Why Does Sex Hurt After My Period? It's Not That Unusual, But Here's What You Should Know

Your body's response to sex is not a static thing. It can depend on a whole host of variables, from feeling sore after a workout, to your emotional connection with your partner, even to the stage of your menstrual cycle. The amount of pleasure — or pain — you experience during sex might feel heightened depending on how close you are to finishing your period, which is why you've probably asked yourself this question as least once: Why does sex hurt after my period?

First of all, in case you were wondering, it's completely normal for sex to feel different when you do it right after you've had your period, for a few reasons. For one thing, menstruation involves the shedding of your uterus lining, which means that the exposed tissue can be a bit tender during the first few days of exposure.

Your uterus is especially tender in the initial days following your period, which is why the sensation of having sex can feel more sensitive than normal, or even hurt a little bit. However, a little bit of pain is the most that you should expect.

There's no evidence to support that it's normal to experience any type of severe pain if you have sex immediately after your period.

And, interestingly enough, having sex while you're still on your period can actually be very enjoyable, largely due to the increased hormonal levels and lubrication (you can view that as gross, or you can just view it as a little extra help from Mother Nature herself).

On the other hand, there are a few myths around post-period sex that are totally untrue, and thus shouldn't lead to painful sex whatsoever. One common myth is the idea that your vagina will have trouble getting wet since you've been using tampons for several days, which have one task: to absorb moisture inside of your vagina. There's no proof to support this idea, so you shouldn't worry too much about that. If you're having trouble getting wet, there are plenty of other potential causes for this that you might want to consider before you blame the tampon.

What might causing dryness in the days leading up to, during, and after your period is a drop in your estrogen levels, which actually could affect the overall moisture levels of your vagina.

And that kind of dryness during sex can, of course, lead to less pleasure for you, uncomfortable friction, and even some pain as a result.

While a temporary inability to get wet right after your period isn't a huge cause for concern, one thing that you definitely should not treat as normal is any type of severe pain or cramping after sex. If you're experiencing substantial pain while having sex at any point of your menstrual cycle, it could potentially be an indication of endometriosis, which is when tissue from the uterus lining grows in other places outside your uterus. As a result, this can lead to serious sensitivity and pain in your pelvic area, which happens to be one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis that women first notice.

Of course, you shouldn't panic if you do feel pain after sex.

There are a few totally normal reasons why you could feel some cramping after sex, regardless of when you last had your period. It could be as simple as some bladder irritation, or some triggered contractions from your uterus being touched a certain way. You shouldn't freak out right away, but you definitely should stay mindful of when it happens, how long the pain lasts, and if you feel any residual symptoms throughout the day.

Sex should be an enjoyable experience for both partners, regardless of what time of the month you're having it. Remember, there are always certain — ahem — accessories that you can use to combat vaginal dryness, as well as positions to consider that might lessen the chance of cramping after.

The best thing that you can do is communicate with your partner, so that you can be better prepared in the future and guarantee it's a pleasurable experience for both of you. If you continue to feel severe pain after sex, you should speak to a medical professional to get to the heart of the matter.