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Post-sex vaginal sensations and what they might mean

Post-sex vaginal sensations and what they might mean

Let’s talk about feelings after sex. And no, not emotions — I’m talking about how your vagina feels. In college, I experienced pain and bleeding nearly every time I had sex. It wasn’t until months later, when I mentioned it to my physician in passing, that I learned this wasn’t normal. Sex is supposed to be fun and awesome and mind-blowing, not a painful exchange of bodily fluids.

So: what’s normal, and what isn’t? Here’s what medical experts had to say about what could be causing any uncomfortable feelings — and what you should do about them.

Burning

A burning sensation after sex is common, and there’s a wide range of things that could be causing it, from a lack of lubrication or a vaginal infection to a hormonal imbalance or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, says Dr. Rachel Gelman, the branch director of Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center.

You could also be having a reaction to the lubricant you’re using. Common ingredients in lube that can be irritating are chemicals like chlorhexidine gluconate (which is used as an antibacterial), propylene glycol (a humectant/preservative), and glycerin (used as a humectant, but can contribute to yeast overgrowth because it’s a byproduct of sugar).

“Burning associated with discharge after sex may be a sign of infection, and you should seek medical attention as soon as possible,” adds Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, an OBGYN in Greenville, Mississippi. “Untreated pelvic infections can cause long term damage to internal female organs.”

Bleeding

Around 9 percent of women will experience bleeding after sex, and it can occur for a variety of reasons. Certain STIs, like HPV and chlamydia, can cause post-sex bleeding, as can conditions like endometriosis. One of the most concerning causes of post-sex bleeding, however, is cervical cancer, but this is rarer than the other causes. (If you have concerns about your health, it’s important to see your doctor.)

Another cause of postcoital bleeding could be vaginal dryness. “When dry skin rubs against dry skin it can cause abrasions or lacerations in the vaginal mucosa,” says Richardson. If you’re experiencing any dryness, try incorporating a lubricant.

Mild bleeding can be monitored, but severe bleeding requires medical attention as soon as possible, Richardson says. If you experience bleeding after sex frequently, you should make an appointment with your OBGYN.

Pain

Like postcoital bleeding, post-sex pain can be caused by a variety of things. Some soreness after sex can be normal, especially if the sex was rough. And although pain is subjective, if you’re experiencing extreme discomfort you should see your doctor.

Women have a muscle group called the pelvic floor that surrounds the vagina. And just like any other muscle, they can spasm and cause pain, explains Michael Ingber, MD, a board-certified doctor in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. “During rough sexual relations, these pelvic muscles can become painful, just like after a workout with other muscle groups,” he says.

If you have persistent pain post-sex, talk to your healthcare provider. Ingber says this is a problem that can be treated. “I recommend anyone experiencing pain after intercourse see a medical provider to determine what can be causing the symptoms,” says Gelman. “Adding in a good water-based lubricant may help.” If it doesn’t, there are other options, like medication and pelvic floor physical therapy.

Extra moisture

Extra moisture after sex is normal, because of the secretions your vagina releases when you’re aroused, says Richardson. If you’re using lube, this also will create extra moisture. Also, if you have sex without a condom and your male partner ejaculates inside you, you’re going to feel a little more “drippy” after sex, because the semen leaks out of your vagina. Vaginal discharge is also normal, and is part of your vagina’s self-cleaning process.

That said, while extra moisture is normal, severe discharge is not. “Every woman has a different amount of normal discharge,” says Ingber. And typically, healthy, normal discharge is clear to white. “When this becomes foul-smelling, yellow, green, or chunky white, it’s abnormal and you should see your healthcare provider,” he says.

Changes in odor

A change in your vaginal smell after sex can be chalked up to a variety of things — like sweat and whether or not you’re ovulating. Also, fun fact: the pH of semen can actually throw off the pH of your vagina temporarily, causing the smell to change, says Richardson. If you’re concerned about the smell — or just aren’t feeling super fresh — try using cleansing wipes.

