Why Do I Feel Nauseous After Sex: Should I Be Worried?

If you have ever experienced the horrible feeling of nausea after sex, you may be a little concerned. But is this a common experience or a sign of something to be worried about? Below, we will examine the common causes of post-sex nausea, as well as ways to prevent and treat it.

Key takeaways:

Causes of nausea after sex

There are many potential causes of nausea during or after sex, including the following:

Deep penetration

Deep penetration during sex, or penetration that touches the cervix, can sometimes stimulate the vagus nerve. This nerve, which runs from the brain to the colon, regulates various bodily functions. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it can lead to symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and even fainting. This reaction can be more common when engaging in deep penetration activities like certain sexual positions or anal sex.

Overexertion or vigorous sex

Having vigorous or energetic sex can increase your heart rate, quicken your breathing, and release certain hormones. These physical reactions can cause nausea for some people or result in overexertion. The rhythmic motions during sex might also cause motion sickness in people who are more susceptible to it, resulting in feelings of nausea.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. This can sometimes lead to feeling queasy after sex, possibly because of the physical effects of deep penetration and the associated pain. Additionally, the digestive problems often linked with endometriosis, such as irritable bowel syndrome, may add to the general sense of nausea during and after sexual activity.

Orgasm

The contractions of the uterus during orgasm can cause some people to feel pain and nausea. While the exact reasons behind this physical response aren't entirely clear, it's thought that the intense muscle contractions and shifts in blood flow during orgasm may play a role. For some people, more intense orgasms can result in nausea, while others have found that having an orgasm on a full or empty stomach can induce queasiness.

Psychological factors

Psychological factors like stress, anxiety, trauma, or fear can sometimes show up in physical ways during sexual activity, potentially causing feelings of nausea. For instance, stress and anxiety might activate your body's 'fight or flight' response, which can include nausea. Traumatic experiences or sexual phobias can also lead to discomfort and nausea during sex.

Post-orgasmic illness syndrome

Post-orgasmic illness syndrome is a rare condition where people with penises experience flu-like symptoms after orgasm, such as fever, fatigue, headache, difficulty concentrating, and muscle pain. For some people, this can also cause nausea and gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms typically appear within minutes to a few hours after orgasm and can last for a few hours to several days. The intensity and types of symptoms can differ from person to person for those experiencing post-orgasmic illness syndrome. As this condition is very rare, its underlying causes remain unknown.

Gastrointestinal issues

If you have existing stomach or digestion concerns, like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, or other digestive problems, they might be intensified by sexual activity. This is particularly relevant if you're in certain positions or having anal sex. The physical aspects of sex can exert extra pressure on your digestive system, sometimes causing nausea.

Drugs or alcohol

Having sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol can disrupt the body's normal functioning, possibly leading to feeling nauseous afterward. The influence of these substances on the nervous system and blood flow, along with changes in how we perceive our surroundings, may cause symptoms like dizziness, a faster heart rate, and difficulty coordinating during sex. These physical effects can intensify the discomfort linked to sexual activity, resulting in a queasy feeling afterward.

Is nausea after sex a sign of something serious?

Feeling queasy after sex can be caused by various factors, and in most cases, it's not a cause for major concern. Common causes like vigorous sex are often temporary and not alarming. However, if you experience persistent or severe post-sex nausea, especially for conditions like endometriosis, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance. Understanding the reasons behind the nausea can help tailor the right interventions and ensure your overall well-being.

Are there any ways to treat it?

Treatment for nausea after sex depends on the underlying factors causing the nausea.

  • Deep penetration. If deep penetration is causing nausea, try different sex positions and communicate with your partner about what's comfortable for you.
  • Overexertion or vigorous sex. If vigorous sex is causing nausea, try slowing down until you find a speed that works for you.
  • Endometriosis. If you believe that endometriosis is causing nausea, it’s best to seek diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare professional. Treatment options often include medication to help deal with the pain and surgery to remove the tissue.
  • Orgasm. If orgasms are causing nausea, try out different forms of sex, like oral or masturbation or different positions, to see if this eases the nausea.
  • Psychological factors. If psychological factors like stress, anxiety, or trauma are causing nausea, it's best to seek help from a mental health professional to address the cause of these issues.
  • Post-orgasmic illness syndrome. If you think that post-orgasmic illness syndrome may be causing nausea, see a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Gastrointestinal issues. If gastrointestinal issues are causing nausea, seek help from a healthcare professional. In many cases, changes in diet and lifestyle may help to alleviate some of the symptoms.
  • Drugs or alcohol. If drugs or alcohol are causing nausea during of after sex, it's best that you stop using them.

When should I seek help?

If you're dealing with severe nausea after sex, especially if it happens frequently, it's a good idea to seek medical assistance. Nausea can result from various factors, and when it becomes a persistent and serious issue, consulting a healthcare professional is the recommended course of action.

What can I do to prevent it?

Preventing feeling nauseous after sex or throwing up after sex depends on the cause of the nausea. While treating the underlying symptoms is the best course of action, there are some things that you can try before or while having sex that can prevent nausea.

  • If the feeling is related to pain. Try taking pain medication around an hour before having sex to lessen the side effects. Trying out different positions can also help lessen pain and nausea during sex.
  • If the feeling is related to gastrointestinal issues. Try having sex at times when your symptoms are less prevalent. Different positions and abstaining from anal sex can also help.
  • If the feeling is related to stress, fear, anxiety, or trauma. Try relaxation and breathing techniques such as mindfulness and meditation. There are many different techniques, so discuss this with your mental health provider to find one that works best for you.
  • If the feeling is related to overexertion. If you want to enjoy physically demanding sex without feeling nauseous, make sure that you are adequately hydrated and stop for water breaks if needed.

Feeling nauseous after sex might be alarming, but knowing the different causes can help. Temporary causes, like vigorous sex, are usually not a cause for concern, but things like endometriosis may need a doctor's attention. Trying different things, like changing positions or talking to a healthcare professional, can make the experience more comfortable. If feeling sick after sex happens often or is severe, it's best to see a healthcare professional who can provide advice tailored to you.

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