My Legs Shake After Sex. Is That Normal?

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

legs, feet, sticking out from covers, bed

Medically reviewed in February 2021

Updated on March 17, 2022

If you’ve ever finished a roll in the hay with shaky legs, you’re probably wondering why. Shaking and pelvic cramping after reaching orgasm happens to many women, according to Jessica Williams, MD, an OBGYN with Coliseum Medical Center in Macon, Georgia.

To understand why, you first have to understand how an orgasm affects your body. During orgasm, you will experience myotonia, which is muscle contraction or tension through much of your body. When you relax those muscles at last, your legs might shake.

As for the pelvic cramping, it may be caused by a release of oxytocin, also known as the cuddle or love hormone. Because of this hormone, you may have some uterine contractions and myotonia, which can affect muscles after orgasm, says Dr. Williams.

Manage the post-orgasm feeling
If you often cramp or shake after orgasm, a big glass of water or snacking on some potassium-rich foods could help, Williams says: “The better hydrated the muscle is, the less painful the muscle contraction will be following orgasm.” And the same goes for potassium. Appropriate potassium levels decrease myotonia and the pain that comes with muscle contraction. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, avocados, dried fruit, and beans.

Your position during sex may have something to do with how you feel afterwards, too. Positions that require you to clench your muscles more could magnify the shaking afterward. “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, according to Williams, a little shaking or pelvic cramping after sex is normal and 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.

If you have excessive bleeding or pelvic pain that doesn’t go away within a few hours, however, see a healthcare provider to rule out infections like chlamydia.

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

Article sources open article sources

Meston CM, Levin RJ, Sipski ML, Hull EM, Heiman JR. Women's orgasm. Annu Rev Sex Res. 2004;15:173-257.
Blaicher W, Gruber D, Bieglmayer C, Blaicher AM, Knogler W, Huber JC. The role of oxytocin in relation to female sexual arousal. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1999;47(2):125-126.
Mayo Clinic. Stretching: Focus on flexibility. February 12, 2022.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Nutrition Source. Potassium. Accessed March 18, 2022.

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