-blowing sex, and you want to bask in that postcoital glow. But instead, you feel like a giant balloon full of gas.

Bloating after sex is actually totally normal, and there are a few different reasons why you might be feeling that way. POPSUGAR spoke to ob-gyns and pelvic physical therapists to find out the most common causes of this uncomfortable sensation.

Hormonal Changes

When you’re in the middle of your menstrual cycle, hormone changes can be a common cause of bloating after sex. Bloating is caused by the buildup of gas in the digestive tract, and it can occur as a result of sexual activity, consuming dairy, or eating certain foods. Luckily, stomach bloating after sex is usually harmless and can be relieved by passing gas or belching.

Bloating can also be a sign of uterine fibroids or endometriosis, which can both be painful and cause abdominal pain. If you suspect this is the case, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Another possibility is that your bloating is the result of an imbalance or overgrowth of the natural bacteria in your vagina, says ob-gyn Anna Cabec. To keep your bacteria balanced, try incorporating probiotics into your diet, avoid getting semen in the vagina, and use lubricants with natural ingredients instead of those made with artificial ones.

Bloating can also be a result of stress or anxiety, which can cause your abdomen and pelvic muscles to tense up. If this is the case, trying to relax and focus on your breathing may help.

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Food

Having a good gut is vital for your overall health, so it’s no surprise that bloating after sex could be caused by an imbalance or overgrowth of natural bacteria. This can trigger issues like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, as well as lead to digestive problems like gas and cramping.

The movement of sex can also cause trapped wind, which is when air gets pushed into the anus or vagina and then becomes stuck there. This is especially common if you use a different type of lubricant or condom than usual, as they can both contribute to this issue.

Another possible reason you might be feeling bloated after sex is due to semen leakage, which is also known as precum. This is a cocktail of fluid from your prostate, seminal vesicles, and bulbourethral glands that’s released during sex to ensure sperm survives and travels to the egg for fertilization. If the amount of leaked semen is excessive, then it’s worth discussing this with your doctor as it may indicate a medical condition.

Finally, if you’re allergic to latex (which is found in many types of condoms), then this can also cause bloating and pain during sex. This is because the lining of the anus or vagina can become irritated by the material, leading to irritation and discomfort.

Emotional

You’re in that postcoital haze, basking in your mind-blowing sex and the luscious feelings coursing through your body. Then you notice your stomach feels a little distended. While it’s definitely not the most romantic way to end a steamy session, it is pretty normal (even though it’s super annoying).

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Bloating after sex can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is trapped gas. Certain sex positions, like Doggy-Style or Missionary, can cause gas to build up in your abdomen and lead to bloating. In addition, stress and anxiety can also contribute to bloating after sex by causing your gut to become more active and increase the amount of gas it produces.

Another reason you might be bloated after sex is semen leakage. This is a cocktail of fluids from your prostate, seminal vesicles, and bulbourethral glands that contains important nutrients for sperm to survive and travel to the egg for fertilization. Semen leakage is completely normal, but if you’re experiencing excessive leakage, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Unprotected sex can also contribute to bloating after a sesh. When unprotected sex is done, prostaglandin (a type of lipid usually released in tissues during injury, infection, or menstruation) can enter the vagina and trigger uterine contraction and pain, which can lead to bloating. Using a condom and making sure your partner isn’t allergic to latex can help prevent this from happening.

Medical Conditions

If you experience abdominal pain and bloating after sexual intercourse on a regular basis, it may be a sign of a more serious health condition. For example, trapped gas can indicate an underlying digestive issue like pelvic inflammatory disease or ovarian cysts (fluid-filled sacs in or on one of the ovaries). If you are experiencing a combination of symptoms, including abdominal pain and bloating, it is important to seek medical attention.

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If the bloating is caused by hormonal changes, it could be a sign that you’re on or about to get your period. It’s also possible that the bloating is due to an imbalance or overgrowth of the natural bacteria in your vagina, which can cause painful infections. Dr Cabeca recommends consuming probiotic-rich foods (like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha) to help balance the bacteria in your body and avoid painful infections.

Other conditions that can cause bloating after sex include endometriosis, which is when tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside of it and causes pain during penetration and menstruation. Another common cause of bloating after sex is having a cervix that is inflamed or swollen (medically called dyspareunia). This can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases or by using physical objects during intercourse or an allergic reaction to latex condoms. This problem can be easily treated with an over-the-counter anti-gas medication that contains simethicone or activated charcoal to break down gas bubbles and relieve bloating.

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