Post coital bleeding pregnancy: The request could not be satisfied
Should You Panic? by Kidadl
Bleeding after intercourse when you’re pregnant can be common, and it’s sometimes difficult to know whether it’s something to call the doctor about or just a standard pregnancy experience.
There are different factors that determine whether a bleeding episode is actually an issue. These factors include the amount of blood and heaviness of the flow, whether you’ve been experiencing any other symptoms, when the bleeding occurs during your pregnancy, and what your doctor has to say about it. This post will go over some of these factors and help you figure out if you need to worry about the blood or not.
Please remember if you are ever concerned about any changes to your body during pregnancy, the best thing to do is always to contact your doctor.
If you’re looking for more info on pregnancy, take a look at our piece on whether implantation bleeding can be heavy, or why you should hire a postpartum doula.
Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?
The short answer is yes. It’s possible for sex while you are pregnant to be perfectly safe. There are even positions that allow you to feel more comfortable as your body changes.
If a penis or penetrative toy enters the vagina, it will not go past the vagina, and the baby will not be able to tell what’s happening, so there is nothing to worry about if your pregnancy is healthy and normal. For the majority of pregnancies that are without complications, sex is safe and will not cause you to have a miscarriage or harm the baby in any way, and it will not induce early labor.
You might notice that your sex drive changes while you are pregnant, and that is completely normal. Everyone has a different experience, and it’s important to speak to your partner about sex during pregnancy about what’s going on. Some people find that they want to have a lot more sex during pregnancy, and others barely want to have sex at all.
If you have sex in the third trimester, you might experience mild contractions that are called Braxton Hicks contractions. You will feel your womb muscles become hard, which can be uncomfortable but is completely normal at this stage. You will just need to wait for the contractions to pass, or try some relaxation techniques to ease the pain.
If you experience bleeding that is heavy while you are pregnant, your doctor or nurse might advise you not to have sex during pregnancy. If your placenta is low or you have placenta previa, then it is usually far safer to avoid intercourse completely, but you can rest assured that your doctor will give you clear instructions on what’s best to keep your baby safe.
It is also not safe to have intercourse if you are experiencing any medical problems with your cervix, as sex, in this case, could encourage early labor or miscarriage. If you’ve experienced early labor in a previous pregnancy or you are having twins, then you might also be advised not to have sex, as it could be unsafe, but again, your doctor will let you know the best practice in your specific situation.
Is Bleeding After Sex While Pregnant Normal?
Most of the time, sex during your first, second, or third trimester is completely safe and normal. You might notice some bleeding or spotting after you have sex, but this doesn’t mean you need to worry, around 15-25 % of women do experience some spotting or bleeding.
While you are pregnant, your uterus changes a lot, and painless pinkish, light red, or brown light spotting after you have sex is common, especially in the first trimester. Your cervix will become more sensitive, so it can be easily bruised by deeper penetration, which can cause you to bleed.
Vaginal bleeding or spotting is most common to experience in early pregnancy, and it’s usually light and brief. This can often be caused by implantation bleeding, which is when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, causing light spotting that usually lasts about two to five days. It’s a natural part of the first trimester, and although some women bleed so lightly that they don’t even notice it, as long as it is light and does not go on for longer than a few days, it is nothing to worry about.
In the third trimester of pregnancy, some women experience bleeding after sex due to cervical ectropion, when the soft internal cells of your cervix move to the outside, causing light bleeding, which often is not serious and does not need to be treated.
If you are noticing blood after sex and feel pain in your cervix, this could be caused by vaginal lacerations or cuts. Especially if you have rough intercourse or used toys, you could have created a tear in the vaginal wall, which will bleed.
If you are bleeding after sex, and also experiencing pain during sex and itching, then the bleeding could be caused by cervicitis, which is an inflammation of the cervix.
In the later stages of your pregnancy, you might also experience bleeding as a sign of the beginning of labor, which is called a bloody show and looks like mucus with blood in. It can occur a few days before labor begins.
When Should I Worry?
Some kinds of bleeding are totally normal, and will not cause any harm to your baby. However, it is best to get checked out by a medical professional if the bleeding is heavy, or if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, to be safe.
There are four main distinctions in the type of bleeding you can have during pregnancy, ranging from light spotting to heavy bright red bleeding. The type of bleeding should give you an idea of whether you need to seek medical help.
Spotting Or Traces Of Blood: This is similar to the usual blood that signals that your period is about to show up. This spotting will be different from a true period since there won’t be any blood clots or less flow. However, there are always exceptions, so if spotting continues for 10 days or if you have continuous heavy bleeding with clotting, consult your gynecologist immediately.
Light Bleeding: This is similar to spotting, but a bit heavier. In this case, it can last for up to five days. If you feel this is excessive bleeding or if the flow becomes heavy, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Heavy Bleeding: Should you have a heavy blood flow of bright red blood with or without the presence of blood clots, that does not subside in a few hours’ time, consult your doctor immediately.
Light Bleeding With Clots: In this case, the red blood discharged from the vagina will have a brownish coloration and will have little lumps inside it. You should consult your doctor immediately if this type of bleeding occurs.
If your vaginal bleeding is still happening during pregnancy, make sure that you are not passing clots of blood (as blood clots can cause miscarriage). These can be passed by you vaginally or through sexual intercourse and they may not show up on a normal pregnancy blood test. You should feel for any blood clots as soon as possible after sex to determine their type and origin.
Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy doesn’t always mean you’re going to miscarry; however, if the amount of bleeding is excessive or if your practitioner is worried enough about it to request an emergency ultrasound, they would probably want you to visit them right away.
If you are having any sort of irregular bleeding after sex during pregnancy, then it is best to contact your doctor or midwife as this could be a sign of an infection. This way you’ll know the cause of your problem and have access to some kind of treatment that will help alleviate it.
A small amount of bleeding during pregnancy is normal, and there’s no need to worry if you have minimal bleeding each month. The main reason for concern would be a heavy flow that lasts more than five days. This can indicate an underlying condition, so even if you’re not sure what to do, call your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
Experiencing heavy or prolonged bleeding after sex while pregnant can sometimes be a sign of a more serious medical condition, so it is important to get support and guidance from your health professional so that you can stay as safe as possible.
Heavy bleeding may be caused by placenta previa, which is a life-threatening hemorrhage that is more common in the second and third trimesters. It isn’t caused by sex, but bleeding can be caused by intercourse. If you are experiencing pain and heavy bleeding, you should go to the emergency room as soon as possible.
Bleeding after sex could also be caused by placental abruption, which is when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall and can be dangerous for both mother and baby. You will experience lower back pain alongside bleeding, and again, should go to the emergency room immediately if you are worried about it.
Although heavy bleeding after sex while pregnant does not always mean you are having a miscarriage, it could be a risk. If your bleeding is heavy it is important to contact your health emergency room immediately as your pregnancy could be at risk of ending prematurely.
If you found this article helpful, then why not take a look at our guide to stomach bugs during pregnancy, or experiencing a plus-size pregnancy?
What You Need to Know
Why Am I Bleeding After Sex?
You’ve just finished having sex with your partner, when you look down and see blood on the sheets. You don’t have your period and aren’t supposed to get it anytime soon, so what gives?
While vaginal bleeding after sex can be scary, it’s also fairly common. It affects up to 9% of menstruating women. There’s probably no cause for concern. But it can also result from an infection. In rare cases, it’s a sign of cervical cancer.
Causes of Bleeding After Sex
The most common causes for vaginal bleeding after sex both start in the cervix, which is the narrow, tube-like end of your uterus that opens into the vagina.
One of those causes is cervical inflammation, or cervicitis. It can be ongoing and totally harmless, or it can happen because of a sexually transmitted infection that you need to get treated, like chlamydia or gonorrhea. Both types of cervical inflammation can cause bleeding after sex.
A second common reason for bleeding after sex are cervical polyps. These growths are usually small — about 1 to 2 centimeters. They often appear on your cervix where it connects to the vagina. Most aren’t cancerous. Your doctor can remove them during an appointment.
Other causes of vaginal bleeding after sex include:
- Friction during sex or not enough lubrication
- Normal uterine bleeding if you’re just beginning your period or if it’s just ended
- A cervical or vaginal infection
- Genital sores caused by herpes or another condition
- A precancerous cervical spot
- Cervical ectropion (when the inner lining of the cervix pokes through the cervical opening and grows on the vaginal side of the cervix)
- Pelvic organ prolapse (when pelvic organs, like the bladder or uterus, jut beyond the vaginal walls)
- Cancer of the cervix, vagina, or uterus
Dryness caused by these things can also lead to vaginal bleeding:
While many of these causes don’t need treatment and are harmless, sometimes vaginal bleeding after sex can be a sign of a more serious problem.
