Is Cramping After Orgasm Normal During Pregnancy?

It might feel strange—and alarming—to cramp after an orgasm while pregnant, but rest assured that it’s completely normal.
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By Dani Wolfe, Contributing Writer
Updated May 8, 2024
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If you’ve experienced cramps after orgasm during pregnancy, you’re far from alone. It’s a weird feeling and enough to worry many expecting moms. But thankfully, it’s perfectly normal to have cramping after orgasm while pregnant—whether it’s after sex or masturbating.

Read on for why orgasming during pregnancy can cause cramps, what to do about it and when to contact your doctor.

Can You Orgasm While Pregnant?

Orgasming while pregnant is perfectly safe in a normal, low-risk pregnancy, and won’t increase the risk of miscarriage or premature labor, or hurt baby, says Lauren Demosthenes, MD, an ob-gyn and senior medical director with Babyscripts, the leading virtual care platform for managing obstetrics.

On the other hand, in high-risk pregnancies with complications like episodes of premature labor, cervical insufficiency and placenta previa, orgasming can cause issues, Demosthenes says. In these cases, it’s a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider.

Is Cramping After Orgasm Normal During Pregnancy?

Cramps after orgasm in pregnancy are completely normal as long as the cramps are short-lived and mild, says Monte Swarup, MD, FACOG, an ob-gyn in Chandler, Arizona, and the founder of HPV Hub. If they’re more intense, make sure to check in with your healthcare provider. Adds Demosthenes: “There’s no need to be fearful of the cramps or to treat them. They’ll go away on their own.”

What Causes Cramps After Orgasm in Pregnancy?

The main cause of cramps after orgasm during pregnancy is the release of oxytocin, aka the love hormone, says Julia Dickinson, RN, CNM, a certified nurse midwife and director of midwifery at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Oxytocin stimulates the muscles of your uterus to contract, according to research. “During an orgasm the uterus contracts, so feeling cramping after is normal,” says Demosthenes.

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Another potential culprit if you’re cramping after sex while pregnant? Semen. Swarup says that prostaglandins in semen can also trigger uterine cramps.

What Can You Do About Cramps After Orgasm?

Thankfully, cramps after orgasm generally go away on their own within a few minutes. “It may be helpful to go to the bathroom, change positions and drink some water,” says Dickinson.

If your cramps are getting too uncomfortable, try taking a warm bath or shower, advises Swarup. The heat can provide some extra relief.

When Should You Contact Your Doctor?

In rare cases, intense cramping after orgasm can be a sign of something more serious. “If an orgasm leads to persistent cramps or contractions, or if heavy bleeding occurs, you would want to call your healthcare team,” says Demosthenes. In general, you should reach out to your doctor if your cramps are intense and don’t improve for over an hour, adds Swarup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cramps after orgasm a sign of pregnancy or your period?

Orgasms can cause cramping even if you’re not pregnant, says Dickinson. “That cramping may be more intense around the time of your period,” she says. However, experts don’t consider cramping after orgasm a telltale sign of pregnancy or your period—just a symptom that can accompany both. “Cramps after orgasm can feel like period cramps, but are usually caused by increased blood flow,” adds Swarup.

Can cramps or contractions after orgasm cause preterm labor?

In normal, low-risk pregnancies, it’s very rare that cramps after orgasm will cause preterm labor. “There have been several large studies that haven’t shown having sex increases a pregnant person's risk for preterm labor,” Dickinson says. If you have certain complications, such as placenta previa, your doctor might advise against having sex during pregnancy, she adds.

Can cramps or contractions after orgasm induce labor late in pregnancy?

Research shows that cramps or contractions after orgasm won’t induce spontaneous labor. “There’s generally no harm in trying as long as the pregnant person feels comfortable, but so far there’s no strong evidence to prove it will put a person into labor,” Dickinson says.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


Lauren Demosthenes, MD, is an ob-gyn and senior medical director with Babyscripts, the leading virtual care platform for managing obstetrics. She received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Julia Dickinson, RN, CNM, is a certified nurse midwife and director of midwifery at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received her degree at Yale University School of Nursing and has since then delivered more than 500 babies.

Monte Swarup, MD, FACOG, is a board-certified ob-gyn in Chandler, Arizona, and the founder of HPV Hub, a leading HPV information site. He’s a recognized national expert for in-office procedures with anesthesia and has taught hundreds of providers across the US. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Harvard Health Publishing, Oxytocin: The Love Hormone, June 2023

The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Sexual Intercourse for Induction of Spontaneous Onset of Labor: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, November 2019

Learn how we ensure the accuracy of our content through our editorial and medical review process.

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