But if the change in smell is also accompanied by severe discharge or any burning, itching, or irritation, you should get checked out by a doctor.

Swelling

When you’re turned on, blood rushes to the vaginal area, so it’s completely normal that you would have some vulvar swelling after intercourse, says Richardson. Clitoral swelling is also common and totally normal. However, if the swelling is super painful or lasts for a long time, you should check in with your healthcare provider.

Spasms

Another common feeling after sex: vaginal spasms. “Vaginal spasms after sex are normal and are a result of an intense orgasm,” Richardson says. (Related: can I get a “hell yeah!”?) During sex, your nerves and muscles tense up — and when you orgasm, your body releases that tension in the form of involuntary contractions. Most women typically experience anywhere between 3 and 15 contractions.

  • Hi, I had sex last night and it lasted a long time and today it feels like my vagina is super tight. Is this normal? If so, how can I relieve this?
    Thanks,
    S

  • Hey, I recently had unprotected sex with my partner, but he only put his pelvis inside 2 times and did not ejaculate inside me. I have taken 2 emergency contraceptives within 24 hours. I was 5 days from my ovulation when we did it. Do you think I might still get pregnant? Please respond I really need expert advice

  • Hi, i had sex for the first time and my clitoris feels sensitive and like it kind of hurts from the right side when I touch it. There was no clitoris rubbing or anything. I don’t know why it feels like this. Is it because its my first time or did it get too aroused and caused the clitoris to come out more than normal? Its hard to explain but I need help to know if the uncomfortable feeling is going to go away!

    • Hey,

      Your partner’s shaft or pelvis probably rubbed the right side of your clitoris. If it a kind of “paim” because of the swelling, the solution is just to masturbate to release the tension. Did you orgasm during the intercourse?

      Regards,

      A

  • I recently bought a bullet vibrator. I mostly used it for clit play but I did put it inside of me and it was a little too big to be comfortable. I used it yesterday and my vagina had been pulsing, feeling slight pain, and a bit extra moisture all day today. I’m kind of concerned but my mom doesn’t know I have a vibe and doesn’t condone masterbation. I’m not sure what to do.

    • That sounds completely normal! If you’ve never had vaginal stimulation that is a normal response for your first time. If it continues for over a week, then worry about it!

  • My sis in-law said she fell in a bathroom and started bleeding which I saw her bleeding badly,but the problem is the bathroom doesn’t have a sink or toilet sit is just normal tied..so my question is what could cause her bleed so much to the extent of being stitched inside the theater …please help I really want to know and she’s just 18years

  • Hello, is it normal to feel sore / tender I had unprotected sex so I was freaking out that it could be something else but we did go for it all night so I didn’t know if I’m just overthinking!

  • After orgasming I get these spasms like in my clitoral area for about 5 minutes and they make my legs feel weak. Is this normal?

  • After sex the other night I used the bathroom, and felt a slight burning deeper inside ? almost as if my bladder wasn’t empty so I pushed the rest out and laid down and went to bed because the feeling was uncomfortable, almost like an awkward pressure inside. it was gone when i woke up, but now it’s reoccurring and worsens each time i use the restroom and sometimes it goes away while other times it stays for awhile. i can’t find any answers online. i’m not pregnant , it’s not burning or itching or painful, just an uncomfortable pressure.

  • I get uncomfortable spasms in my labia for a few minutes after having an orgasm using the showerhead. Happens everytime and only when I use water. Maybe I swelled up too much and it’s the blood draining?

    • adding water to your pelvis washes away your natural lubrication and can cause dryness. When swollen from the blood in the vaginal area, the stretch of dry skin can be uncomfortable. If it lingers talk to your doctor. You may consider using waterproof lubricant as well.