Risk Factors for Bleeding After Sex
You may have a higher chance of bleeding after sex if you:
- Have cancer of the cervix, vagina, or uterus
- Are going through menopause or perimenopause (the transition to menopause)
- Had a baby not long ago or are breastfeeding
- Aren’t fully aroused before vaginal penetration
- Use douche products a lot
- Have an infected cervix
- Have a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection
Is Bleeding After Sex Serious?
If you have some minor bleeding every once in a while, chances are everything is fine. But the only way to know for sure is to see your doctor for a physical exam.
If the bleeding happens right before you get your period or within a few days after it ends and it doesn’t happen again, you can hold off on making that appointment. You can also probably hold off if you recently had a pelvic exam and Pap smear and got a clean bill of health. In all other cases — or if you’re just worried — it’s best to get checked out to rule out infection or anything more serious.
Bleeding After Sex and Menopause
If you’re postmenopausal, any bleeding after sex isn’t normal. See your doctor to rule out cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, and other issues.
Bleeding After Sex and Pregnancy
Vaginal bleeding after sex can be scary if you’re pregnant, but it probably isn’t a cause for concern. Your cervix may bleed more easily during pregnancy because extra blood vessels are developing in the area.
Bleeding After Sex Diagnosis
Your doctor’s first step will probably be to ask you some questions to see if there’s an obvious cause for the bleeding, like breakthrough bleeding after you just start to take a birth control pill.
They’ll also want to know if you’re having pain during sex, which can be a sign of dryness or infection, depending on when it happens.
The doctor will give you a pelvic exam and look for any source of the bleeding, like vaginal tears or lesions, signs of pelvic organ prolapse, cervical polyps, or inflammation. If you have polyps, they might be able to remove them in the office and send them to a lab for testing. Or you might need a later appointment to have them surgically removed. You could also get a:
During a Pap test, the doctor can swab your cervix to test for sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can cause bleeding after sex and are treated with antibiotics. The Pap test also detects any sign of abnormal, precancerous growths or cancer cells.
If the Pap test reveals any problems with your cervix at the time of your exam, you’ll probably get a colposcopy. It starts out like a Pap test but takes a bit longer. The doctor will use a special magnifying device called a colposcope to get a closer look at the cervix. If they see anything suspicious, they can take a small sample of tissue for testing.
If bleeding after sex is an ongoing thing, the doctor may recommend a colposcopy even if your Pap test results are normal, to get a better look at your cervix.
If you’re postmenopausal, the doctor might do a transvaginal ultrasound to get a closer look at your pelvic organs. They might also do an endometrial biopsy to check for abnormal cells in the endometrial tissue that lines your uterus.
Treatment for Bleeding After Sex
Since there’s no one cause of bleeding after sex, there’s no single treatment. Some options include:
Can Bleeding After Sex Stop on Its Own?
It might. A recent study found that just over half of women who had bleeding after sex reported that it cleared up on its own within 2 years.
Preventing Bleeding After Sex
You can make some lifestyle changes to lower your risk of bleeding after sex:
- Use a lubricant before and during sex
- Wait a bit longer after your period ends to start having sex again.
- Have your doctor remove any cervical polyps or treat cervical infections.
- Have more foreplay before penetration
- Try less aggressive sex
What causes a woman to bleed after sex?
There are many reasons why a woman may bleed after sex. The medical name for this is “postcoital bleeding”.
If you’re concerned because you experience vaginal bleeding after sex, seek advice from your GP or a sexual health clinic (genitourinary or GUM clinic). They will ask about your medical history and assess your symptoms. They can then advise you if any treatment is needed.
Causes of bleeding after sex
Bleeding after sex can be a sign of a health condition:
- an infection, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia
- vaginal dryness (atrophic vaginitis) caused by reduced vaginal secretions after the menopause
- damage to the vagina, such as tears caused by childbirth, or by dryness or friction during sex
- cervical or endometrial polyps (benign or non-cancerous growths in the womb or the lining of the cervix)
- cervical ectropion (also known as cervical erosion), where there is an inflamed area on the surface of the cervix
In rare instances, bleeding after sex can be a sign of cervical or vaginal cancer.
Tests and examinations
Depending on any other symptoms and your medical history, your GP may recommend some tests or examinations, such as:
- a pregnancy test (depending on your age)
- a pelvic examination (where the GP inserts two fingers into your vagina to feel for anything unusual)
- looking at the cervix with an instrument called a speculum
If the problem is caused by vaginal dryness, they may recommend that you try using lubricating gels.
You may also be referred to a specialist, such as a gynaecologist or genitourinary specialist.
Cervical screening tests
It’s important that all women aged 25 to 64 get regular cervical screening tests to help prevent cervical cancer. Read more information about cervical screening tests.
Read the answers to more questions about sexual health.
Page last reviewed: 27 March 2018
Next review due: 27 March 2021
Light spotting after sex | A Dr shares 10 reasons you might bleed
Noticing light spotting after sex can feel scary – and often our minds jump to the very worst case scenario, such as the bleeding being a sign of a gynaecological cancer. While it’s important to book in with your GP to have it checked out, it’s also highly unlikely to be caused by something sinister, says Dr Pixie McKenna, GP at The London Clinic. “It can be seen as an embarrassing symptom, meaning people will often put off going to the doctor about it, but we’re not bothered, so you shouldn’t be either. We’re not there to stand in judgment.”
Spotting following intercourse can be caused by a myriad of reasons, she explains – all of which are detailed below – and Dr McKenna also wants to advise that an examination is likely to be necessary. “If you go and see a GP or another healthcare professional about post-coital bleeding, anticipate that you’re going to have an examination.” While these sort of check-ups aren’t something any of us relish, (much like smear tests) they’re incredibly important and will be over in minutes (if you’re nervous, it can help to let your doctor know beforehand, as they may be able to offer extra support).
Is it normal to experience light spotting after sex?
According to gynaecological cancers charity, The Eve Appeal, bleeding and light spotting after sex is more common than you might think if you’re pre-menopausal. “Most of the time it isn’t something to worry about,” they say. “But do still note it down if it’s something you experience, as well as whether or not you experience any pain – it’s always worth investigating.”
The NHS website refers to bleeding after sex as “postcoital bleeding” and also say that you can visit a sexual health clinic (or GUM clinic) for advice. They add that “in rare instances, bleeding and light spotting after sex can be a sign of cervical or vaginal cancer”, and that you may also need to take a pregnancy test when you visit a healthcare professional to discuss it.
What causes light spotting and bleeding after sex?
“Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are certainly a very common thing to consider if you’ve bled after sex, even if you haven’t had any other symptoms, like discharge, pain or change in your urination,” says Dr McKenna. “A lot of [women and people with vaginas] who’ve had an unprotected sexual encounter will look for the morning after pill but, in the absence of symptoms, may not go any further in terms of checking themselves for STIs. ” It’s important to detect if you have an STI, particularly chlamydia, as it can have long-term consequences, such as ultimately leading to infertility.
“Even if you last had unprotected sex months ago, but you’ve only just started post-coital bleeding, don’t rule out an STI, adds Dr McKenna. “The length of time after contracting an STI that you’d bleed very much depends on the person, so the fact that you might have started bleeding now and you only had sex two months ago is irrelevant.” The majority of STIs can be cured quickly and easily through medicine, and can be checked for via swabbing or a quick blood test.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
This usually occurs as a long-term result of an undetected STI, and can also lead to bleeding or light spotting after sex, or even sometimes during. “It can be down to a number of infections, one of which is chlamydia, but it can also be gonorrhoea, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, or anything really,” says Dr McKenna, who notes that on rare occasions Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can also be caused by infections that haven’t been transferred sexually. Look out for other symptoms such as a niggly, low-grade pelvic pain, discharge, as well as urinary issues if you think you might have PID. “I’ve had patients in the past who thought they were experiencing recurring cystitis, when actually they had a sexually transmitted infection that took a while to diagnose.”
Vaginal dryness could be another potential cause of bleeding after sex, as not being fully lubricated down there (sometimes diving straight into penetration doesn’t allow enough time to get wet) can lead to vaginal tearing. Menopause can also trigger dryness, but that’s unlikely to be the cause for a younger woman, explains Dr McKenna, adding that having lower levels of oestrogen can also be a factor. “Women with low oestrogen may not be having regular periods or they may have a very low body mass index,” she says. “Anyone who has a skin condition around their vagina which make the skin more likely to bleed, such as psoriasis, could also consider that a possible cause. ” She advises using a water-based lubricant to ease any vaginal dryness. “Keep the lube as boring and as basic as possible. Go for the most straight forward option.”
