Things That Can Happen To Your Body After Sex

by Carina Wolff

After you've just been intimate with someone, you're probably feeling pretty pleased and relaxed, and maybe your playing back in your head what just happened. However, you may not be as focused on all your bodily changes, although there are a few weird things that happen to your body after sexual activity with someone. Our bodies are quite complex, and sometimes we might have some reactions that seem strange or unrelated to what happens in bed. They might seem abnormal, but turns out, they're pretty common.

"A lot is going on," says gynecologist Dr. Angela Jones over email. "Excitement, anticipation — these alone are enough to get your senses heightened, heart rate going, and blood flow increasing to various parts of your body. Not solely due to the physicality of it all, intimacy and the act of sex itself activates your autonomic nervous, 'fight or flight' system; which is responsible for the increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and hence the sweat leading to glistening skin, and muscle exhaustion from the contraction of muscles."

With so much occurring at one time, it's no surprise your body is much more sensitive. Here are nine weird things that happen to your body after intimacy that you may not have realized.


Rug Burn


If you're feeling a little red down there, don't fear. "Pubic hair can cause 'rug burn,' says gynecologist Dr. Ronald D. Blatt over email. "Pubic hair grinding against another groin can cause skin irritation and rashes."


A Higher Risk Of A Yeast Infection


"Seminal fluid has a much higher pH (more basic) than the normal vaginal pH, which is acidic," says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine, over email. "Occasionally. that will end up increasing a woman's chance of developing a vaginal infection."


Leaking Semen


If you find that you've got some semen leaking out of you post-sex, don't panic — it's got no where else to go. "That great bulk of seminal fluid must come out," says Blatt. "The body does not absorb it, so it is normal 'to leak.'"


Funky Smell Down There


Sharing an intimate moment with someone is fun, but it can be alarming when suddenly things don't smell right. "Sex introduces the intimate regions of two people, and each are covered in their own unique bacterial flora," says gynecologist Sara Twogood, MD, FACOG over email. "The combination may end up changing the smell of the vagina, temporarily. Add semen into the mix, with its alkaline properties and unique odor, and the smell is even stronger."


"Sex Flush"


After becoming intimate with someone, you may realize your skin is a little more rosy than usual. "Many women experience a 'sex flush' during arousal," says Jonathan Schaffir, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University, over email. "Relaxation of blood vessels can cause a noticeable, red discoloration of the skin of the neck and chest that may go unnoticed with the lights off."




We deal with cramping enough during our periods, but sometimes they're a side effect of sex as well. "Oxytocin isn't all fun — it also can cause the uterus to cramp, leading to sometime severe menstrual-like cramps," says Twogood. "It's the same hormone that causes labor contractions."


Burning Or Itching


"The friction from sex can cause some micro abrasions on the skin," says Twogood. "These can burn in and of themselves, but if they are splashed with urine, it exacerbates the feeling. Itching or burning may be a sign of a reaction to lubrication, the condom, or semen, and it's usually temporary."


Light Bleeding


"The medical term for this is postcoital (after-sex) bleeding," says Twogood. Bleeding can happen for a few reasons, including the time in your cycle a benign growth in the uterus or cervix, your birth control pills, or a sexually transmitted infection. "If it happens more than once, see a gyno!" says Twogood.


Surge Of Happiness


That rush of euphoria after an intimate moment isn't just in your head. "Sexual stimulation and subsequent orgasm produces a hormone called oxytocin," says Twogood. "Oxytocin may help alleviate symptoms of depression and elevate overall mood."


Or Suddenly Feeling Down


Although sex can definitely give you a rush of positive feelings, for some people, the opposite can happen, and they might feel like they are low on energy and want to be alone. "After orgasm, dopamine levels (which controls the brains reward system) fall sharply," says Blatt. "You may feel depressed, less likely wanting to cuddle, feel fatigued, and have a lower energy level."