Can too much sex make you sick

Here’s what can happen if you have more sex than your body can handle

  • Whether you’re in the honeymoon phase or you and your partner just can’t seem to leave the bedroom, you might be wondering if there’s such a thing as too much sex.
  • The good news is, as long as you’re happy and comfortable physically and emotionally, you can enjoy as much sex as you want.
  • But there certainly are uncomfortable physical situations that can arise from having too much sex — here’s what you should look out for.

Each person’s definition of a good sex life is different, and while some people are perfectly fine to rarely have sex, others prefer to have it multiple times a day.

Still, you might be wondering if it’s possible to have too much sex. Whether you’re in the honeymoon phase with a new partner, on vacation enjoying getaway sex thanks to all that extra free time, or point-blank love having a lot of sex, you might wonder how much is too much for your body and mind to handle.

The good news is, as long as both you and your partners are happy and comfortable, there’s really no such thing as too much sex

“There’s no limit to the amount of sex anyone can have, but there are physical issues that might leave you a little, shall we say, uncomfortable days later,” Diana Bitner, an OB-GYN, told Women’s Health Magazine. Even though you can have as much sex as you’re comfortable with, there are plenty of surefire signs that your body has had enough.

The first obvious sign is vaginal dryness. If things are feeling dry down below, it might be because your body has experienced too much prolonged contact or penetration. When this happens, tiny micro-tears in the vagina can occur, which can be seriously painful.

“Vaginal tears can happen with too much sex, especially if there are any other conditions such as vaginal dryness from low dose birth control pills,” Bitner said.

A lot of sex can cause a urinary tract or vaginal infection if you’re not careful

Sometimes you can get a UTI even if you’re careful. Daisy Daisy/

Sherry Ross, an OB-GYN and women’s health expert in Santa Monica, California, agreed, noting that the more sex you have in a short amount of time, the less natural moisture your body is able to produce.

“This typically causes friction and pain, which is your body’s signal to press pause,” she told Women’s Health Magazine.

Bitner added that too much sex could also cause irritation, chafing, or rashes on the external skin around the vulva, and your labia could become engorged and swollen.

Another unpleasant, possible side effect of too much sex is an increase in the risk of bladder and vaginal infections. Bodily fluids can knock your vagina’s natural pH levels out of whack, making you more susceptible to infection.

You should always use the bathroom before and after sex to help keep your vagina healthy, but too much intercourse could still cause an infection, and you might not notice until days later.

“Semen has a pH of seven, which can support unhealthy bacteria within the vagina,” Bitner said. “That combined with too much friction from sex could increase the chance of bacteria from the vagina and anus finding their way into the bladder, causing a urinary tract infection.”
According to Prevention, common signs of an infection include an increased urge to urinate with little or nothing coming out, a burning sensation while urinating, and urine that is cloudy, pink, or has blood in it, as well as unusual discharge, pain, and odors. But these symptoms don’t always appear, so check with your doctor if you’re not sure.

People with penises can experience physical symptoms as well

People with penises can also experience pain, irritation, and soreness from too much sex.

“When people ejaculate eight to 10 times over the weekend from Friday to Sunday, it’s going to cause some pain and discomfort when you go to that extreme amount,” Jonathan Schiff, assistant clinical professor of urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said to Muscle and Fitness.

But, over time your body may be able to adjust. “It’s like anything else. If you’re doing an activity steadily, your body will be able to tolerate it when you push it more,” he said.

Communication with your partner is key

Aside from the potential for unpleasant physical symptoms, there’s also the psychological aspect of having “too much sex.” Certified sex therapist Kat Van Kirk told Brides magazine, “One or more partners may feel overwhelmed by the expectation to perform sexually more than the other, and this can cause withdrawal and resentment.”

You should be regularly checking in with your partner — and yourself — to ensure that the amount of sex you’re having is what you’re both happy with.

“Using sex as a way to resolve problems in the relationship in lieu of talking about them might be a way that a couple uses sex to avoid the actual work of the relationship,” sex expert Madeleine Castellanos, told Brides. She added that while “sex is a source of pleasure and vitality and it’s natural to have a strong drive for it, if you find that you look for sex compulsively, you may be using sex as an outlet for something else.”