“Pregnancy can cause bleeding,” says Dr McKenna, advising a pregnancy test if you’re concerned. She does, however, note that it’s probably worth exploring other options – STIs and other cervical issues – alongside this unless you’re expecting to be pregnant. If you’re already aware that you’re expecting, bleeding during pregnancy could be worrying, but a visit to your GP should hopefully alleviate any concerns. It certainly isn’t always cause for concern (but it’s best to double check).
It makes sense that sex, when it’s a little more on the vigorous side, could cause friction and therefore enough trauma to potentially make you bleed, says Dr McKenna, adding that “sex with a new partner, different positions or something you’re not particularly used to” can also have the same effect. She adds: “If you’ve got a partner with any body piercings, they can obviously cause bleeding on occasion too.” Dr McKenna clarifies that if this is the case, a GP appointment isn’t strictly required. “[You can] do the analysis yourself to work out whether it’s likely.” If you haven’t consented to sex being rough (or have experienced something during sex that made you feel uncomfortable), it could be a warning sign that you’re in an unhealthy relationship and you should seek support.
Not having had sex in a long time
While Dr McKenna confirms this can lead to bleeding – “a one-off bleed after restarting your sexual career after a long break is probably innocuous,” she says – she does clarify that any recurrence would rule this out as a cause. If that’s the case, she advises, “You’ve got to be sensible and get it looked at, because none of us can look at our own cervix. Even if you’re a doctor and you’ve got the best equipment in the world, somebody else has got to do it for you. It’s very important.”
Dr McKenna likens a cervical ectropion to a gynaecological version of walking around with the inside of your lip exposed. “The cells inside your cervix can sometimes poke out externally and, just like the soft part of the lips, the lining is more delicate so it’s going to get very irritated,” she explains. “The inner cells poke out to the outside and they can become weak, meaning they can bleed on contact.”
This kind of contact could be made by a penis during sex. She notes that ectropion is more commonly seen in those on the pill and explains that it’s normally not a cause for concern long-term. “It can settle down if you remove the thing that’s causing it, so changing or coming off the pill,” she says, adding that a chat with your GP can decide if this is the best move for you. Doctors can also decide to cauterise an ectropion, which effectively burns the cells off using silver nitrate to make the tissues react, then heal.
JULYA SAVCHENKOGetty Images
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, so it’s obvious that this could be a concern for young people who bleed during, or after, sex – but it still doesn’t make it likely. “It’s not a common cause of bleeding after sex, but it is one of the presenting symptoms of cervical cancer so it’s best to be checked over,” says Dr McKenna. Bleeding during sex could also be an indication of any of the five gynaecological cancers, not only cervical, she notes, adding that other symptoms are likely to be present if a cancer is the cause.
“With vulval cancer, women will have had some type of lesion, growth or some type of change in the external skin of their genitals,” she adds. “But of course, unlike our male counterparts, we’re not continually examining our bits and sometimes we don’t really know what we’re looking for anyway because we’re not hugely familiar with our own anatomy. So if in doubt, get checked out.”
“If you had a bad thrush infection that was affecting your vulva, becoming vulva vaginitis, then the trauma of sex could cause this to bleed,” says Dr McKenna, adding that it’s extremely rare. The reason for bleeding in this instance would be due to inflammation and irritation externally to your genitals.
Polyps, which Dr McKenna describes as harmless “little fleshy growths” which can appear anywhere on the body, can be a cause of bleeding after sex when they grow on the cervix. “They’re very vascular so they tend to poke out through the neck of the cervix and they can be traumatised during sex, bleeding as a result,” says the doctor. “Your examining healthcare professional will be able to see a polyp when they take a look, and then they can be treated. Usually they need to be removed even though they’re benign which means they’re not cancerous, but they can be quite annoying.”
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Why You May Bleed After Sex
Postcoital (after sex) bleeding can be alarming. This type of bleeding is not related to your menstrual cycle, and the amount of bleeding after sex can range from a scant amount of spotting to a heavy, bright red, sheet-soaking puddle. Anatomically, the two parts of your body that can bleed from the friction or relative trauma of vaginal sex are your vagina and your cervix.
Verywell / JR Bee
Postcoital bleeding refers to bleeding that happens after types of sex that involve vaginal penetration. That means postcoital bleeding can happen after vaginal penetration by a penis, dildo, or a partner’s finger.
If you’re having postcoital bleeding, you may also be experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding that isn’t related to sex. Approximately 30 percent of women who bleed during sex also have other episodes of abnormal bleeding outside of their regular monthly period.
Postcoital bleeding is typically painless. Only about 15 percent of women with bleeding after sex will also complain of pain with sex, called dyspareunia.
It’s important that you see your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing postcoital bleeding.
Vaginal Causes of Bleeding
When your vagina bleeds after sex, it’s most likely the result of direct trauma to the wall of your vagina. This is called a vaginal laceration and the bleeding is bright red and can be quite heavy.
Typically, the vagina doesn’t tear with intercourse. If the vagina is not well lubricated, the friction caused by vaginal penetration can tear the wall of your vagina. You might experience inadequate vaginal lubrication if any of the following occur:
- Vaginal penetration occurs before you are aroused enough to self-lubricate.
- Your estrogen levels are low. This happens during breastfeeding and with menopause.
- You’ve had unusually rough sex or a foreign object is used for vaginal penetration. This includes if your partner has genital piercings or implants, such as metal barbells.
Although not common, vaginal lacerations are usually the cause of postcoital bleeding that is heavy enough to bring a woman to the emergency room after sex.
The vagina has a rich blood supply and these types of lacerations bleed a lot. Usually, it means stitching or suturing is needed to stop the bleeding. Sometimes it even means a trip to the operating room.
Cervical Causes of Bleeding
Unlike the vagina, bleeding from the cervix after sex usually isn’t heavy enough to bring you to the emergency room in the middle of the night. Typically there’s a limited amount of bright red blood. It can be so minimal that you only notice it when you’re wiping yourself or changing your sheets.
Even though it may be minimal, it’s still important to discuss any bleeding after sex with your healthcare provider. Essentially there are four reasons why your cervix may bleed after sex.
The cervix has two regions and two types of cells. The outside of the cervix has the same type of cells as the vagina but the inside or canal of the cervix has a different type of cell.
The cells that cover the cervix act as a barrier and are resistant to the vaginal environment, including the friction of intercourse. However, the cells that line the canal of the cervix are much more fragile.
Cervical ectropion describes a condition or an anatomical variation in which the canal of the cervix is turned inside out, exposing these more fragile cells to the vaginal environment. Pregnancy and birth control pill use can be associated with these changes.
These cells bleed very easily when touched even lightly. If you have this variation of your cervix, it is very likely you will have postcoital bleeding.
The cells that line the canal of the cervix can also make polyps. Endocervical polyps are generally benign growths. Because they have such a rich blood supply, they bleed easily.
These polyps develop in the canal of your cervix but as they grow they stick out of the end of your cervix, putting them in the perfect position to be irritated and bleed during sex.
Inflammation of the cervix, called cervicitis, can also cause bleeding after sex. Chlamydial infection is the most common cause of acute cervicitis.
In the early stages, a chlamydial infection has no real symptoms but it is a serious sexually transmitted infection that can affect your fertility. It’s very important to see your healthcare provider if you are having any new onset of postcoital bleeding.
This is by far the most serious cause of postcoital bleeding. However, it’s also the least likely cause. This is especially true if you have been seeing your healthcare provider for routine cervical cancer screening
Cervical cancer is the first thing you will find in an internet search for postcoital bleeding. But, there are other potential causes of your postcoital bleeding and there’s no need to assume it’s cervical cancer right away. However, it’s important to discuss postcoital bleeding or any other concerns you have with your healthcare provider.
To help your doctor determine the cause of your bleeding, think about how you would answer the following questions:
- Do you have a new sex partner?
- When did the bleeding start?
- Do you practice safe sex?
- Do you use any sex toys or other foreign objects during sex?
- Do you have pain with sex?
- Do you always bleed after sex or only at certain times of the month or in certain positions?
- Do you have bleeding outside of your regular period that is not related to sex?
