Most Common Causes of Bleeding after Sex

When you experience vaginal bleeding after sex, and you are sure it isn’t from your period, it can be a scary thing. This issue, also called postcoital bleeding, happens more often than you might think and there are many potential causes.

It should be noted that bleeding after sex is definitely not a normal thing. However, many of the causes are easily treatable when diagnosed properly and promptly. Treatment varies widely depending on the issue. In some cases, no treatment may even be needed.

Causes

The following conditions and diseases can cause vaginal bleeding after sex:

Menstruation – If you experience bleeding after sex around the time of your period, this may be the first cause to look at. Many women have menstrual periods which are not as predictable as they’d like them to be. In addition, menstrual periods can be affected by many things, including medications, strenuous exercise, certain diet changes and even stress.

Sexual Inexperience – If you are having sex for the first time, it is not terribly uncommon to experience bleeding after sex, since the initial penetration can cause vaginal tearing or breakage of the hymen which can cause bleeding. In this case, blood can be a bright red color at first, then may turn into a darker red as it dries. For some women, after their first sexual experience, the bleeding can continue for up to one day. It will typically be a small amount and would be much less blood than your period.

Vaginal Trauma – Any kind of trauma to the cervix or vagina can result in bleeding. Trauma can be from sex toys used inappropriately or from abuse or sexual assault. In the case of abuse or assault, the bleeding would typically be from vaginal dryness or a lack of lubrication in the vagina.

Vagina Dryness – If sex occurs without enough lubrication, vigorous intercourse can cause tearing in the vagina which can bleed. Dryness makes it difficult for the penis to move in the vagina, which can cause friction. Dryness is easily remedied if it is a problem by using store bought lubricants.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases – Common STD’s like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea or trichomoniasis can cause vaginal bleeding. Getting tested and treated for your particular STD would help to eliminate the bleeding.

Cervical Dysplasia – This is a condition where precancerous cells may be lining the uterus.

Vaginitis – This is an inflammation, infection or swelling that occurs in the vagina.

Cervicitis – This is an inflammation, infection or swelling that occurs in the cervix.

Vaginal Yeast Infection – A vaginal yeast infection occurs when yeast that is normally found in the vagina begins to overgrow. The resulting infection can cause itching which may cause bleeding or tearing of the vagina. Vaginal yeast infections are quite easy to treat with over the counter or doctor prescribed medications or suppositories.

Uterine Polyps – Polyps are growths in the uterus. These growths can cause bleeding between periods, bleeding after sex and bleeding after menopause.

Uterine Fibroids – This is another type of abnormal growth that can occur in the uterus and cause bleeding.

Cancer – Any cancer of the reproductive system could potentially cause bleeding after sex, including cancer of the cervix, vagina or uterus. If you have a history of cancer in your family and experience bleeding after sex, it is especially important for you to get checked by your doctor as soon as possible.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – This condition is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes or other reproductive organs.

When to Call a Doctor

You should be examined by a gynecologist if you experience bleeding after sex on a recurring basis or if you experience it with any other symptoms. You should especially watch out for symptoms like severe pain in the pelvis or abdomen, severe bleeding, bleeding during pregnancy, high fever or dizziness. All of these symptoms with vaginal bleeding can indicate a possible life threatening problem and you should be examined by a doctor right away.

Other symptoms which can occur with vaginal bleeding include:

  • Low back pain
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Abdominal crampimg
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Infertility
  • Unusual discharge
  • Painful sex

Blood in the urine can sometimes be mistaken for bleeding after sex. In this case, it is especially important to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor, as bloody urine can be caused by some very serious health issues. Basically, any bleeding which you can’t explain should always be checked out by your doctor.

Possible Complications

Bleeding after sex due to a condition or disease can be very serious and lead to complications. This is why it is critical to have it checked out by a doctor. Some complications of bleeding after sex can include:

  • Chronic pain in pelvis or abdomen
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Fertility issues
  • Cancer which spreads to other areas of the reproductive system
  • Pelvic scarring and adhesions
  • Hemorrhage

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