Though compulsive sexual behavior as a psychiatric disorder is a topic that’s hotly debated by researchers and medical experts, only you and your partner can determine if your sexual patterns are interfering with your life in a problematic way. Castellanos added that “if stuff is not getting done — like cleaning the house, going to work, or taking care of your basic needs — in order to have sex, then it’s probably too much sex.”

When it comes down to it, the choice is up to you

Do what works for you and your partner. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images How much sex you have is entirely up to you — whether that means daily, weekly, monthly, or never at all.

“When it comes to the frequency of sex, each person has their preference, which is then limited by their schedule, their sleep pattern, and of course, their partner’s availability,” Castellanos told Brides. Van Kirk noted that, “Couples will find their own ebb and flow. There will be times of more sex and times of less. The most important thing is to stay connected and communicate so that you can weather and enjoy wherever you are on the spectrum.”

Communication is the most important aspect to a healthy sex life, so be sure to check in with your partner and with yourself to ensure you’re on the same page and enjoying the amount of sexual activity that you feel comfortable with.

Sign up here to get INSIDER’s favorite stories straight to your inbox.

4 Ways Having Sex Can Make You Sick

You’ve been told since middle school health class that wearing protection is essential. But what your teachers probably didn’t tell you is, even if you do use a condom, you could still be at risk for sneaky health issues. Read on to discover four ways that sex could make you sick. We guarantee you won’t find these in an eighth grade text book.

1. Sex headaches

Source: iStock

If you’ve ever noticed your aching desire suddenly stunted by an aching head, you’re not alone. According to Everyday Health, a headache with sexual activity (HSA) is diagnosed as a headache that occurs before or during sex, at the time of orgasm, or just after sex. It could take the form of anything from a migraine to a pain in the occipital region (back of the head). According to the American Headache Society, one in 100 people suffer from headaches during or after sex, and more frequently with men than women. In rare cases, sex-related headaches could be signs of a more serious medical condition. So if these unwanted pains persist, consider seeing your doctor. But if you’re totally healthy and just need a quick fix to make sure you enjoy every minute of your time between the sheets, take Men’s Health’s advice and pop a Tylenol an hour beforehand.

2. Post-sex depression

Source: iStock

Sex is the ultimate mood-elevator, right? Then why do you find yourself feeling bummed after a good night with your special someone? If this sounds sadly familiar, you could be suffering from post-coital tristesse (PCT), or feelings of melancholy after an orgasm. An article in Vice gives a brief history of research conducted on this condition. While scientists have been searching for the underlying cause since 150 AD, it remains unclear whether the post-sex-blues are caused by chemical or psychological reasons. Until more work is done to investigate the cause of this surprising ailment, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Instead of stressing, try to focus on finding something new you like to do in bed — it could be a great way to distract from any less-than-euphoric feelings in the aftermath.

3. Semen allergy

Believe it or not, it’s possible to be allergic to your own semen. If you’ve experienced a fever, runny nose, extreme fatigue, burning eyes, and/or upset stomach after an orgasm, it’s possible you have post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS). Dutch professor of sexual pharmacology at Utrecht University, Marcel Waldinger, published two studies where he explains that men with POIS actually have an allergy to their own semen. In other words, your body identifies the proteins in your semen as unwanted invaders, and your immune system goes haywire as a result. Some doctors believe the symptoms could also be caused by an irritation to the seminal fluid, rather than a full-blown allergy. While POIS is a pretty rare condition, if you’re concerned, talk to an allergist or immunologist. They’ll give you a test and hopefully shed some light on your suspicious semen.

4. Amnesia

Source: iStock

We all strive for mind-blowing sex, but definitely not mind-erasing. In rare cases, sex can cause short-term amnesia. LiveScience reports some examples of this strange memory loss were documented in The Journal of Emergency Medicine. In these cases, patients experienced transient global amnesia, a rare condition in which memory quickly, yet temporarily, vanishes. While the condition is very rare, only affecting 3 to 5 patients a year, the causes are still very unclear. On the bright side, researchers are sure that this type of memory loss is not associated with a stroke or brain damage. So even if you suddenly don’t remember an amazing sex-sesh, don’t stress, your brain is still safe.