You may feel embarrassed or awkward about discussing bleeding after sex with your doctor, but your sexual health is an important part of your overall health and it’s very important for you to bring it up, even if your doctor forgets to ask. And if your doctor doesn’t make the conversation easy for you, maybe you should think about finding a new one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does postcoital bleeding last?
Bleeding after sex can be so brief you barely notice it or can last for a few days. In women who are prone to recurrent postcoital bleeding, the episodes commonly resolve in two years or less with treatment.
Why do women bleed when they lose their virginity?
Bleeding after the first time you have intercourse is caused by the tearing of a thin membrane at the opening of the vagina called a hymen. A torn hymen typically results in a small amount of bright red blood, though some women may experience a little more bleeding and some women may not bleed at all.
Can you use a tampon for after-sex bleeding?
Bleeding after sex should not be heavy enough to require a tampon. If you are bleeding that heavily, it could be one of two things: Your period may have started or you may have an injury that requires medical attention. A vaginal laceration is typically painful and may require stitches.
How do you stop bleeding after sex?
Postcoital bleeding typically stops on its own, unless it is due to an injury that may require stitches. Recurring episodes of bleeding after sex should be evaluated by your doctor, who can recommend a course of treatment depending on the cause.
Why Am I Bleeding During Sex?
So you just finished a romp in the sack, and now you’re noticing some bleeding. Before you panic, take a few deep breaths. Bleeding during or after sex, while jarring in the moment, isn’t necessarily serious, especially if it happens as a one-off thing.
“It’s fairly common,” says Nicole Williams, MD, fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and founder of The Gynecology Institute of Chicago. More formally known as postcoital bleeding, it refers to bleeding that’s a result of penetration of any kind, Dr. Williams says. Many times, it’s caused by some irritation after rough sex, or it could also just be the beginning or tail end of your period. But Dr. Williams notes that it’s best to investigate any bleeding you’re noticing happening more than once to ensure there isn’t a health issue behind it.
And for the record, it’s not just penis-in-vagina sex that can result in this bleeding. Any type of penetration, whether it be from a finger or toy, can lead to bleeding.
Want to know more? No need to crowdsource from your friends: Women’s Health rounded up all the info you need, straight from ob-gyns, about the common causes of bleeding during or after sex, including how to treat it, and when to check in with your doc about it.
What are some common reasons for bleeding during sex?
It might make you wince just thinking about it, but tearing is a common cause of postcoital bleeding. Here’s the good news: It could just be that the sex you had was a bit rougher than you’re used to, or that you were particularly dry. “Tearing can happen with normal sex (especially if you are with a well-endowed partner) or rough sex,” says Brandye Wilson-Manigat, MD, fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a board-certified ob-gyn and a women’s pleasure coach. “It can also occur if you are experiencing vaginal dryness due to breastfeeding, certain medications, or menopause,” adds Dr. Wilson-Manigat. Taking hormonal birth control can be a source of dryness, and therefore some tearing after sex and bleeding, too.
In other cases, the light bleeding could be a result of a skin condition that caused some tearing. For example, a medical skin condition called lichen sclerosus, which can contribute to irritation and itching of the vulva in the prepubescent stage and after menopause, is also a source of tearing or bleeding after sex, Dr. Wilson-Manigat explains.
Thankfully, the vulvar and vaginal tissues, for the most part, are generally pretty elastic, which allows for stretching without too much tearing, she elaborates. But as you get older, your vaginal tissue becomes less elastic and is prone to tearing.
Also worth noting: Slight tearing could be more likely if you haven’t had sex or been penetrated at all recently. “If it’s been a while since you’ve had sex, the tender skin around the vagina may have a microtear and cause some spotting,” offers Dr. Williams.
Your best bet is going to be loading up on lube in preparation for sex, especially if you’re dry to begin with. Dr. Wilson-Manigat suggests using a high-quality water-based or silicone-based lubricant to help prevent this sitch from happening in the first place.
Cervical polyps are one of the more common reasons for bleeding during sex that Dr. Wilson-Manigat has seen in her practice. “These are benign growths on the cervix that are similar to a skin tag you would see on another area of your body,” says Dr. Wilson-Manigat. “But the difference between a skin tag and a polyp is that polyps can bleed very easily with light touch, which is why you may have bleeding from them during sexual activity.”
Most of the time, they can be found during your routine pelvic exam and pap smear, so check in with your gyno if you think you might be prone to polyps.
Before you’ve even taken a test, light bleeding could be your first clue that you’re pregnant. One of the first signs of early pregnancy can be vaginal bleeding, also known as implantation bleeding, that can occur right after sex, says Alexandra Bausic, MD, a board-certified gynecologist. The cause of the bleeding is the implantation of the embryo inside your uterus, so it may show up at any time, unrelated to penetration, Dr. Bausic notes.
If you think there’s a chance you could be pregnant, and you’re noticing bleeding during sex or in general, take a test and then give your gyno a call.
Another one of the more common explanations for bleeding during or after sex is cervicitis. While the word may sound scary, what’s basically happening is an inflammation of the cervix, says Dr. Williams.
In some cases, a common infection such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) or an allergic reaction to latex condoms or certain feminine hygiene products causes the inflammation in the cervix, according to the Mayo Clinic. But cervicitis can be easily treated with a topical antibiotic, Dr. Williams says.
Sometimes, bleeding during or after sex could be a sign of a pelvic infection, according to Dr.Wilson-Manigat. When your cervix is infected, the tissue becomes swollen and red, as your body tries to rush more blood and white blood cells to the area to fight the infection. “This makes the cervix overly sensitive to tears and bleeding, and it can bleed with or without any direct stimulation,” she explains.
There’s a slight chance that the infection causing postcoital bleeding is chlamydia or gonorrhea, so your ob-gyn may run an STI test to be safe when you visit with this issue, Dr. Wilson-Manigat says. In rare cases, an HPV infection could be causing some type of cervical precancer (but your doctor will flag any abnormalities with your pap smear first).
It’s not always a sexually transmitted infection causing the bleeding, though. Some other infections that may be to blame for postcoital bleeding are BV or yeast infections, says Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, FACOG, Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an ob-gyn, Bonafide Medical Advisor, and author of The Complete A To Z For Your V.
The best way to prevent bleeding that’s related to STIs is to use protection during sex, Dr. Wilson-Manigat adds.
So I should really see a doc if I bleed during or after sex?
Definitely if it’s a recurring thing. Here’s Dr. Williams’ rule of thumb: “If you have a single episode of bleeding after sex, especially if you’re just finishing your period or have started a new hormonal birth control, it may not be anything to be concerned about. However, if it happens more than once, it’s best to just make a quick visit to the gyno and have yourself checked out.”
Dr. Williams also advises women to pay attention to the color of the blood. “Darker blood is usually older blood, and is not as concerning as if it were very bright red,” she says. (The dark blood could just be remnants of your period.) Take note if the blood is accompanied by pelvic pain and discomfort, as well as if your vaginal discharge has a different texture or smell, so you can provide your ob-gyn with as much information as possible to help ID your condition, Dr. Bausic adds.
In terms of treatment, rest assured that many of these conditions are treatable once your doctor is able to diagnose you with the infection or skin condition. One way to rule out infections before you’re even in the doctor’s office is by making sure that pregnancy or any kind of potentially irritating external products aren’t causing the bleeding, Dr. Dweck says.
For many one-time occurrences of bleeding during sex, using lube the next time around is going to do the trick. But if you’re using lube and that’s not helping, it’s best to look further into what could be causing the bleeding. It’s true that sex can be messy—and while talking about bodily fluids and blood can sometimes be uncomfortable, your gyno is trained to help you. That way, you can make sure sex gets back to what it should be: fun!
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Vaginal bleeding | healthdirect
- Vaginal bleeding normally occurs about once a month during a women’s menstrual period, and lasts between 1 to 7 days.
- Common causes of vaginal bleeding between periods are infection, injury and using hormonal contraception.
- Bleeding between periods is very common and happens to most women at some point in their lives.
- Getting heavy periods, bleeding frequently between periods or bleeding after sex should always be discussed with your doctor as they can be signs of serious medical conditions.
- Physical examinations, swabs and ultrasounds are used to investigate the cause of vaginal bleeding.
On this page
What is vaginal bleeding?
Women experience normal vaginal bleeding each month during their menstrual period, which can last anywhere between 1 and 7 days. If you notice blood coming from your vagina at other times, or you are bleeding during your period in a way which makes you concerned, you should arrange to speak to your doctor, since vaginal bleeding can be a sign of infection or other medical issues.