  • Can you explain this ? Sometimes after intercourse and also after I give her oral my girlfriend will have a completely separate orgasm. Like, she’ll orgasm during intercourse, I’ll take maybe another 2 minutes to satisfy myself, then when I’m done she’ll say leave it in but I’m not moving and she orgasms again. Just last night I only have her oral. About 20 minutes worth. She orgasmed, pushed my head away, then about 15 seconds later she did it again and said it was 2 or 3 orgasms one behind the other without me touching her. The more rare occurrence is I’ll give her oral, she may or may not orgasm but can’t take any more, so we move to intercourse and she wants me to go harder than normal but not crazy hard. When we do this for 3 minutes or so I’ll stop for a short break and she’ll orgasm while I’m still in her but I’m cometely still. First woman I’ve ever seen this from. What gives ?

    • Might be TMI but…Maybe she finds that super hot and she gets aroused by it to the point she orgasms? I can only talk from personal experience but I have that happen to me as well. My partner and I are trying for a baby so he has for obvious reasons been finishing in me. I find it very sexy to feel him ejaculating inside me and it makes me orgasm. Sometimes even while watching porn… like I’ll be watching creampie vids and they get me to orgasm pretty quickly. All in all she’s probably just very into that sort of thing lol

  • After sex, I saw above my vaginal entrance near the clitoris there’s a dimple on each side. It looks like there is three holes above my vaginal entrance. Sex was not painful, my husband is well endowed. Wondering is this normal?

  • Dont know how to explain it. The tissue on the inside of my vagina should be plump if not tight. But today the wall of my g spot feels like it is sunken in? Almost as if my vagina is hollow.

  • My GF’s inner lips get sore after long periods of intercourse
    On the edges of the inner lips.
    Where she isn’t able to make love again for a few days. Swelling goes down by the next day. I am above average in size 9.25” long and 4.75” in girth. I’ve never experienced this with any partners ever, sure they’d be sore, but would want to keep
    Going again and again. We’ve been together for abt 4 months. CAn anyone spread some light on these issues, or if they’ve ever experienced it happening to them? Or do you think she’s not as attracted to me or kind of over the relationship. I don’t like to hurt her at all, I’m just very sexual in nature and she always has been The same way with others and was with us for a while! 🤷🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️😢
    So I ordered a different kind of aloe Vera based all natural lubes. Now I ordered Lola brand lubricant. So hopefully this will work and get us back to normAl. It’s taking a toll on our relationship, so any help would be greatly appreciated!!!🙌🙏😔
    Is it just her not wanting too does it sound like that could be the issue? or what? I just need to find out!!
    Thank you
    B.B

    • Hello bill,

      I hope you two are still together and if not maybe this will help you in your next relationship.

      The tissue that makes up the lips, vaginal opening, and various others are very sensitive. For some women they can tear or swell easily. The tissue is comparable to that of the inside your mouth. Sometimes it’s not the amount of lubricant, but the incredible friction of your penis for long periods of time. Another factor to consider is that all women have different shaped inner lips. Some times lips end before the opening, and some lips continue down the sides of the opening. If her lips are longer then they’re is a possibility this is why. Different lubricants may help this, but ultimately she needs to find what’s comfortable for her. (Also it’s not a good idea to compare her vulva to other women…)

      I hope this helps,

      Angela

    • My Ex Fiancé was well endowed , he was my first guy so large and the girth counts too… her vagina is not used to that length / girth she is stretching to accommodate you, i had the same thing, the burning and swelling , it’s very uncomfortable and she needs that break. If you guys stay together her body will adjust. Maybe try to not do it as long and opt for shorter sessions until her body can adapt to yours.

    • When I met my fiancee I hadn’t had sex in 2 years and when I had sex with him it hurt because he’s bigger than I am used to so I used to ask him to stop but my pussy got used to his size now we have a very healthy sex life so hold on in there and it will work it’s self out or start off with 4 play it will help too

  • I feel very sad after sex sometimes because of feeling like there is a void in my body. Even after orgasm

    • Orgasms (especially intense ones) can be a huge dopamine dump on your brain. This mild depression after having an orgasm is normal but you should always talk to your doctor about any concerns.

  • After my boyfriend and I had sex my vaginal area started tickling a bit and felt like it was swollen but it wasn’t swollen, could that be cause We were dry? Or cause he went really rough?

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