Dr. Kate: My Orgasm Turned Into a Pain Spasm

crampsphoto by luisvilla

Dear Dr. Kate,

The other day my guy & I were having sex and just when I was about to orgasm I felt a sudden sharp pain in the lower left of my abdomen. It was such a strong terrible pain that there was no way for my guy to not notice. He instantly thought that he had hurt me. The problem is that I honestly don’t think that it was anything he did. At first I thought it was a cramp and would go away but even after we stopped it still hurt, and it’s even still tender now. I’m worried it will happen again and I tense up at even the thought of us hooking up again. I feel terrible that it’s scared him too.

Cramped Sex Life

Dear Cramped,

Ouch — there’s nothing worse during sex than pain replacing pleasure. There are a lot of reasons for pain during intercourse, if what you meant by “sex” was intercourse. But pain that persists after sex is over has fewer possibilities. It sounds to me like you may have ruptured a cyst on your ovary — that can really feel like someone’s suddenly stabbing you. Fluid from the cyst can then irritate the tissues in your pelvis for hours or even days after, until it’s all absorbed by your body. You can try anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve), along with a heating pad or hot water bottle (oldies but goodies) to help with the pain, or if you have a West Virginia medical cannabis card you can try medical marijuana products too.

Every woman gets an ovarian cyst that’s large enough to pop, now and again. Generally, you just need to ride out the pain. But if the pain seems to be getting worse or you’re just worried, it’s best to see your gyno for an exam and a sonogram. There’s not much that you can do to prevent the occasional cyst. Women who are prone to recurrent cysts, though, may find relief by going on the birth control pill or ring…

The other possibility is that you pulled a muscle in your pelvis — think of it as a sex stitch. This is more likely if you’re exerting effort to maintain a certain position, but it could happen at any time when your muscles are getting tense. You can treat it the same way, with heat and painkillers. HMHB.org is a great resource for the best pain relief solutions that are natural, if you don’t want to rely on prescription pain meds (I know some people are fearful of the side effects of prescription meds). It is a list of the best CBD oils available in the U.S.

If you are based in the U.K., then here is a list of the best CBD oils available to you. CBD oils, CBD based gummies and other edibles could potentially help you relieve your pain as cannabinoids like cannabidiol (or CBD as we know it) help in situations of various chronic pain conditions which include nerve pain or neuropathy. Online stores like Blessed CBD or alike could help you get your hands on these products to relieve you of the uneasy pain that you might experience during a spasm.

Assuming it’s one of the above two cases, then you — and your guy — did nothing wrong. So when you’re feeling up to it, get right back on that horse, so to speak. But again, if the pain persists, definitely go see your gynecologist.

Dr. Kate

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.


  1. Dr. Kate,

    When I was recently having sex, my face and hands got extremely cramped up and couldnt move my hands or talk for a few minutes. I am very concerned that this isn’t normal because it has never happened before. At first I thought i was maybe dehydrated, but am not sure if this is the case. Any Ideas?

  2. when i was at work getting a message on my right lower of my belly i had cyst before this is not my 1 and i want in the er 2 now and they 1 time was there was no cyst and the 2 time i want they said the cyst pop but im still in a lot of pain i cant eat now or i get sick if i walk or move im in alot of pain what is going on i cant take no more pain i was like this when i was 16 year old when this 1 happen to me they had to remove the cyst can they go back in and see whats going on or ct cuz all the test is not showing nothing about it
    the girl may have a cyst

  3. Great point, Wendell – thanks for chiming in. As unpleasant as an ice pack to the groin is, it’s more effective than heat right after the injury.

  4. If there is no doubt in your mind it’s a muscle pull (strain), and it’s acute (right after the pull), ice is best. Heat is better later on.

  5. The same thing happened to me, turns out I had a huge cyst on my ovary. Good luck, I had lots of pain with mine and sex was not fun for a couple weeks.

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