What’s ‘normal’ vaginal bleeding?
So-called ‘normal’ vaginal bleeding varies widely between women and can be different for you at different stages of your life. Generally, all women experience a menstrual period approximately once a month — approximately every 21 to 35 days — and it lasts between 1 to 7 days.
Teenagers and women approaching menopause are more likely to have irregular periods, meaning that the gap between periods is less than 21 days or more than 35 days, and the length of this gap can change from month to month. It is also common for women aged between 30 and 50 years of age to experience heavy periods. Some types of hormonal contraception can also cause the frequency and heaviness of your periods to change, as can big changes in your life such as leaving home or breaking up with your partner. Sometimes stressful life events can cause you to skip a period entirely.
Bleeding between periods is very common — in fact, it happens to most women at some point during their lives. However it is not considered normal to bleed frequently in one month, or to bleed between your periods for several months. Bleeding after having sex should always be discussed with your doctor, regardless of your age. There are many possible causes for bleeding between periods and most of them aren’t serious, but you should speak to your doctor if you bleed between periods as it can occasionally signal something serious.
If you bleed from the vagina at any time during pregnancy, you should always immediately contact your midwife or doctor.
CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.
How can I know if my period is too ‘heavy’?
It can be difficult to know whether you have normal menstrual (period) bleeding or if your period is too heavy. Your period shouldn’t interrupt your daily activities such as going to school or work, nor should it make you feel stressed or anxious. Signs that you may be bleeding too heavily during your period include:
- having to change your tampon or pad every hour
- bleeding or ‘flooding’ which is not contained by a thick pad
- having to change your pad during the night
- bleeding for more than 8 days
- passing clumps of blood bigger than a 50-cent piece
If you are concerned that your period is too heavy, you should speak to your doctor to help you work out the cause of your heavy bleeding and to seek solutions.
What causes vaginal bleeding between periods?
A lot of things can cause bleeding between periods, including changes to your hormone levels, using hormonal contraception and infections. It is also common for women to bleed slightly around 10 to 14 days after their period, when an egg is released from the ovary since this causes hormone levels to change. This is sometimes called ‘spotting’ because the bleeding is generally very light. If you notice bleeding between your periods more than once or twice, you should speak to your doctor to check if this needs to be investigated.
When should I see a doctor about vaginal bleeding?
It is very common to bleed occasionally between your periods, but if it happens more than once or twice, you should see your doctor. You should make an appointment with your doctor right away if:
- your periods seem too heavy
- you are older than 45 years and experiencing vaginal bleeding between periods
- you bleed after having sex
- you feel unwell, sick or dizzy because of your period
- you have an unusual vaginal discharge along with your period
- you have a fever or experience pain with your period
- there is a chance you could be pregnant
- you are post menopausal
If are worried about talking about women’s health or describing your periods, consulting a female doctor in your age group may help you feel more comfortable. It may help to bear in mind that periods are a part of all women’s lives, and that vaginal bleeding is a concern that affects most women at some point in their life.
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When does vaginal bleeding need further investigation?
Vaginal bleeding which happens more than once or twice outside your period or that makes you feel unwell should always be investigated.
Your doctor may ask you about your general health and the nature of your periods. They may also ask whether you could be pregnant. In some cases, a very early miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilised egg grows outside of the womb) can cause vaginal bleeding without you ever knowing that you were pregnant.
Your doctor might feel your tummy, do an internal examination to check your vagina and look at your cervix using a medical device called a speculum. They may also swab your vagina to test for infections and take a cervical screening test to see if there are any changes in your cervix. You doctor may also ask you to do a pregnancy test or go for an ultrasound so that they can better understand the health of your cervix and uterus.
The ultrasound can be done through your tummy wall or from inside your vagina. Although this sounds uncomfortable, most women prefer vaginal ultrasounds to an ultrasound through the tummy wall which requires a full bladder. You doctor may also refer you to a gynaecologist, who is a medical doctor who specialises in women’s health.
How can I treat vaginal bleeding between periods?
If your doctor has diagnosed the cause of your bleeding, you can treat the bleeding by following their advice, such as by taking a course of antibiotics if you have an infection, or by changing to a different form of contraception if the bleeding is caused by the contraception you have been taking. If the bleeding is light and isn’t bothering you, it may not be necessary to do anything at all.
If you have not yet discussed your vaginal bleeding with your doctor, its important you make an appointment to do so, as vaginal bleeding cannot be treated at home without knowing the cause.
Until you see your doctor, using a larger tampon or pad can help you feel more comfortable if you are experiencing heavy bleeding. If you find that you need to change it very frequently, it is important you tell your doctor, since this can be sign that your period flow is heavier than normal.
Frequently asked questions
How can I treat vaginal bleeding caused by a sexually transmitted infection?
If your doctor has diagnosed that your bleeding is because of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) your partner also needs to be treated otherwise you will continue to reinfect each other. STIs can also cause unusual or increased vaginal discharge which will also go away after the infection has been treated. If the infection is thrush (candida ), your partner may not need treatment as just treating you is enough.
Can medications cause vaginal bleeding?
Some medications, such as anticoagulants (including ‘blood thinners’ such as warfarin) can make you more likely to bleed. If you are taking an anticoagulant and are experiencing vaginal bleeding, you should speak to your doctor right away. Do not stop taking any prescribed medication unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause can sometimes cause irregular bleeding. This is not a cause for concern and should settle down after several months.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding is also common when you start using hormonal contraception (for example, oral contraceptive pills or an intrauterine device). If it does not go away or is bothering you, talk to your doctor.
Abnormal bleeding can also occur when you change or stop your hormonal contraception.
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90,000 Female uterine bleeding – causes and treatments
The reasons why a woman may experience bleeding from the uterus, vagina or other part of the genital tract, prevailing in different age groups, are different. Regardless of age, their danger lies in the occurrence of anemia (anemia), if blood loss is large enough, and bleeding occurs regularly. If a woman is not pregnant and is not parturient, then the following types of bleeding can be distinguished, the source of which is the uterus:
- Dysfunctional bleeding in girls – occurs at a young age, a little after menarche, due to hormonal disruption of the ovaries
- Dysfunctional bleeding in women of reproductive age – require increased attention of the doctor, as they can serve as a harbinger of infertility.
- Menopause bleeding – occur as a result of hormonal changes in the female body and may testify in favor of a proliferative process, both benign and malignant. More often, nevertheless, benign: the occurrence of polyps, myomatous nodes due to hyperestrogenemia (excess of the female sex hormone estrogen)
- Bleeding that occurs in postmenopausal women – occurs some time after the onset of menopause, in which there was no bleeding from the genital tract. They can be a symptom that speaks of the process of tumor formation in the organs of the female genital apparatus.
- Postcoital bleeding – a special type of uterine bleeding that occurs after intercourse. It can be based on different reasons, both formidable and not posing a threat to a woman’s health.
According to the moment at which bleeding from the genitals was detected, they can be classified into menorrhagia: this is the name of bleeding that coincides with menstruation, but the volume of blood lost clearly exceeds normal; as well as metrorrhagia: such bleeding does not coincide with the onset of the menstrual cycle, but is noted by a woman before or after critical days.
Also, three conditions should be noted that require immediate, urgent, prompt medical attention
- A) Bleeding from the genital tract that occurred during pregnancy. It is important to note that such bleeding can rapidly gain speed and lead to serious complications for both the fetus and the expectant mother.
- B) Long-lasting bleeding, which is accompanied by symptoms of anemia.The latter include pallor of the skin, a decrease in blood pressure, dizziness when trying to stand or even sit down, persistent headaches, a rare and weakened pulse on the radial arteries (on the wrist), fainting.
- B) Internal bleeding. It should be thought about if the bright symptoms of anemia are combined with the absence of visually recognizable bleeding from the genital tract, especially if the patient also has a feeling of severe abdominal pain, and its anterior wall is very dense to the touch, board-like.
Uterine bleeding in women during the reproductive period
Many women have to suddenly notice bloody vaginal discharge that occurs between periods, or too much increase in the latter. If smearing, in a small amount of discharge occurs at the time of ovulation (the release of an egg from a ruptured ovarian follicle), as a rule, on days 14-18 of the cycle, depending on its duration in a particular woman (28-32 days), then this should be considered normal . ..However, severe sudden bleeding should alert a woman, as it may indicate gynecological pathology. If the metrorrhagia that has arisen suddenly intensifies or simply does not end for a long time, then it is necessary to consult a doctor who will stop the bleeding, and also prescribe the necessary examinations to understand the causes of its occurrence.
