We often think of sex as amazing and pleasurable, but sometimes it comes with side effects that aren’t quite as positive and fun. Whether it’s soreness or a urinary-tract infection, these symptoms and conditions range from the mildly uncomfortable to the serious. Here are a few unpleasant side effects of sex:
Honeymoon cystitis (Urinary Tract Infection). So named because it commonly occurs after prolonged sexual activity on a honeymoon, this bladder infection causes symptoms such as frequent urination and burning during urination. It occurs because the act of intercourse can push bacteria into the urethra and lead to infection.
What to do: Antibiotics are needed to help treat the condition; if it is left untreated it can move further up the urinary tract and even impact the kidneys.
Soreness. Both men and women can suffer from a “sore” feeling after too much sex.
What to do: One way to help prevent soreness is to use lubrication to help decrease friction and make intercourse more pleasurable.
Painful muscles. Sex can sometimes put strain on the muscles and joints, and it can also put you in some wacky acrobatic positions that might leave you feeling sore the next day.
What to do: Try a warm bath to soothe your muscles, or try stretching after a particularly long “workout” session.
Depression. A recent study found that one-third of women report sometimes feeling depressed after sex. Known as postcoital dysphoria, it probably occurs as the brain comes down from a pleasurable high to a normal state once again.
What to do: Cuddle with your partner to help beat the blues or share a sweet treat like ice cream to help restore those positive feelings.
Fractured penis. Yes, it can happen! While a penis is a vascular organ that does not have a bone, it can break. Most men report hearing a popping noise when it happens, and others experience bruising along the shaft.
What to do: This painful situation can be avoided if you are careful not to thrust too roughly and if your partner is careful and controlled when she is on top.
Vibrator overload. Using a vibrator will not permanently decrease your genital sensation, but if you use a powerful toy for an extended period of time, you might find that you feel a little less sensitive the next day.
What to do: Take a little time-out from self-touch. Don’t worry, it doesn’t last and you will soon experience full sensation once again.
Dehydration. Sex can involve a lot of physical exertion, and you can actually feel a little woozy afterward, especially if it is a long session and you’re dehydrated.
What to do: Keep hydrated with plenty of water to avoid this symptom.
Sore breasts. If your partner is too rough with your breasts during sex, you might wake up with sore breasts or nipples the next day.
What to do: Make sure you wear a good, protective bra and go easy on breast play.
Condom discomfort. Not all condoms are created equal, and some might cause irritation or discomfort. (Not to mention, some people are allergic to latex.) The good news is that there are so many condoms on the market and you can easily find one that feels comfortable and pleasurable.
What to do: Try a variety until you find a condom that works for you, and remember to always practice safer sex.
Headaches. Some people experience headaches after sex. It could feel like a migraine and last for a little while.
What to do: This condition is usually not serious, but if it happens regularly, you should talk to your doctor about causes and treatments.