My orgasms feel painful. Is something wrong with me?

Although the reasons are not always clear, some women develop painful cramps in their lower abdomen either during or after orgasms. Because your pelvic muscles contract during an orgasm, the pain could simply be from a muscle spasm. Or hormonal changes may be playing a role. Research has shown a link between the use of birth control pills that contain lower amounts of estrogen (less than 20 micrograms) and pain during orgasm. Some women begin to have pelvic pain during sex when estrogen production declines during menopause.

Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug before sex may help, and some find relief with anti-depressants. Pelvic floor physical therapy is another option. You should also see your doctor to make sure you don't have an underlying gynecological condition that's causing the pain, such as an ovarian cyst, endometriosis, or an infection.

Health‘s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and co-founder of Tula Skincare.

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