Most people expect to feel different after the first time they have sex. You’ve probably been taught this by the various movies, books, and TV shows that you’ve seen over the course of your life–you know, the ones in which the main character loses their virginity and feels wholly changed afterward. And, of course, it’s entirely possible that you might feel different after having sex. But, honestly? You’re still you. You were a person who hadn’t had sex before and now you are a person who has had sex. That’s it.
But, oddly enough, it actually is possible for you to have changed a little after sex because, a lot of the time, the act of having sex (either the penetrative or non-penetrative kind) has a lot of physical side effects that go along with it. Basically? If you feel a change after sex, it’s not all in your head. So, check out some possible side effects of sex here and see if you’ve experienced any of them yourself:
Sense Of Smell Is HeightenedFeel like your sense of smell is suddenly, like, really good after having sex? Actually, it probably is! A study published in Biological Psychology in 2006 found that orgasming increases the body's levels of prolactin, which increases the growth of new neurons in the olfactory bulb (the part of your brain that handles smell). So, if you're ever in the mood to do some perfume testing after sex, now you know why. (It's also probably a good time to have a snack, since your sense of taste is largely influenced by smell.) Image source: Getty Images
Uterus CrampsHave you ever felt sensation similar to that of period cramps after sex? If so, you can rest assured that you definitely aren't the only one--sex releases oxytocin, a hormone that causes uterine contractions, which could lead to feeling like you have a bad stomachache after sex. This pain generally isn't anything to worry about, particularly if it only happens every once in a while. But if you find that you always feel crampy after sex, you might want to visit a doctor, since regular pain after sex could be a sign of some reproductive issues. Image source: Getty Images
You Have To, Uh, GoIf you need to go to the bathroom after sex (and not just to pee, which you should be doing after sex anyway to prevent UTIs) it could just be your guy's, uh, chemical makeup. Basically, there's a compound in semen that has been shown to induce cramping and diarrhea when it comes into contact with the vagina. This, of course, has a pretty simple solution--which is, you know, to use condoms. Which you should be using already! But, if this is your motivation to start using 'em, so be it. Image source: Getty Images
SadnessSex is something that's supposed to induce euphoria--or something close to it--for the people having it. But you may have noticed that, after sex, you feel decidedly blue, which...is not great. This is a condition called "post-coital dysphoria," which basically just means feeling sort of depressed or empty after sex. The good news is that it's pretty common (about 46 percent of women said they experience it in a study published in 2015), and it doesn't mean that you've made mistake by having sex or have a fear of being abandoned. Rather, most scientists just attribute it to the fact that feel-good hormones, which are released during sex, stop afterwards. Image source: Getty Images
Breasts SwellAccording to a few studies that have been done on sexual arousal, most women's breasts get bigger during sex. Like, 20 to 25 percent bigger. Your areolas (aka the ring of pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple) can swell, too, which can make your boobs look totally different than they normally might. Of course, they go back to their normal state after sex, but if you've always wanted your boobs to be a little larger, you can rest assured knowing that it happens during sex. Image source: Getty Images
Vagina ExpandsJust as your boobs swell, your vagina also expands when you're aroused. This is because blood flows to the genital area when you're aroused, and this sexual excitement causes the upper two-thirds of the vagina to lengthen. (And, just in case you were wondering, no--it's not permanent. Your vagina goes back to its normal state after sex.) Image source: Getty Images
You Feel Less AnxiousSome good news! Numerous studies have shown that sex can reduce stress and anxiety, since it releases a bunch of feel-good hormones and increases cell growth in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that helps regulate stress. So. If you're feeling a little stressed, know that sex (consensual, agreed-upon, healthy sex) could help you out a lot. Image source: Getty Images
Were you surprised by these things? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!
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