Despite the fact that nearly one in 10 women experience pain during sexual intercourse, the topic remains taboo. Although the types of pain run the gamut, many women deal with uncomfortable cramping and stomach pain after sex.

Yvonne Bohn, an OBGYN who works with Cystex, told HelloGiggles that stomach pain usually occurs for two reasons. If a woman experiences an orgasm, it’s fabulous in the moment — but uterine contractions occur during orgasm, which can lead to stomach pain. The other reason is that, when a woman is ovulating, “deep penetration can cause pain if there’s fluid in the pelvis due to the release of the egg,” Bohn explained.

Another source of the pain can be a woman’s reaction to sperm.

“Sperm is an irritant to the uterus and the uterus will react when in contact with sperm. As such, the uterus will contract and this contraction may manifest as cramping and pain in the stomach,” Tami Prince, M.D., an OB-GYN who works as a Medical Director with U.S. HealthWorks, told HelloGiggles.

Prince explained that sperm and bacteria enter the urethra during intercourse, which can lead to irritation and pain in the stomach and pelvic regions.

Typically the pain and cramping will go away on their own. But if the pain is severe and persistent, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your OB-GYN. Sex is meant to be pleasurable for both partners, and it’s hard to enjoy the pleasure of intercourse when you’re anticipating severe pain in the aftermath.