Bleeding After Sex While Pregnant

Having sex while pregnant is safe, but sometimes you might spot or bleed after sex. This is usually a normal response to changes in the body, including hormonal ones.

Light bleeding after sex is usually not cause for concern, except in rare cases of placenta previa (when the placenta covers part or all of the cervix). It can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhoea.

Causes

Seeing blood after sex is scary, especially when you’re pregnant. It can lead to fear that you might have a miscarriage, but in many cases it’s nothing to worry about. However, if you’re worried and don’t know what to do, talk to your doctor or midwife about it.

Bleeding after sex is most often caused by problems with the cervix, which opens into the vagina. It may be a sign of an ongoing infection like chlamydia or gonorrhea, or it could be a sign that you’re suffering from cervical polyps, which are small growths on the surface of the cervix. These aren’t serious and can usually be removed during a routine appointment.

In the early stages of pregnancy, light bleeding after sex can be a sign of implantation, which happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of your uterus (womb). It’s similar to having a period, and it typically occurs around the time that you would have a menstrual cycle if you weren’t pregnant.

More rarely, sex can cause bleeding that’s a sign of ectopic pregnancy or placenta previa, both of which are dangerous and require immediate medical attention. Very heavy bleeding in late pregnancy can also indicate that your water has broken or that there’s a problem with the uterus, which needs to be treated immediately with surgery or hospitalization.

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Symptoms

Often, bleeding after sex during pregnancy is nothing to worry about. However, you should contact your practitioner if you have heavy or prolonged bleeding, especially if it’s accompanied by pain, cramping, back and pelvic pressure, fever or contractions. They will want to find the cause and ensure you and your baby are safe.

During the first trimester, light bleeding can be caused by any penetrative act, including sexual activity and a pap smear. This is because your cervix becomes extra sensitive during this time and it’s also more vulnerable to irritation. Infection, particularly sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea or urinary tract infection, can also cause spotting.

In addition to these common causes of spotting during pregnancy, your cervix may become inflamed and bleed as a result of the hormone progesterone. Cervical polyps, small growths on the cervix, can also bleed during pregnancy and while most are harmless, they should be checked out by your healthcare provider.

Bleeding after sex during pregnancy can also be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the womb, usually in a fallopian tube. This is dangerous for both you and the fetus and requires immediate medical attention. Your doctor will probably recommend a hospital visit and possibly a caesarean section. The good news is that most women who have ectopic pregnancies go on to have healthy pregnancies after treatment.

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Treatment

If you are worried about spotting after sex while pregnant, consult your obstetrician as soon as possible. They may want to take a sample of your vaginal discharge and/or perform an ultrasound scan to check the cause. Bleeding can be a sign of early labour or an infection like chlamydia and gonorrhea, both of which can harm the baby and need to be treated. It can also be a sign of a condition called placenta praevia, where the placenta covers part or all of the cervix. This condition is dangerous for the baby and needs to be treated immediately.

Bleeding in early pregnancy is very common, especially after penetrative sex. This is due to a normal increase in the blood vessels of your cervix and vagina. This bleeding can be pink, light red or brown and is usually painless. It can be triggered by certain sexual positions or by your partner’s penis touching the cervix.

In some cases, heavy or prolonged bleeding after sex can be a sign of miscarriage. Having sex cannot cause miscarriage, but it can be caused by infection or problems with the cervix like an inflamed cervix or growths on the cervix. If the bleeding is enough to fill a pad, seek medical attention as it could be a sign of a serious problem.

Prevention

The good news is that light bleeding after sex in pregnancy is common and usually nothing to worry about. It happens due to pregnancy hormones that cause blood vessels on the cervix to enlarge and become more fragile, says Costescu. Deep penetration–whether it’s from a penis, finger, or toy–can also irritate the cervix and cause bleeding. However, switching sex positions may prevent this type of bleeding.

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Another possibility is implantation bleeding, which happens when the embryo attaches to the uterus lining. It usually resembles a light period and occurs around the time you’d get your period if you weren’t pregnant. This is normal, but it can be alarming if you have had sex during that time and then experience the bleeding.

Bleeding in early pregnancy may be a sign of placenta previa or placental abruption, both of which can lead to miscarriage or premature labor. It may also be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, which can endanger your pregnancy and the health of the fetus.

Heavy bleeding is never a good thing, even when it follows sexual activity. Talk to your practitioner right away so that she can figure out the cause of the bleeding and ensure you and the fetus are healthy. She may recommend pelvic rest (avoid sex and other activities that put pressure on the cervix) and possibly prescribe medications or blood transfusions if necessary.

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