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Bleeding After Sex That Isn’t Your Period

If you’re experiencing bleeding after sex, don’t panic. It’s totally normal (and, in most cases, harmless) — and there are a few reasons why it happens.

Everyone’s menstrual cycles are different, so it’s not surprising that you might experience irregular bleeding. But it’s important to note that it can also be a sign of serious health issues.

Causes

Bleeding after sex that isn’t related to your period can happen for a number of reasons. It typically comes from the cervix and can vary in amount, colour, and frequency. It can also indicate a range of issues from cervical ectropion (where the cervix isn’t pointing down) to endometrial polyps and even cervical cancer. It can also be caused by sex that is too rough or in unfavourable positions, especially if you don’t use enough lubrication.

It’s also possible for sex to kick-start your period if you’re on the verge of getting one. The uterine lining gets thicker right before your period starts and some of the cells may break off during sex or during a particularly intense orgasm.

Other causes include cervical infections like chlamydia, which can be spread through unprotected sex. Atrophic vaginitis, which is a condition that leads to dryness of the vulva, can cause bleeding after sex as well.

Bleeding after sex can be a normal part of the menstrual cycle but it should always be followed up by a visit to a gynecologist. During a physical exam and Pap smear, doctors can rule out any issues that are causing it and decide on a treatment plan. If the bleeding continues or doesn’t stop, it might be worth considering a colposcopy to get a closer look at the cervix.

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Symptoms

If you’re experiencing spotting after having sex, it might not be a normal part of your menstrual cycle. This type of bleeding could be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection or cancer, but it’s also possible that you aren’t pregnant and the blood is simply a result of tearing or friction from having sex.

Bleeding after penetrative sex is typically from the vagina or cervix, though it can be from other places as well. A lot of women mistake this for their regular period, especially if it’s right before or after their period. It’s important to keep track of your menstrual cycle and to have routine screenings like a pap smear.

The spotting you’re experiencing may be a result of a sexually transmitted disease, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis. These are spread through unprotected sex, and can be treated with antibiotics. Bleeding after sex could also be a symptom of cervical polyps, which are noncancerous growths in the cervix. These can cause spotting and may be a result of chronic inflammation or hormonal changes.

It’s also a possibility that you are suffering from uterine fibroids, which can be diagnosed through a pelvic exam in your doctor’s office or by an ultrasound. There are a number of surgical techniques that can be used to treat this condition, including medications to ease symptoms and procedures to shrink or remove the uterus entirely.

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Treatment

Up to 9 percent of menstruating people have vaginal bleeding after sex, called postcoital bleeding. This blood comes from the cervix, and it can be caused by many things. It’s often nothing to worry about. But it can also be a sign of cervical cancer, or other serious conditions like uterine polyps, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Women should see a doctor if they’re worried about sex-related bleeding. A gynecologist or a genitourinary specialist will talk to them about their medical history and do a physical exam. They may recommend a Pap test or pelvic ultrasound to check for signs of infection or cancer.

They might also do a pelvic exam, which can be uncomfortable for some women. They’ll look at your cervix, which is the end of your uterus that opens into the vagina. They might want to take a tissue sample for a biopsy.

The doctor will usually check for cancer first by examining your cervix and taking a Pap test. Then they’ll check to make sure you don’t have an infection or other problem that’s causing the bleeding. They might also do a colposcopy, which is an in-depth exam of the cervix with a tiny camera or a magnifying lens. This can help if a Pap smear doesn’t show any problems or if you have a lot of cervical tissue that needs to be removed.

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Prevention

While it’s normal to have a little bleeding after or during sex, you should seek medical attention for any bleeding that happens consistently and isn’t your period. It could be a sign of something more serious, including an infection or cervical issues.

A common reason that girls get spotting or bleeding after sex is because they orgasm and their uterus contracts, which can cause some blood to leave the body. The hymen can also tear or break and bleed after sex. It’s usually nothing to worry about, but you should go see a doctor if the bleeding is bright red or heavy.

Bleeding after or during sex can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes. Bleeding can also be a symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection of the vulva and cervix.

It’s important to schedule regular Pap smears to check for things like cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and non-cancerous growths on the cervix. Girls can also get pregnant if they have unprotected sex after their periods because sperm can live for up to five days and fertilize an egg. It’s best not to have sex until you’re at least past your fertility window, which is typically the day after your period ends. It’s also important to use protection at all times to prevent pregnancy and to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.