What It Means When Your Legs Shake After Having Sex

A lot of weird things can happen to your body after sex. Some people get headaches after sex, especially those prone to migraines. Some might cry from euphoric and emotional feelings that overwhelm them after spending intimate time with their partner. Some sneeze, owing to a confused reaction by their autonomic nervous system. In fact, just thinking about sex could make you sneeze too. 

The movies don't always depict these effects. They're carefully reserved for real life, when you quietly lie in bed, post-coitus, pondering why your body seems to have a mind of its own. Cue shaking legs after sex, another phenomenon that has intrigued science. Why does it happen?

Women, specifically, experience this the most often, though people of all genders can experience it. Dr. Jessica Williams, OBGYN at Coliseum Medical Center in Macon, Georgia, told Sharecare the reason why your legs shake post sex has to do with what happens to your muscles during the big O. More specifically, it has to do with your muscles contracting during sexual tension and then releasing afterward. Let's take a closer look. 

Your legs shake because your tensed muscles relax after sex

As sexologist Robert Thomas explained to Mel Magazine, sex and a corresponding orgasm don't only build tension in your vagina and pelvic region — it can also extend to other parts of your body, like the muscles in your legs. What happens to your muscles during sex and orgasm (the contraction) actually has a name — myotonia. "When you've reached an orgasm, all that built-up tension of the muscles is released," he told the outlet. This is when your legs shake. 

Typically, the leg shaking happens while you're still in bed. But experts say you could feel wobbly on your feet for some time after too. This may have more to do with having sex in certain positions, particularly ones that require you to tense your leg muscles (think squatting, etc.). Sex is a physical activity, and much like exercising, it requires exertion of your muscles. Now that you know the science behind this post-coitus mystery, how do you handle it when it happens, and are there ways to prevent it?

Stay hydrated and fit

Experts generally point toward hydrating with potassium-rich drinks, stretching before sex, avoiding certain sex positions, and being generally fit. "The better hydrated the muscle is, the less painful the muscle contraction will be following orgasm," Dr. Jessica Williams explained to Sharecare. Potassium is an electrolyte, an essential mineral that helps communication between your nerves and your muscles and aids the process of muscle contraction and release. If you're simultaneously trying to hydrate and get your dose of potassium, you can go with orange juice, tomato juice, or carrot juice. Alternatively, grab a water and reach for potassium-rich foods like bananas, oranges, leafy greens, avocados, and beans.

Steering clear of leg-intensive sex positions may also help. If you're wondering whether you can reduce muscle contraction during an orgasm, this might be challenging to do because most people tend to tense up before the big release anyway, per the experts. What you can do for post-coitus wobbly legs is stretch. Tantra teacher Jennifer Surch told Red, "To help alleviate this cramping, stand-up with your knees not locked and breathe in slow deep breaths. Hold the breath and release for twice as long as the inhale." While shaking legs after sex is nothing to be worried about and should resolve on its own soon after, if the cramps don't let up or you have pelvic pain for hours after, consult with your doctor. 

On the topic of weird experiences after sex, have you ever wondered why women's smell changes after sex?