7 reasons women experience bleeding after sex – and when you should see a doctor
Bleeding after sex is common, and there are many reasons why you may be experiencing it.
If you're not on your period and aren't counting down the days to Aunty Flo's arrival, then you may find it worrying to see blood.
Oftentimes, though, it is no cause for concern. Bleeding after sex can be caused by a myriad of benign factors — but in some rare instances, it may indicate something more serious.
Why am I bleeding after sex?
Here are seven reasons why you may be experiencing bleeding after sex...
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1. Vaginal dryness
Vaginal dryness can cause bleeding after sex.
There are several reasons why you may be experiencing vaginal dryness. Per WebMD, it can be caused by breastfeeding, childbirth, douching, menopause, as well as some cold, allergy, and anti-estrogen medications.
2. Friction during sex
Vaginal dryness and bleeding, can also be exacerbated by friction during sex and if there is not enough lubricant.
So, if you are experiencing these symptoms, try investing in lubes for comfort, and speak to your healthcare provider if it does not improve.
3. Damage to the vagina
Damage to the vagina, such as tears, can also cause bleeding after sex.
It can be caused by vaginal dryness, too much friction during sex, rough sex and tears that have been caused by childbirth.
4. Cervical inflammation or cervicitis
Cervicitis is an inflammation of the cervix — that is, the lower end of the uterus, which opens into the vagina. One of the most common symptoms of cervicitis is bleeding between your period, as well as painful sex, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Occasionally, there will be no signs and symptoms.
Cervicitis often results from sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea. However, it can develop from noninfectious causes too.
5. Cervical polyps
Cervical polyps are benign and non-cancerous growths that can occur in the womb, or the lining of the cervix. These small growths often appear on your cervix where it connects to the vagina, and can cause bleeding after sex.
If you suspect you have Cervical polyps, pay a visit to your doctor. They can be removed during your appointment.
6. Cervical ectropion
Cervical ectropion where the inner lining of the cervix pokes out through the cervical opening and grows on the vaginal side of the cervix. Though rare, this can be a cause of vaginal bleeding.
If you suspect you have cervical ectropion, please speak to your healthcare advisor.
7. Cancer of the cervix, vagina or uterus
While most causes of vaginal bleeding are harmless, it can occasionally be a symptom of a more serious issue, like cancer of the cervix, vagina or uterus.
It is incredibly important that all women aged 25 to 64 get regular cervical screening tests to help prevent cervical cancer.
Is bleeding after sex serious?
In most instances, bleeding after sex is not serious. If you experience some minor bleeding occasionally, chances are that everything is fine.
However, if you have any cause for concern, it's imperative that you speak to your doctor. They can conduct a physical exam, and check if there is anything serious.
How can you prevent bleeding after sex?
If the bleeding is not caused by anything significant, there are a few lifestyle adjustments you can make to prevent it from happening.
These include using lube before and after sex, having more foreplay before penetration, and avoiding rough sex.
It may also be helpful to wait a few days after your period ends to have sex, as many people can mistake this blood for something more concerning.