In addition to ovulation, the cause of uterine bleeding that occurs between two adjacent menstruation can be abrupt changes in the amount of the female sex hormone estrogen in the blood, the production of which is carried out by the ovaries, any pathological process in which can cause the above-described manifestation.In addition, such metrorrhagia may be based on the end or beginning of the use of hormonal contraceptives, a significant decrease in the level of thyroid hormones, the use of emergency contraceptives, as well as other drugs that somehow contain estrogen. In addition, bleeding between periods may be due to an infectious, tumor process of the genital organs or their trauma, miscarriage, the consequences of recent gynecological manipulations.
Treatment of the above-described bleeding is prescribed according to the main reason due to which they have arisen.If metrorrhagia was caused by a gynecological disease, then a properly selected treatment for this disease will also serve to stop bleeding.
Uterine bleeding in young girls
Bleeding from the genital tract that occurs in girls aged 12-18 years is called pubertal or juvenile. If such bleeding is severe, then there may be a threat to the health and life of a teenage girl, in connection with which it is necessary to quickly consult a doctor who can prescribe adequate treatment so that these bleeding does not go into the reproductive period, in which, in this case, it will increase the danger of infertility for this patient.
Quite often, juvenile metrorrhagia occurs in the winter-spring period due to a lack of vitamins and trace elements in the girl’s body. Often, stress, infectious processes or unhealthy diet can also be the main cause.
Most often, in puberty, bleeding in girls occurs after a delay in menstruation (several weeks), and in time it lasts more than seven days, then increasing in intensity, then decreasing, which ultimately can lead to large blood loss and anemia.Such a process needs to be stopped, and therefore it is necessary to contact an obstetrician-gynecologist immediately.
At the same time, sudden and severe bleeding, as well as prolonged and lethargic, can lead to anemia. The symptoms of anemia are similar regardless of the cause that caused it: pallor of the skin, weakness, dizziness when trying to sit or stand up, drop in blood pressure, short-term loss of consciousness.
In the case of an independent cessation of metrorrhagia in a girl, you still need to consult a doctor, since the goal of treatment, in this case, will be to prevent anemia and a formidable complication – hemorrhagic shock.
Menopause uterine bleeding
It is impossible to ignore the discharge of blood from the genital tract during menopause, since it can be a symptom of a pathological process, even uterine cancer. For many women, menopause is quite difficult. Along with uterine bleeding, surges in blood pressure, mental disorders, metabolic disorders can occur.
Usually, the cause of climacteric bleeding from the genital tract is massive hormonal changes in the woman’s body, but they can also talk about tumor growth.
Menopause bleeding can be classified into:
- Premenopausal metrorrhagia
- Postmenopausal metrorrhagia
In the premenopausal period, bleeding from the genital tract most often occurs due to improper production of sex hormones due to disorders associated with the ovulation process, which, in turn, leads to changes in the change in the functional layer of the endometrium (epithelial lining of the uterus). Such bleeding can be repeated over several years with varying strength and frequency.Anemia in this case is infrequent, in comparison with adolescent girls, however, if it occurs, it can be combined with uterine fibroids or with more complex and dangerous pathological processes in the female body.
Bleeding that occurs in the postmenopausal period is the most dangerous, as it requires an immediate diagnostic search in order to exclude malignant neoplasms. Such metrorrhagia is an indication for diagnostic hysteroscopy (curettage of the uterine cavity and cervical canal).
If bleeding occurs in a woman immediately after intercourse, then it is called postcoital (intercourse-coitus. Sin .: penetration, copulation, copulation, sexual intercourse). Such a discharge of blood from the genital tract can be due to a number of reasons:
- Mechanical trauma of the genital tract
- Sexually transmitted diseases (often chlamydia)
- Inflammatory diseases of the genital tract (vaginitis – in the vagina, cervicitis – in the cervix, etc.))
- Erosions and polyposis (require surgical treatment)
- Due to the intake of certain drugs, including hormonal drugs
- Dysplastic changes (replacement of the epithelium with the wrong one for a given part of the genital tract) up to a tumor process
If bleeding is accompanied by a sharp pain syndrome and occurs suddenly during or after copulation, then you need to call an ambulance, because the situation can be life-threatening. In this case, you need to pay attention to the symptoms in case a woman has internal bleeding, which may be accompanied by acute pain in the abdomen, groin, lower back, weakness, dizziness, fainting, profuse sweating (“breaks through with a cold sweat”).
A timely visit to a doctor usually promotes a speedy recovery.
Metrorrhagia after medical abortion
Usually, the bleeding that occurs after medical abortion stops in most women during therapy.And the cycle is completely normalized within 1-2 months. However, if, as a result of metrorrhagia after an abortion, two sanitary napkins are completely soaked within one hour, then the bleeding should already be considered severe and requiring immediate intervention by a gynecologist.
Treatment of bleeding from the genital tract
The goals of treatment of metrorrhagia usually boil down to stopping the actual bleeding and replenishing the lost blood volume, finding and eliminating the already found cause of metrorrhagia, preventing the recurrence of bleeding and treating its consequences (anemia, hemorrhagic shock).
Treat uterine bleeding according to its cause. Often, the bleeding itself stops when its cause is eliminated surgically or conservatively.
Therapy should be cumulative: hormonal, symptomatic, restorative (helps to restore the female body). The treatment is usually based on hormonal therapy and symptomatic – drugs that increase blood clotting and uterine contraction.
In addition to the conservative approach, a surgical approach is often used: this occurs if the bleeding is severe enough and / or prolonged.Such treatment usually begins with diagnostic hysteroscopy.
It should be remembered that an appointment with a gynecologist should be an indisputable and indispensable component of the treatment of uterine bleeding. There should be no talk of self-medication, because in the case when the cause of bleeding is serious enough, the latter can cost a woman her health, and often her life itself.
To prevent uterine bleeding, every woman should visit a gynecologist twice a year for examination. In this case, early diagnosis of diseases associated with the genital tract will become possible, which will allow you to quickly and gently carry out therapeutic measures without waiting for dangerous bleeding.
90,000 Postcoital bleeding or bleeding after sex – causes and medical attention “NAVIMED
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Postcoital bleeding refers to bleeding from
vagina after sex or during the latter. This is not normal
physiological phenomenon of the female body and requires a mandatory
diagnostic and therapeutic attention from medical specialists
gynecological direction, and more simply – gynecologists. If you notice that
blood appears during or after intercourse, consult a doctor
Cervical cancer is the most serious cause of postcoital bleeding.
or in the initial oncological changes in the cervix.
Some Common Causes of Bleeding During Sex
The causes of postcoital bleeding can be divided into four groups:
Cancer or precancerous conditions
- • Cervical cancer
- • Cervical dysplasia
- • Vaginal cancer
Injury or damage to the integrity of the mucous membrane
- • Mucosal cut or wound / ulcer in the vagina
- • Vaginal trauma from vigorous sex
- • Violation of the integrity of the vaginal mucosa due to vaginal dryness during
- • Intrauterine contraceptives may also cause bleeding due to irritation
- • Decrease in the level of estrogen in the body of a woman, as in premenopausal women or after
- • Dryness and narrowing of the vagina
- • Chlamydia
- • Gonorrhea
- • Vaginitis or cervicitis
- • Trichomoniasis
- • Fungal and yeast infections of the vagina
- • Abnormal growth of polyps in the vagina or cervix
- • Endometritis or adenomyosis
- • Polyps of the uterus
- • Fibromas
Diagnosis of the causes of bleeding after sex
The gynecologist at the appointment may need to do several tests,
to determine the cause of the bleeding.
- • General physical examination of the body
- • Pap smear
- • Taking a smear from the walls of the vagina and cervix
- • Vaginal examination in mirrors
- • Pregnancy test
- • Colposcopy (video colposcopy)
- • Dilation and curettage (swabbing) of the cervical
- • Endometrial tissue biopsy
- • Biopsy of the cervix
- • Blood tests
Treatment of postcoital bleeding depends on the diagnosed cause.If
this is due to infections, it must be treated. If it is due to dryness
vagina during menopause, the gynecologist recommends the use of lubricants
Information for women
The information above will help you understand the following points regarding
problems of postcoital bleeding and seek help in time.
