Vaginal bleeding after sex, known as postcoital bleeding is bleeding that occurs after sexual intercourse.
It’s quite normal to bleed the first time you have sex or even for a couple of days thereafter. However, if you’ve had sexual activity in the past and observed vaginal bleeding after intercourse, it’s probably a good idea to get it checked out.
Bleeding after sex is sometimes an indication of an underlying problem. It is still recommended to see your doctor even if you observe faint spotting.
Causes of Bleeding After Sex
This can be a cause of bleeding after sex despite how insignificant it may seem. It is important to keep track of the particular time of the month to be sure it is not the cause of bleeding. Maintaining a record of your cycles is especially beneficial when dealing with such queries. Apps that might help you keep track of your menstrual periods are available.
2. Genital Injury
Small tears and cuts in sensitive vaginal tissues are easily caused by the friction and abrasion of intercourse. Vaginal tissues can also expand and rip during childbirth, leaving them more vulnerable to harm.
When sexual intercourse occurs for the first time, the hymen, a tiny flap of the vaginal skin, is frequently stretched and ruptured. The slight bleeding that occurs as a result of this can linger for 1 to 2 days.
3. Vaginal dryness
One of the most prevalent causes of postcoital bleeding is vaginal dryness. The skin becomes especially sensitive to harm when it is dry. Mucus-producing tissues, such as the vaginal mucosa, are particularly vulnerable.
4. Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls that may occur when your body has less estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause.
5. Cervical Cancer
Cancers of the reproductive system or urogenital tract can affect the structure and function of vaginal tissues and hormone levels, rendering them more susceptible to injury. Cervical malignancies are frequently associated with postcoital bleeding.
If your doctor diagnoses cervical cancer, you will be referred to a gynecologic oncologist for further management. A simple outpatient procedure can be used to eradicate precancerous cells. If your doctor determines that the cells are malignant, he or she will likely recommend chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
6. Cervical Polyps
Polyps are growths on the cervix’s opening that might develop as a result of prolonged inflammation or hormonal changes. Polyps seen in the cervix are almost always benign.
In the case of mild symptoms, treatment may not be necessary. There is a very small probability of abnormal cells associated with irregular bleeding, thus they have to be removed. Any polyps that have been removed are sent off for evaluation to ensure that the cells are normal.
7. Cervical Ectropion
This occurs when glandular cells that line the internal part of the cervix grow outward and become exposed. This is common in many women (and may not require treatment), but if symptoms such as heavy discharge or bleeding occur, treatment may be necessary.
Infection of vaginal and cervical tissues can make them more susceptible to damage. These commonly include yeast infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervicitis, vaginitis, and sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissues, which line the uterus, grow outside of it. Inflammation can result, most commonly in the pelvic region and lower abdomen.
10. Abnormalities of the Genital Tract
Some people have differently shaped reproductive organs, which may increase the likelihood of painful friction and tear.
When To See The Doctor
You don’t need to see your doctor if you’re premenopausal and have infrequent episodes of vaginal bleeding after sex, and you’ve had normal results on routine Pap tests and sexually transmitted infection screenings.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you’re concerned about vaginal bleeding. Consult your doctor if you think you’ve been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection or suspect you have.
Vaginal bleeding should be evaluated at any time if you’re postmenopausal. Consult your doctor to ensure that your vaginal bleeding isn’t caused by something more serious.
Treatment options for vaginal bleeding after sex depends on the cause of the bleeding. Possible treatment options include:
- vaginal moisturizers
- antibiotics for infections caused by bacteria, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia
- medications for viral infections
- surgical removal, cryotherapy, or electrocautery in cases of cervical ectropion
- removal of polyps, especially those that cause significant bleeding or appear abnormal
- surgery or therapy for cancer
- low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy, in the form of creams, suppositories, or rings, for vaginal dryness