Pregnancy sex is already awkward. Not because of the fact that you're pregnant — that's kind of a primal, evolutionarily hot — but admit it, that belly gets in the way, sometimes your vagina borders on a water slide, and now you're cramping. It's hard not to panic and wonder, "why am I cramping during pregnancy sex?" It can feel like every time you have an orgasm, your Braxton hicks decide to rubber band your midsection just as you're hoping for a delightful post-coital snack and nap — it's the worst.
Pregnancy changes your body in some very unexpected ways. One of those ways is how your body responds to stimulus. You may have an enhanced gag reflex, your nipples may be extra sensitive, and you can smell all of the things. It comes as no surprise that something as tactile and sensitive as sex and orgasm could rock your world in more ways than one.
As it turns out, those muscles that contract and release an orgasm, specifically the muscles of the abdominals and pelvic floor, are also the same muscles that contract and release during labor contractions. According to Mayo Clinic, when you experience an orgasm, oxytocin is released, and that hormone causes those muscles to contract. The oxytocin doesn't care if it's for your orgasm or contractions, but because your body is already preparing for labor, it just keeps on contracting.
Another curious reason this happens is related to that nipple sensitivity mentioned earlier. Apparently, according to American Pregnancy Association, those nipples are really sensitive, and if you and your partner are a fan of playing with them during sex, they can also release oxytocin into the blood, which can trigger uterine contractions.
Thankfully, the March of Dimes noted that this is completely normal and not a cause for concern. Cramping during sex just happens during pregnancy, like peeing every 16 minutes and having enough gas to power a city bus. It's only a concern when it becomes painful, regular, and lasts for more than a couple of hours. Healthline suggested you lie back, drink some water, and think of England. Although, if you are concerned, even the slightest bit unsettled, call your doctor — always. Mayo Clinic noted that if the cramping lasts for more than a couple of hours, or if it is accompanied by bright red bleeding, it's also time to check in with your healthcare provider.