More from Health & Fitness Cheat Sheet:

  • 5 Things You Need to Be Successful at Life
  • 5 Fun Workouts Every Guy Needs To Try
  • 6 Things to Do Every Day to Improve Your Life

The 3 times sex can make you sick

When it comes to sex concerns, most guys worry about finishing too fast. You don’t usually fret over an orgasm-fueled headache or an allergy to your own semen — yet those are just as real, albeit rare, bedroom threats. Here’s how to handle three strange consequences of having sex.

Sex headaches

Your body is throbbing with desire, but your head is just plain throbbing. About one in 100 people suffer from headaches during or after sex, according to the American Headache Society. And guys are more likely to feel the pain than women.

(Discover 5 Other Reasons You Have a Headache.)

Some headaches gradually build as the action heats up, while others strike just before or during orgasm. One potential reason: When you have sex, you release adrenaline, which increases your blood pressure and can trigger headaches.

What to do: Book a visit to your doc, especially if your sex headaches are sudden, severe or persistent. Though most cases aren’t cause for concern, some can signal serious medical issues like strokes or aneurysms, says Mohit Khera, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., a urology professor at Baylor College of Medicine and the co-author of “Re-Coupling: A Couple’s 4-Step Guide to Greater Intimacy.”

Provided you have a clean bill of health, taking a dose of Tylenol about an hour before sex can help prevent pain, Khera says.

Post-sex depression

You should feel ecstatic after a good romp. Instead, you find yourself down in the dumps for as long as an hour post-sex, even when it was pleasurable. Experts aren’t totally sure why the depression — called post-coital dysphoria — occurs, but it affects about 10 percent of women, according to a recent study in the International Journal of Sexual Health.

Though there isn’t much research on the condition, it probably affects slightly fewer men, says licensed psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed., L.P.C., co-author of “Re-Coupling.”

What to do: Though antidepressants might help, side effects of those meds include sex problems of their own, like dampened desire and delayed ejaculation, Khera says. Instead, he usually refers patients with this problem to therapists who specialize in sexual issues.

Rapini says the underlying cause often relates to a deeper issue in your relationship with your partner, like different expectations about how much sex you’re having, or how you treat each other in public.

You can also try this strategy: Write down three sexual things you’d like to do, and ask your partner to do it, too. Then try to make at least one item from each list happen. Aligning your goals can leave you both happier and more satisfied, Rapini says.

(For more than 2,000 tips to help you have hotter sex, shrink your belly and take total control of your health, check out “The Better Man Project,” the brand-new book from the editor in chief of Men’s Health.)

Semen allergy

A fever, runny nose and upset stomach could be the flu — or they could combine for a condition called post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS). Your body essentially mislabels proteins in your own semen as foreign invaders, ramping up your immune reaction to attack them.

It’s also possible that women’s fluids can cause an allergic reaction in men, though that hasn’t been well-documented in the medical books — and it’s likely rarer than POIS. In a slightly more common phenomenon, you can have an allergy to someone else’s semen, too.

Related: The Orgasm Flu

What to do: Because symptoms can develop immediately or days later, it’s difficult to diagnose the condition, Khera says. If you suspect sex is linked to your symptoms, visit an allergist or immunologist. The same types of tests that can spot sensitivities to dog or ragweed can identify a semen allergy.

Taking anti-inflammatory medications before and after sex might calm this autoimmune reaction, according to a recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Sex can leaves us feeling many things – euphoric, confused, hungry, and even guilty (if it’s an ex that you were supposed to be avoiding – we’ve all been there).

But while post-sex emotional symptoms are pretty common, some physical symptoms aren’t.

Sure, you might feel achey or have shaky legs (TMI?), but the one symptom that you should never ignore after sex is nausea.

