If you find blood following intercourse and you are not menstruating, it can be alarming. Post-coital bleeding affects as many as nine percent of women of child-bearing age and may be the result of various conditions. In many cases, there is no underlying health condition and a rare instance of post-coital bleeding may not indicate a problem. Occasionally bleeding after sex is caused by an underlying illness or infection. Here’s what you need to know:
Causes of Bleeding After Sex
Most commonly, vaginal bleeding following intercourse originates in the cervix. The cervix is the narrow tube-like canal that connects your vagina to your uterus. It prevents things from entering your uterus (think of it as your body’s gatekeeper), and it decides what exits the body, such as when it dilates during childbirth or during your period.
If you experience minor bleeding after sex, chances are pretty good that you have nothing to worry about. If this bleeding happens a few days before or after your menstrual period, you can rest assured that you’re probably in the clear. The only way to know for sure, however, it to make an appointment with your OBGYN so she can evaluate your condition and give you the “all clear.”
Bleeding after sex can be caused by any of the following:
- Microscopic tears that can occur during sex
- Vaginal dryness or lack of lubrication
- Normal menstrual bleeding
- A vaginal or cervical infection
- Open sores from an STI (Sexually transmitted infection) like herpes
- A precancerous spot on your cervix
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Certain female cancers
While many causes of bleeding after sex are completely harmless and no cause for alarm, the only way to know for sure is to make an appointment with your OBGYN so she may give you a thorough exam and determine whether you have a disease or condition that requires treatment.
What if I’ve Already Been Through Menopause?
If you have already gone through menopause, vaginal bleeding is not considered normal and should be evaluated immediately. See your doctor so you can rule out the possibility of female cancers and other issues.
What Will My OBGYN Look For?
Having an honest relationship with your OBGYN in Virginia Beach is the most important step you can take to ensuring the overall health of your reproductive system. After a series of questions, your doctor will first want to determine if the bleeding is a result of normal spotting or if you’re experiencing pain during sex. Sometimes sexual pain is a result of inadequate lubrication, a condition that is easily remedied.
A Pelvic Exam
Your OBGYN will give you a pelvic examination see if she can locate the source of the bleeding. She will look for any tears or sores that may be causing your vaginal bleeding. If she finds any polyps during the course of the examination, these will be sent for testing to be sure they are benign.
During this examination your doctor can also check sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea or chlamydia, and to look for precancerous spots on your cervix. If she finds something of concern, further test may be required. The entire examination should be relatively easy and painless.
Most of the time, minor bleeding following sexual intercourse is nothing to be concerned about. This is a symptom that can affect all women from time to time, and is usually not an indication that anything is amiss in your body. However, it’s always better to get the opinion of a medical professional to be sure all is well. If you experience bleeding after sex, contact your Virginia Beach OBGYN to schedule an appointment so we can help set your mind at ease – or identify a physical problem that requires treatment.