- • What is the most common cause or causes
vaginal bleeding after sex
- • What examinations and diagnostic tests are necessary
pass if specified issue
- • What to do and where to look for the cause, if the symptom
bleeding is repeated, i. e.i.e. relapse occurs
- • Warn and in time
detect oncological changes in the cervix or endometrium
- • A cervical swab is a screening test that will help diagnose cancer in 80 to 90% of cases, but may miss it in the remaining 10
up to 20% of them. Therefore, a comprehensive examination by a gynecologist is necessary. On the
page http://navimed.com.ua/konsultaciya_vracha/konsultaciya_ginekologa/ You will find clinics that have their own women’s consultation and conduct
reception by gynecologists – by phone or on the website of the clinics, you can make an appointment
reception.Remember – it is better to prevent the disease than to cure it for a long time.
Postcoital bleeding – this is what any
bloody discharge from the genital tract that occurs after sexual intercourse
act. Moreover, the amount of blood loss can be completely different – from
several scarlet stains on underwear to a very abundant
bleeding. In any case, the symptom is always alarming.
What is the reason?
The group of reasons causing such symptoms is quite diverse.
– from microtrauma of the mucous membrane of the genital tract to malignant
defeat of internal organs by a cancerous tumor.
Unfortunately, the young age of patients who visit doctors with
this problem does not guarantee that the cause of the bleeding
will be quite harmless. Experts say: cervical cancer,
often manifested only by minor bleeding
from the genital tract after sex, rapidly getting younger. Age
patients with such a diagnosis in most cases does not exceed 50
years old. Moreover, identified at the earliest – first – stage, cervical cancer
the uterus can be cured in almost 100% of cases.That’s why,
doctors recommend that women not neglect routine medical
examinations and visit the gynecologist’s office at least once a year.
If you have any questions,
ask our specialist!
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What else can cause bleeding after intercourse?
Of course, in most cases of patients’ referral to the female
consultation about postcoital bleeding, it is possible to identify
other, much more harmless reasons for this condition, which,
however, also require examination and treatment.
Let’s dwell on each of them in more detail.
First of all, it is mechanical damage. Genital trauma
organs, as well as rough sex can lead to bloody
discharge, often profuse. This state requires
immediate contact with a gynecologist. In some cases,
doctors cannot do without surgical intervention.
Erosions and polyps of the cervix can be injured during sexual intercourse
act and lead to minor bleeding from the genital
ways.If polyps are found, they must be removed. Erosion
the cervix is usually cauterized.
Inflammatory diseases of the female genital organs are the following
a wide group of gynecological pathological conditions capable of
lead to such symptoms. In this case, bleeding is not always
associated with intercourse, they can appear at any time,
regardless of the patient’s rhythm of life. Please note that
inflammatory diseases are usually accompanied by another
characteristic symptoms – an increase in body temperature, a general
weakness, pain in the lower abdomen.
Also, postcoital bleeding can be caused by
some sexually transmitted infections. They can
accompanied by a burning sensation, itching and specific discharge with
unpleasant odor. If the patient is suspected of having such
infections, the doctor will prescribe the necessary examination and treatment.
Hyperplasia, endometrium and endometriosis – pathological conditions,
which require compulsory treatment by a gynecologist.Bleeding
arising against the background of these diseases after intercourse, may be
very long and abundant. There are often cases when patients
go to the doctor only after several weeks of incessant
blood loss, in a depleted state, and in need of emergency
hospitalization in a hospital.
Long-term use of certain hormonal contraceptives can
lead to mild bloody discharge from the genital tract
after sex.In this case, you will have to consult a doctor and
perhaps replace the drug you are taking with one that
the doctor will select you according to your individual characteristics.
A dangerous symptom is bloody discharge after intercourse
during pregnancy. They may indicate a threat
miscarriage or premature placental abruption.
It should be noted that in some cases, the appearance of
bleeding from the genital tract requires urgent
So, doctors recommend going to the hospital immediately if:
- Bleeding is profuse and painful
- You feel sudden weakness, dizziness;
- Your blood pressure has dropped significantly;
- Tachycardia appeared – heart rate began to exceed 80
beats per minute;
- People around you or you yourself note the appearance of pallor of the skin
- Bleeding occurred during pregnancy.
In all of the above cases, experts recommend how
as soon as possible go to a medical institution on your own or
call an ambulance. You need to be prepared for the fact that you may
hospitalized in a hospital and will be offered to stay in the hospital for
90,000 Services of the Genom clinic in Tomsk
Cervical Infertility Factor means that the sperm are unable to pass the cervical canal.Therefore, they cannot enter the uterus and the fallopian tube, where they must meet with the egg.
Cervical factor can be due to the following reasons:
– the mucus in the cervical canal is too viscous, which prevents the passage of sperm through the reproductive tract of the woman
– the quality of cervical mucus negatively affects sperm, reducing their activity and fertility.
– a woman’s immunity perceives sperm cells as foreign pathogenic cells.He begins to develop antibodies against them, which suppress their vital activity.
To exclude immune disorders in a woman, a study is carried out to determine the level of ASAT in the blood and cervical mucus. A man undergoes a MAP test in parallel, which shows the presence of antisperm antibodies in semen.
To determine the cervical factor of infertility, the postcoital test, which is also called the “Shuvarsky test” or compatibility test, allows. The analysis shows how the secret of the female genital tract affects the sperm – whether it promotes the entry of male cells into the uterine cavity or, conversely, prevents it.
A postcoital test is performed 4-6 hours after intercourse, for which a mucus sample is taken from the cervical canal of the cervix. It is examined for the presence of spermatozoa in it, and their number, mobility, and fertilizing ability are also determined.
In vitro methods involve assessing the penetration and motility of spermatozoa into cervical mucus on glass. A drop of sperm and a drop of cervical mucus are placed on a glass slide. The drops are covered with a coverslip.Under a microscope, the penetration of spermatozoa at the border of sperm and cervical mucus is assessed. With a positive sample, sperm penetrate the mucus border, with a negative one, this phenomenon is not observed. In case of a negative test result, cross-tests with donor sperm and donor cervical mucus can be additionally carried out.
Based on the data of the postcoital test, the specialist concludes that natural conception is possible. If it is unlikely, then assisted reproductive technologies are used – intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects the vagina to the body of the uterus. Inside it passes the cervical canal filled with mucus. The cervical secretion is produced by the cells of the columnar epithelium lining the cervix. In different phases of the menstrual cycle, its functions are different, so the composition and properties are also different. Female sex hormones regulate these complex processes.
During the period before and after ovulation, cervical mucus prevents bacteria and sperm from entering the uterus.During ovulation, it contributes to successful conception:
– creates favorable conditions for the penetration of sperm into the uterus and fallopian tubes
– protects sperm from the acidic environment of the vagina
– Provides natural selection of the most viable and strong sperm
– triggers the capacitation reaction, which makes the sperm capable of fertilizing the egg.
Capacitation is a process by which a woman’s body prepares sperm to fertilize an egg, because ejaculated sperm are not capable of this.It should take about 10 hours, during which the sperm, passing through the female reproductive tract, will change under the influence of various biological processes.
A capacitation reaction begins inside the cervix, where the sperm are cleared of ejaculate. Then, continuing to move, they enter the uterus. The discharge of the uterus washes them and makes them more mobile (being in the testicles, the sperm are practically immobile!). When the sperm enters the egg, the capacitation is completed – an acrosomal reaction occurs, which allows the sperm to overcome the protective layer of the egg and merge with it to form a zygote.
Studying the interaction of sperm and cervical mucus is an important step in examining a married couple for infertility. To get the most accurate results, you need to properly prepare for the study.
The postcoital test is performed 1-2 days before ovulation . With a 28-day cycle, the study usually falls on the 12th day (in 60% of women, ovulation occurs on the 13th day).
To accurately determine the day of ovulation in each case, you need:
– know the day of the menstrual cycle (from the first day of bleeding).
– determine the basal body temperature, which rises before ovulation
– conduct tests to determine the level of luteinizing hormone, which rises sharply before ovulation.
– undergo an ultrasound of the ovaries (the method allows you to determine the mature dominant follicle)
3-4 days before the postcoital test, it is necessary to undergo studies:
– To a woman – for the presence of sexually transmitted infections. Diseases of the genital area change the composition of cervical mucus.
The results of the postcoital test can be affected by colds and infectious diseases, moving, stress. These factors can cause early or late ovulation. It is very important that there is no inflammation of the vagina and the mucous membrane of the uterus, since dead epithelial cells interfere with the movement of sperm in the mucus.
– For a man – take a spermogram to determine the number and mobility of sperm.
Preparation for the post-coital test begins 2-3 days before the test, from the 10th day of the cycle.She assumes:
– abstinence from sexual intercourse
– refusal to use vaginal contraceptives and medications
– rejection of drugs that affect ovulation (tamoxifen, clostilbegit, anastrozole).
