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7 reasons why you might be bleeding after sex

By Ashley Cobb

Have you ever bled after sex, and it wasn’t that time of the month? Bleeding after sex happens; no need to panic just yet. Bleeding can be caused by several reasons. Here is a list of the most common reasons you might be bleeding after sex. 

1. STI Symptoms

Sexually transmitted infections can cause a wide array of symptoms, including bleeding. Some STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea cause inflammation of the cervix.  An inflamed and irritated cervix can bleed during penetration. If you think you might have an STI, head to your doctor to get tested ASAP.

2. Polyps

Polyps are like teardrops of tissue that form in the reproductive tract on the cervix or inside the uterus. They dangle like a round pendant on a chain. Polyps are noncancerous growths. Polyp movement can irritate the surrounding tissue and cause bleeding from small blood vessels. The good news is that these lesions can be easily removed by a doctor. 

3. Need more lube

Not being wet enough is a prevalent cause of vaginal bleeding. If you’re not wet enough during sex, there’s a chance you might bleed—all that friction from penetration can tear sensitive vaginal tissues. This is why it’s important to use lube every time you have sex; excessive friction creates dryness naturally.  Some other causes of vagina dryness could be menopause or not being properly aroused. If sex feels uncomfortable, additional lubrication can help; when in doubt, use more lube. 

4. Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when the tissues that line the uterus, grow outside the uterus. Endometriosis can cause extreme pelvic pain, heavy periods, and bleeding after sex. If you have other symptoms of endometriosis, including bleeding after sex, you should talk to your doctor.

5. Birth Control Side Effect

Breakthrough bleeding, also known as mid-cycle bleeding, can happen to women on birth control pills. It’s usually a small amount of spotting at a time when you’re not expecting your period, though some women have heavier bleeding. Intercourse itself is not causing the bleed, but the rubbing from penetration can prompt it to happen.

6. Signs of a fibroid

Your uterus is made up of glandular and muscular tissue, and a fibroid is a benign overgrowth of that muscular tissue. A fibroid can be as small as a pea or as large as a grapefruit, and it typically grows out of the uterine wall.  Most women will never know if they have fibroids, and if one is diagnosed, most of the time, no treatment is needed. However, for others, problems can arise if a fibroid grows too large. Fibroids can cause bleeding when they are all or partially within the uterine cavity. If you suspect you have fibroids, consult your doctor.

7. Cancer symptoms

Both cervical and uterine cancer can cause vaginal bleeding after sex; however, it is more common in postmenopausal women. Cervical cancer is rare in women who get regular Pap tests. Still, bleeding with sex is the main symptom of cervical cancer. Bleeding is typically light and painless. The vascular nature of cervical cancer combined with the friction of sex can irritate tissue and cause bleeding. If you have continued or persistent abnormal bleeding, tell your doctor.

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