Getty Images

That’s right. According to gynaecologist and medical director Lauren Streicher MD, you should never have an upset tummy after intercourse.

‘It’s never normal to feel nauseous after sex,’ she explained to POPSUGAR, flagging the symptom as something to look into.

What could it mean if we do feel nauseous after sex? Luckily, Dr. Streicher broke it down.

‘Contact with your cervix during sex – or cervical stimulation – can create a vasalvagol response in which your blood pressure and pulse drop,’ she explained. ‘This can cause you to feel nauseous or even to pass out. Your cervix changes throughout your cycle, dropping lower during your period, which may make it more susceptible during penetration.’

Another reason could be an underlying condition, with Dr. Streicher explaining that ‘women with endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease may experience painful intercourse’, with other causes including cervical infections and fibroids.

If you are experiencing any type of pain during sex, you should contact your GP or gynaecologist.

Is it the Flu or an STD? 11 Signs You Need to get Tested Immediately

If you’re experiencing some bodily discomfort, don’t be so quick to chalk it up to the flu. There are a lot of flu-like symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that disguise themselves as normal body ailments. If you’re sexually active, and you’re experiencing some unfamiliar symptoms, read this list! These symptoms may seem like a normal allergy, cold, or flu symptoms, but in reality, they could be STD symptoms in disguise. So please, for your sake, if you have any of these STD symptoms, get tested immediately!

Deceptive STD Symptoms

These symptoms aren’t usually associated with STDs, but they can indicate that an STD has progressed and is now wreaking havoc on your body. Many of these symptoms are viral infections or are caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea, which are infamous for being asymptomatic (not displaying symptoms) in their early stages. Don’t wait until it’s too late; any symptom may not be as innocent as it appears.

Flu-Like Symptoms: Fatigue, Fever, Nausea, Vomiting, or Headaches

Fatigue is a symptom of a late-stage chlamydial or gonorrheal infection. It can also be caused by Hepatitis A, B, and C. When experiencing fatigue, it’s easy to chalk it up to a late night out, but it could be an indication of something much more serious.

Fevers can be caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis A, or herpes. Fevers always indicate that your body is trying to fight off an infection, but a lot of people may not know that the infection could be the result of a burgeoning STD.

Nausea and Vomiting are symptoms of syphilis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Thinking you might have just eaten something bad, or that you have the flue and your body will take care of it is a sure-fire way to continue spreading the virus, and allowing the virus to burrow deeper into your system.

Headaches can be caused by HIV, syphilis, or herpes. Headaches are easy to ignore. You simply take some ibuprofen and move on with your day. But if you have a headache and you may be at risk for an STD!

Abdomen, Lower Back, or Joint Pain

Pain in your abdomen may be a sign of a chlamydial or gonorrheal infection that has progressed. Late-stage chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the pelvis and cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). If left untreated, PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, tubo-ovarian abscess, and/or ectopic (out of the womb) pregnancy.

Pain in your lower back may be a sign of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or herpes prodrome. Herpes prodrome is a physical pain that typically means a herpes breakout is about to occur. The pain can be located in your lower back, thighs, butt knees, or feet. Herpes prodrome also indicates a time when you’re most susceptible to spreading the virus. But even though you may not be exhibiting herpes lesions, you’re still at risk of spreading the virus.

Joint Pain can mean that Hepatitis B, syphilis, or HIV have infiltrated your body and have gone untreated or may be, a symptom of gonorrhea or chlamydia. When gonorrhea or chlamydia begin to cause joint pain, it’s called Gonococcal Arthritis or Venereal Arthritis. This reactive arthritis occurs when gonorrhea or chlamydia go undetected and the bacteria infects one or multiple joints. If left untreated, this arthritis can lead to chronic joint pain, chronic joint inflammation, permanent joint damage, and/or deformity.

Swollen Lymph Nodes, Swollen Testicles, or Sore Throat

Swollen lymph nodes can be caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, or HIV.