– it is necessary to remain in a supine position for 30-40 minutes
– you can not wash, douche, take a bath
– it is forbidden to insert tampons (you can use a sanitary napkin to prevent the leakage of seminal fluid.
Logest and postcoital bleeding – Question to the gynecologist
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Vaginal bleeding – Perinatal Health Center
Vaginal bleeding – discharge of any volume of blood from the genital tract (vagina).
Bleeding is physiological (normal) and pathological.
Physiological vaginal bleeding: menstruation, spotting within a few days after delivery.
Menstruation – regular uterine bleeding resulting from rejection of the uterine mucosa (endometrium) when pregnancy does not occur.
Characteristics of normal menstruation:
♦ duration of at least 2 days and no more than 7 days, after 21-35 days
♦ amount of lost blood 50-100 ml
Pathological bleeding can be expressed in an increase in the duration of menstruation, an increase in blood loss during menstruation, intermenstrual bleeding, as well as contact (postcoital) bleeding (during or immediately after intercourse).
The causes of pathological bleeding can be:
♦ uterine fibroids
♦ oncological diseases (cervix, uterus, vagina, ovaries)
♦ pathology of the cervical canal ) (Polyps, hyperplasia, inflammation)
♦ endocrine pathology (including pathology of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, etc.)
♦ injuries and foreign bodies (mainly vagina)
♦ taking hormonal drugs
♦ ectopic pregnancy and complicated course of uterine pregnancy
♦ pathology of the blood coagulation system
Pathological bleeding can be at any age and always require consultation of an obstetrician-gynecologist and additional examination.If you have a similar symptom, do not postpone your visit to the doctor!
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Causes of bloody, brown, brown discharge after sex, sexual intercourse
When vaginal bleeding occurs after intercourse, it is called postcoital bleeding.If a woman develops vaginal bleeding or brown discharge after sex that is not related to her period, see her doctor. Usually the problems provoking such discharge are obvious and not dangerous, but in some cases it can be a sign of something more serious.
Contents: What is postcoital bleeding? Why does spotting appear after sex Polyps of the cervix and uterine body Cervical ectropion Candidiasis or thrush Bleeding from birth control pills or injections Sex-induced bleeding Less common but more serious causes of postcoital bleeding Pregnancy How is postcoital bleeding diagnosed?
What is postcoital bleeding?
Postcoital bleeding is vaginal bleeding that occurs within 24 hours of intercourse.Usually, a woman should only have vaginal bleeding during her period, but if she has irregular periods, the woman cannot be sure if the bleeding is normal (period) or not.
If you are not sure if bleeding is the beginning of your period, you should contact your gynecologist to discuss possible causes. Heavy bleeding immediately after sex is not normal and should seek emergency medical attention.
Why does spotting appear after sex
The female reproductive system can be divided into upper and lower parts:
- The upper part includes the body of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.Bleeding during menstruation occurs when the lining of the uterus breaks down during the normal monthly cycle.
- The lower part of a woman’s reproductive system is the cervix (cervix), the vagina, as well as the vulva and labia, which are outside, covering the entrance to the vagina.
With the development of postcoital bleeding, the lower sections are usually affected. We will discuss the most common causes of postcoital bleeding
Polyps of the cervix and uterine body
Polyps occur when some cells in a certain area grow too much. They can occur in many parts of your body and are usually not serious. Because a polyp is made up of cells that have grown abnormally quickly, they can sometimes develop into cancer. This is believed to be how bowel cancer starts. Cervical polyps often occur in women with polyps inside the uterus (endometrium). If polyps grow too much, they can protrude from the opening of the cervix into the vagina. The cells on polyps are not as rigid as the skin, so if injured during intercourse, they will bleed.
In rare cases, polyps of the uterine body develop into cancer of the lining of the uterus, which is called endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer usually does not show up on a cervical smear, but it usually causes irregular vaginal bleeding before it is very advanced, so there is a good chance of a cure.
This condition is not a serious medical condition, but is considered one of the most common causes of postcoital bleeding. Sometimes female hormones cause cells inside the cervix to expand outward into the part of the cervix that doctors can see when taking a smear from the cervix. This is why bleeding can sometimes occur after a smear. Cervical ectropion is similar to cervical polyps, except that the cells are not overgrown or abnormal, they are simply in the wrong place on the outside of the cervix where they can be damaged during sex.
Candidiasis or thrush
Sometimes severe thrush can cause bleeding.Usually, there is a lot of discharge and discomfort, itching and burning, redness of the mucous membranes. You can buy a remedy for thrush without a prescription at the pharmacy. But if a woman treats thrush, but the bleeding does not go away or she often suffers from thrush, you need to contact a gynecologist for examination. A relapse of thrush can be a sign of diabetes.
Bleeding from birth control pills or injections
When a woman first starts taking oral contraceptives or injections, she may have irregular bleeding for 2-3 months.Irregular bleeding during injection is quite common and is one of the main reasons women stop using this type of contraception. If a woman is sexually active and is not planning a pregnancy, there are many different effective methods of contraception. You need to find the method of contraception that works best.
Sex itself can sometimes cause bleeding from the vagina or vulva. Sometimes this can happen during the first intercourse, but the bleeding should not be heavier than the smear or last more than a couple of days.
Although sexual activity does not usually cause damage to the vagina, sometimes tears or abrasions may occur in the vagina. There are many blood vessels in the walls of a woman’s vagina just below the surface, so bleeding can be severe and requires hospital treatment. Vaginal bleeding after sex is more common if a woman has gone through menopause and her periods have stopped.
This is often associated with a condition called atrophic vaginitis, where the lining of the vagina becomes thinner and more susceptible to infection.Women taking breast cancer medications (such as tamoxifen) can also have breast cancer due to low hormone levels.
Using a water-based lubricant during sex can help prevent bleeding if it is causing it.
Less common but more serious causes of postcoital bleeding
Cervical cancer is a serious condition, but with early treatment it can be completely cured. Fortunately, this cancer can be detected with a smear before it becomes a serious threat.A cervical swab is a very effective way to prevent cancer. The chances of getting cervical cancer if a woman has regular smears are very low.
However, no test is perfect, so even if a woman has recently had a smear, she still needs to see a doctor if postcoital bleeding occurs.
Inflammation of the cervix is usually triggered by a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Some STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, are serious and require treatment.The infection can spread from the cervix to the uterus and fallopian tubes and cause problems with pregnancy. Because they are sexually transmitted, the sexual partner (s) will also need to be tested for infection.
Condoms are very effective protection against infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. They also protect against pregnancy and serious diseases such as HIV.
Bleeding during early pregnancy is quite common.Most women find out about their pregnancy soon after they miss their next period. But many others do not realize that they have been pregnant for a couple of months. If bleeding occurs in early pregnancy around the time a woman is expecting her period, it is easy to mistake it for another period.
It is important to identify pregnancy as early as possible. If the woman is pregnant and planning to have a baby, lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or drinking alcohol, may need to be done to ensure the baby has the best possible start in life.
Treating bleeding in early pregnancy is very different from treating postcoital bleeding. Your gynecologist may prohibit certain medications if you are pregnant. Bleeding during early pregnancy can occur with an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the fetus grows in the fallopian tube. This is potentially very dangerous.
How is postcoital bleeding diagnosed?
To find out the cause of the bleeding, the gynecologist must ask the woman some personal questions about sexual activity.These questions can be a little confusing, but the doctor talks about it all the time. The more information is provided, the easier it will be to find out what is going on. The gynecologist will also need to find out about:
- what contraceptives are used;
- any other medications the woman is taking;
- The last time she had a cervical swab.
The doctor may also order some common tests and procedures, for example:
- Urine sample to check for pregnancy or urinary tract inflammation.
- Vaginal examination to identify the causes of bleeding from the vagina or cervix. This examination is similar to taking a smear. A repeat smear and infection tests can be done at the same time.
- Sometimes the gynecologist can also perform a test using a very thin plastic tube to collect a sample of the lining of the uterus. Pregnancy is ruled out before this examination.
- An ultrasound scan is especially important if the pregnancy test is positive.An ultrasound scan will also determine if there is a problem with the uterus or ovaries, it is indicated if the woman is over 45 years old or if there is a family history of certain types of cancer.
Treatment for postcoital bleeding will depend on the cause. The doctor will advise on the best course of action after the diagnosis is made.
Paretskaya Alena, doctor, medical observer
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