Is It Normal to Feel Nauseous After Sex?

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Sex should make you feel euphoric, not nauseous. But if you’re feeling queasy after sex, there could be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.

Often, nausea after sex is caused by pain or uterine contractions associated with orgasm. But there are also other less-physical reasons you may be feeling queasy after sex.

1. You’re pregnant

One of the most common reasons why women feel nauseous after sex is because they believe they’re pregnant. This is because pregnancy hormones — which can cause morning sickness — increase in your body after conception. However, if you’re feeling nauseous after sex it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pregnant. It takes a lot more time for semen’s sperm to combine with an egg and implant in the uterus (via USC Fertility).

Nausea after sex could also be caused by cervical pain or a fibroids. Moreover, it could be a sign of an STD such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to use protection during sex and get regular STD tests.

Vigorous sex and positions that allow deep penetration can also trigger nausea for women. This is because they can cause a vasovagal syncope — an episode where your heart rate drops. You can help reduce nausea if you ask your partner to not penetrate too deeply and try ramping up the foreplay instead. It may also help if you drink water and lie down.

2. You have a serious medical condition

Feeling queasy after sex can sometimes be related to an underlying health condition. This could include anything from a urinary tract infection to serious pelvic pain conditions like endometriosis, or even something as simple as ovarian cysts. In these cases, you should seek medical attention immediately if the nausea is severe or reoccurs often.

Nausea after sex may also be caused by an allergic reaction to your partner’s semen. This is a little more rare, but still possible. Using plenty of lubricant and communicating with your partner about what feels right in the bedroom can help minimize this risk.

Lastly, nausea after sex can be a sign that you’re dehydrated. Drinking lots of water and avoiding alcohol or drugs prior to sex can help prevent this from happening. If the nausea is related to nerves, implementing stress management techniques can also make a difference.

3. You’re nervous

Feeling butterflies in your stomach or nausea is a pretty normal reaction to sex, especially if it happens right before orgasm. If you’re feeling it a lot more often than usual, experts say it might be worth mentioning to your Ob/Gyn or a mental health professional who can help with any emotional triggers that may be causing it.

If you’re nauseous immediately after an orgasm, it could be a sign of a medical condition called Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS). It can also be caused by deep penetration that hits your cervix or uterus, and it can be triggered by a variety of reasons, including stress, anxiety, or sexual trauma. If you’re experiencing pain and heavy periods alongside POIS, it’s worth seeing your GP to see what’s going on and get a pelvic exam.

It’s also possible that you’re having an allergic reaction to your partner’s semen, which can cause itching in areas that come into contact with the stuff. It’s rare, but it’s something to talk to your partner about if it happens frequently or in certain situations.

4. You’re penetrating deeply

If your partner pushes too hard during intercourse and hits the cervix, it may trigger vasovagal syncope (a drop in heart rate that causes feelings of dizziness) which can lead to nausea, explains Satisfyer’s clinical sexologist Megwyn White. The good news is that it’s usually nothing to worry about, but you should let your partner know you don’t like this feeling and try to use different sexual positions so that the cervix doesn’t get stimulated so deeply in the future.

If the sensation is accompanied by other symptoms, such as painful sex or heavy bleeding, it could be a sign of pelvic conditions such as fibroids and cysts, says Dr Unsworth. If so, she recommends seeing a GP to confirm or rule out these serious issues.

Nausea after orgasm is also not uncommon, and is typically caused by a chemical reaction to an ingredient in your lube. If your lube contains perfumes or food scents, the odor can make you feel queasy, especially if it’s strong. Try switching to a lube without these scents, and see if your nausea subsides.

5. You’re dehydrated

Sometimes, it takes a few tries to find the right combination of food, drink and drugs to get you into the mood for sex. If you’re frequently waking up feeling sick after sex, try cutting back on the caffeine and fatty foods you eat before you head into the bedroom to see if this helps your symptoms.

If your nausea is paired with pelvic pain, it may be a sign of dysorgasmia (a condition in which the endometrial tissue that lines the womb grows outside the uterus), or pelvic inflammatory disease caused by STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Both of these conditions can cause severe pain and may lead to nausea, according to gynaecologist Dr Leila Frodsham.

Overall, it’s usually nothing to worry about if you’re drinking plenty of water, taking time to relax and not over-doing the foreplay beforehand. However, if your nausea is accompanied by pain, a fever or blood in your urine, make sure to book an appointment with your GP as this could be a sign of a serious medical issue.

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