Bleeding After Sex – Is It Dangerous?

Occasional light bleeding after sex isn’t necessarily a sign of anything dangerous, but it can be worrying. Bleeding after sex isn’t always related to your menstrual cycle, but it can also be caused by irritation of the cervix or uterus.

It is possible that sex can kick-start your period, but it only happens if you are close to your expected date and have an orgasm. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to schedule a pap smear.

Causes

It’s easy to panic when you experience post-coital bleeding. However, there are a few reasons why you may be bleeding after sex. If you’re near the beginning of your period or if you’ve been having rougher sex, some bleeding is normal. It can happen due to the uterine lining getting thicker or from friction during intercourse, Dr. Jacques Moritz tells SELF.

It can also be a sign of an infection or irritation of the cervix, such as from sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can cause inflammation, scarring, and bleeding in the reproductive organs, the Mayo Clinic says. Infections can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, which is an inflammation of the tissue that lines the uterus and can also cause pain and bleeding.

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Other causes of sex-related bleeding can include cervical ectropion, which happens when the cells from inside your cervix grow on the outside, and cervical or endometrial polyps, which are non-cancerous growths that develop on the cervix and uterus and may bleed during or after sex. Hormonal imbalances caused by conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid disorders, or menopause can also result in sex-related bleeding.

Bleeding after sex can be caused by insufficient vaginal lubrication during sexual activity, which can cause small tears or irritation in the tissue, as well as cervical or endometrial polyps. In addition, sex can lead to an orgasm, which may cause uterine contractions and bleeding.

Treatment

If you have regular bleeding after sex, you should talk to your doctor about it, regardless of the cause. It could be a sign of uterine cancer, cervical polyps, endometriosis or ovarian cysts. It could also be a symptom of other issues like low estrogen associated with menopause, cervical dysplasia or infection. Seeing a doctor is especially important if the bleeding is frequent or unrelated to your menstrual cycle, Streicher says.

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If the bleeding is caused by a sexually transmitted infection like chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, it can be treated with antibiotics. If it’s a uterine abnormality, your doctor may perform a pelvic exam to check for the cause. They might also do a Pap smear, a test to screen for cancer and spot growths on the cervix.

Bleeding after sex isn’t always a bad thing and it can be a good reminder to use birth control. However, it’s not uncommon for your Aunt Flo to show up a day early or to start before you’re done with your period. If this is happening regularly, you should talk to your doctor about alternative methods of birth control. They’ll recommend something that will work for you, whether it’s ella, Plan B One Step or a copper IUD.

Prevention

Bleeding between periods is not uncommon, but if you’re bleeding more than usual or having a lot of period pain it’s time to talk to your doctor. You can get pregnant anytime during your menstrual cycle, so it’s important to use contraception if you want to avoid pregnancy. You can protect yourself with pads, liners, tampons or menstrual cups. You can also try using the ovulation test to predict your fertile window. This way you can plan sex when it’s safest.

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Diagnosis

If you’re postmenopausal and bleeding after sex, talk to your doctor. They can give you a pelvic exam and a Pap test to check your cervix. Bleeding after sex in postmenopausal women isn’t normal and can be a sign of endometriosis or cervical cancer. But it can also be caused by a sexually transmitted infection like chlamydia or gonorrhea, which are treatable with antibiotics. If your Pap test and pelvic exam are both normal, your doctor may do a colposcopy to get a better look at your cervix. They may also swab your cervix to see if there are any signs of inflammation or precancerous growths.

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