Nausea During Sexual Arousal – What Causes This Symptom and How to Manage It

Nausea during sex can be uncomfortable, but it’s typically temporary and doesn’t indicate an underlying medical issue. Experts share what causes this symptom and how to manage it.

Several physical factors can lead to nausea during arousal, including motion sickness caused by rocking and moving of the body, says Chelsie Reed, a mental health counselor and author of Sexpert. A bad meal before sex and some medications can also trigger nausea in some people.

Causes

During orgasm, the body releases happy hormones that make you feel good. But sometimes those same hormones can cause you to feel sick too, as evidenced by a study published in Translational Andrology and Urology. The research indicates that nausea during arousal is a normal part of the experience for some people, and it can be triggered by various things, such as anxiety or an underlying medical issue.

Some of the reasons for feeling queasy during arousal include motion sickness (from the rocking of your body during sexual activity), eating too much beforehand, dehydration, and certain medications. Hormonal changes, such as those during pregnancy or menstruation, can also lead to discomfort. If nausea persists, you should see a healthcare professional to determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.

If the nausea is caused by a physical condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or irritable bowel syndrome, treating the condition may help alleviate symptoms. Medications can also be helpful, such as antinausea drugs. If the symptom is due to emotional distress or anxiety, a therapist or mental health professional may be able to help you address the root cause of your discomfort. Practicing relaxation techniques, avoiding positions or environments that trigger motion sickness, and drinking plenty of water can all help to reduce your feelings of nausea during arousal.

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Symptoms

Feeling nauseous after orgasm is a pretty common symptom and it may have a number of causes. Often times, this symptom is caused by certain medications being taken or by an underlying medical condition. If the nausea is due to a medication, you can discuss this with your healthcare provider to see if there are any changes that could be made.

For example, nausea is a side effect of some birth control medications. In some cases, it can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or vertigo. In these cases, your healthcare provider can prescribe different medications or suggest therapy or relaxation techniques to manage your symptoms.

Vigorous sex or positions that allow for deeper penetration can also cause feelings of nausea. This is because deep penetration stimulates the vagus nerve, which can lower your heart rate and lead to feelings of nausea. In these cases, drinking water and lying down may help to relieve the sensation.

Nausea during arousal is not dangerous and it typically doesn’t indicate a serious medical condition. However, if the sensation is severe or persistent, you should speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. If you are unsure whether or not this symptom is related to sexual activity, it is important that you talk with your partner about how the activity may be impacting each of your physical and emotional well-being.

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Treatment

Nausea during sex is not uncommon, and usually doesn’t signal a serious medical condition. However, if the nausea is persistent or severe, it may be necessary to speak with a healthcare provider to determine an underlying cause. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medication, or other therapeutic methods.

One of the most common causes of sexual arousal-related nausea is motion sickness. This can occur due to the rocking and moving of the body during sex, which can make some people feel queasy, much like motion sickness in boats or cars. Nausea can also be caused by overeating, or if a person is taking certain medications, such as antidepressants or pain relievers, that have been known to cause nausea as a side effect. Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy or menstruation, can also trigger feelings of nausea.

Psychological factors can also play a role in the development of sexual arousal-related nausea, particularly anxiety or stress. If a person is fearful of intimacy or has experienced sexual trauma in the past, this can trigger the fight-or-flight response, which can lead to nausea and other physical symptoms. If this is the case, it might be helpful to seek a therapist or counselor to help with the anxiety or traumatic experiences that are causing the discomfort. They can teach coping strategies that can be used during sex to reduce the symptoms of nausea.

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Prevention

Many people who experience nausea during sex feel better with self-care and some simple lifestyle changes. This includes avoiding heavy meals before sexual activity, practicing relaxation techniques, and limiting exposure to triggers. It also includes staying hydrated, since dehydration can worsen nausea symptoms. Medications that cause stomach discomfort, such as antidepressants and some pain relievers, should be reviewed by a physician to ensure they are safe for use during sexual activity.

Psychological factors can also lead to nausea during and after sex. Nausea can occur due to performance anxiety, particularly in those who are new to sexual experiences or who have had negative past experiences. In these cases, a therapist can help develop coping mechanisms to avoid these triggering situations. Nausea can also be caused by emotional distress, such as a fear of contracting an STD. This can be prevented by having regular STD screenings with a healthcare provider and being open about any concerns.

For women, nausea can sometimes be a result of deep penetration during intercourse, which can trigger a vasovagal syncope response. This causes a drop in heart rate, which can cause dizziness and nausea. Women who feel this sensation should ask their partners to lessen the depth of their penetration. In addition, a gynecologist can perform a pelvic exam to check for any underlying conditions that could be contributing to the nausea.

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