My Legs Shake After Sex. Is That Normal?

My Legs Shake After Sex. Is That Normal?

The answer to the question you’re too embarrassed to ask.

If you’ve ever wrapped up a romp in the hay with shaky legs, you’re probably wondering why. While everyone’s body responds to orgasms differently, shaking and pelvic cramping after reaching orgasm can happen to many women, says OB/GYN Jessica Williams, MD, at Coliseum Medical Center in Macon, Georgia.

To understand why you might have cramping or shaking, you first have to understand how an orgasm affects our bodies. During orgasm, you will experience myotonia, which is muscle contraction or tension that affects most of the muscles in your body. There’s a lot of tension built up around your muscles during orgasm, and when you relax those muscles after all the action, your legs might shake.

If you have pelvic cramping after you’ve orgasmed, it’s probably caused by a release of oxytocin, known as the cuddle or love hormone. Because of this hormone, you’ll have some uterine contractions and myotonia, which can cause cramping after orgasm, says Williams.

Manage the post-orgasm feeling
If you cramp or shake after the big O, a healthy dose of H20 or snacking on some potassium-rich foods can help, says Dr. Williams. “The better hydrated the muscle is, the less painful the muscle contraction will be following orgasm.” And the the same goes for potassium; appropriate potassium levels decrease myotonus and the pain that comes with muscle contraction. 

Your sex positioning may have something to do with how you feel afterwards, too. The more you clench your muscles, the worse the withdrawals are going to be. Your partner may opt to enter you from behind to help you achieve orgasm, but all that time holding yourself up may contribute to the uncomfortable feelings afterwards. “I would say avoid any position where you’re holding yourself up for a long period of time,” says Williams.

And if you’re going to sleep right away, make sure your sleep position is comfortable and that you stretch out your muscles. “Any sort of stretching routine is good for your body overall, and the more fit you are to begin with, the less of the bad effects you'll probably feel,” says Williams.

How to know if it’s serious
In general, a little shaking or pelvic cramping after sex is normal and Williams says you shouldn’t worry.

“Most people notice a sense of well-being and a sense of peace that can last anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours after orgasm,” says Williams. During this time period, you may feel the shaking or cramping sensations.

However, if you have excessive bleeding or pelvic pain that doesn’t go away within a few hours, see your doctor to rule out infections like chlamydia.

Williams says the bottom line is that everybody experiences orgasm and sex a little differently. “Know what you your normal is, and if your legs do shake, be sure to hydrate. And have fun!” 

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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