Swollen testicles, or “orchitis,” is typically caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis. Orchitis occurs because of the spread of bacteria through the blood. It can be characterized by pain in one or both testicles, they may turn a purple or red color, they may feel heavy, and there may be blood in the semen.

A sore throat may be an indication of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, or herpes. All of these diseases may cause pharyngeal or throat infections following oral sex. A sore throat is usually seen as just a mild annoyance, but it’s nothing to be taken lightly. If you’re having trouble swallowing, or have a persistent sore throat, be aware of the dangers that might be lurking.

Eye Infection

Eye infections can be caused by STDs. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are three culprits who all cause eye infections. These infections occur either directly from the source of the STD, or from secondary exposure (having the STD on your hand and then rubbing your eye). If left untreated, these rare forms of conjunctivitis can lead to partial or permanent blindness.

Body Rash

A body rash isn’t usually thought to be associated with STDs, but both HIV and syphilis can cause rashes to appear on random parts of your body. If you notice a new rash after engaging in unprotected sex, be sure to get tested.

Diarrhea or Painful Bowel Movements

Diarrhea is never fun, and though it’s usually an indication that something’s not right, your first thought may not be that you’ve contracted an STD. HIV can give you chronic diarrhea, and chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes can produce diarrhea as well as painful bowel movements.

Common STD Symptoms

These symptoms are what you typically think of when you think of STDs. If you have any of these symptoms, especially in conjunction with any of the Deceptive Symptoms, you need to get tested today!

Discharge or Bleeding Between Periods

If you’re experiencing discharge from your penis, vagina, or anus, this could be a sign of an STD. Discharge is one of the most common symptoms of gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, and vaginal thrush.

Bleeding between periods can be a sign that you’re suffering from a late-stage chlamydia or a late-stage gonorrhea infection. If left untreated, both of them can infect the uterus causing inflammation and PID.

Basically, if anything is dripping and it shouldn’t be dripping, you need to get it checked out.

Lesions, Sores, Bumps, or Warts

If you have any lesions, sores, bumps, or warts on your genitalia, you need to be tested immediately. These are the early signs of a myriad of STDs, including syphilis, herpes, HPV, and HIV. Even if they are painless or only there for a short amount of time, don’t brush them off; sores can be the only sign of an STD in some cases!

Frequent Urination or Painful Urination

Secure and Confidential
STD testing services

The fastest results possbile – available in 1 to 2 days

Get Tested Today

Frequent and/or painful urination are signs that something’s not right. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, herpes, and UTIs can all cause frequent and/or painful urination. Don’t wait and hope for the symptoms to disappear on their own because oftentimes, they won’t.


Are you itching down there? Itching can be caused by chlamydia, genital warts (HPV), herpes, trichomoniasis, pubic lice, and gonorrhea. Putting talcum powder in your underwear will help the symptom, but it won’t cure the disease.

Painful Sex

Painful sex should be an indicator that something’s wrong. Most common STDs that cause painful sex are gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and herpes. If you’re experiencing painful sex, you need to be tested.

So, Is It The Flu or an STD?

STD symptoms aren’t always obvious. What you think might be flu-like symptoms could easily be the symptoms of an underlying STD. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to undercover STD symptoms. Keep you and your partner(s) protected and get tested if you think you have an STD.

Symptoms of HIV

Up to six weeks after getting HIV, most people experience a short one- or two-week illness called a seroconversion illness.

The most common symptoms of seroconversion are:

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • rash over the body.

Seroconversion is a sign that the immune system is reacting to the presence of the virus in the body. It’s also the point at which the body produces antibodies to HIV. Once seroconversion has happened, an HIV test will detect antibodies and give a positive result.

Seroconversion illness happens to most (but not all) people shortly after infection. It can be severe enough to put someone in hospital or so mild that it’s mistaken for something like flu – although a blocked or runny nose is not usually a symptom.

If you do have HIV, your body fluids (blood, semen and vaginal or anal secretions) are highly infectious during the early weeks and months after transmission. However, once you’re on effective treatment and your viral load becomes undetectable you cannot pass on HIV.

It can take up to six months from starting treatment to become undetectable.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *