If you have experienced bleeding after sex, it may have been a bit scary. There are a variety of reasons why it could be happening and identifying the cause is important. Equally significant is remembering that bleeding during or after sex is nothing to be ashamed of and a healthy partner will not think less of you for it.
We’ve rounded up the reasons you might be bleeding after sex, to learn more about why it’s happening and what you may be able to do about it.
You might have an STI you aren’t aware of.
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Bleeding after sex could be an indication of an undiagnosed STD. “The inflammation of your cervix causes the blood vessels there to swell,” Ian Currie, consultant gynecologist at BMI The Chiltern Hospital told Women’s Health. As you continue to have sex, the blood vessels have a greater potential to burst.
One type of STI is trichomoniasis which is caused by a single-celled parasite. Cervical discharge and bleeding are the most common symptoms of trichomoniasis. Fortunately, it is easily treated with an antibiotic, Very Well Health reports.
When your vagina is dry, bleeding can occur.
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Causes such as menopause can lead to a dry vagina. When your vagina is dry, you may experience bleeding from friction during sex, the NHS reports. This can be helped by talking to your doctor about what could be causing vaginal dryness, using proper lubrication, and starting slow.
Polyps aren’t dangerous, but they may cause bleeding.
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Polyps are noncancerous growths that can be found on the endometrial lining of your uterus or the cervix. According to Healthline, the polyps can irritate the surrounding areas and lead to bleeding after sex.
Endometriosis is a common cause of bleeding post-sex.
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The under-discussed condition of endometriosis occurs when the tissues that line the uterus, grow outside the uterus. Endometriosis can cause extreme pelvic pain, heavy periods and bleeding after sex, Medical News Today reports. If you have other symptoms of endometriosis, including bleeding after sex, you should talk to your doctor.
You have one of a myriad of infections.
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Beyond STIs, there are a variety of infections that could lead to bleeding during sex. According to Women’s Health, one of the most common infections is pelvic inflammatory disease. “PID is an infection of the gynecological organs and affects the womb, ovaries and Fallopian tubes,” London-based consultant gynecologist Tania Adib told Women’s Health. It generally occurs due to mild bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics.
Postmenopausal people have a higher chance of bleeding after sex.
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Following menopause, you produce less estrogen causing vaginal walls to thin and produce less mucus. The combination of less lubrication and a thinner barrier can cause bleeding to occur, Very Well Health reports.
Experiencing breakthrough bleeding can coincide with sex.
Breakthrough bleeding, also known as mid-cycle bleeding, can happen to women taking an oral contraceptive. “Some women experience breakthrough bleeding while they are on the pill and coincidentally this can happen while they are having sex,” Currie told Women’s Health “The intercourse itself is not causing the bleed but the motion may prompt it to happen.”
Vigorous sex can lead to an increased chance of bleeding.
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When you have more intense sex, the odds of cuts and tears on the vagina increase. Very Well Health reports that when these cuts happen, you’re more likely to bleed during sex. Taking it slow and using plenty of lubrication can lessen these odds.
If you recently gave birth, you’re more likely to bleed after sex.
From hormonal changes to tearing during labor, bleeding from sex post-childbirth is incredibly normal and no cause for alarm, Women’s Health reports.
In extreme cases, post-sex bleeding can be a result of cancer.
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Both cervical and uterine cancer can cause vaginal bleeding after sex. Healthline reports that these cancers are more common in postmenopausal women. If you think this may be the case, consult your doctor immediately.
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