Causes, Risk Factors, and More

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Many individuals with vaginas expertise vaginal bleeding after intercourse at one time or one other. In truth, as much as 63 p.c of postmenopausal folks expertise vaginal dryness and vaginal bleeding or recognizing throughout intercourse.

Moreover, as much as 9 p.c of menstruating folks expertise postcoital (after-sex) bleeding.

Occasional mild bleeding is often not a trigger for concern. You probably have sure danger elements or have gone via menopause, bleeding after intercourse warrants a go to to the physician.

Bleeding after intercourse is medically often known as postcoital bleeding. It happens in folks of all ages. In youthful individuals who haven’t reached menopause, the supply of the bleeding is often the cervix.

In those that have gone via menopause, the supply of the bleeding is extra different. It may be from the:

By way of causes, cervical most cancers is the best concern. That is very true for postmenopausal folks. Nonetheless, postcoital bleeding is extra more likely to be attributable to a standard situation.


Some infections may cause irritation of the tissues within the vagina, which can result in bleeding. These embrace:

Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)

GSM was previously often known as vaginal atrophy. The situation is widespread in these in perimenopause and menopause and those that’ve had their ovaries eliminated.

As you become older, particularly when your menstrual intervals cease, your physique produces much less estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone accountable for regulating your reproductive system.

When your estrogen ranges are decrease, a number of issues occur to your vagina.

Your physique produces much less vaginal lubrication, so your vagina can grow to be dry and infected.

Decrease estrogen ranges additionally cut back the elasticity of your vagina. Vaginal tissues grow to be extra fragile, get much less blood movement, and are extra inclined to ripping and irritation. This could result in discomfort, ache, and bleeding throughout intercourse.

Vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness can result in bleeding. Along with GSM, vaginal dryness could be attributable to many different elements, similar to:

  • breastfeeding
  • childbirth
  • having your ovaries eliminated
  • sure drugs, together with chilly medication, bronchial asthma drugs, some antidepressants, and anti-estrogen medication
  • chemotherapy and radiation remedy
  • having intercourse earlier than you’re absolutely aroused
  • douching
  • chemical compounds in female hygiene merchandise, laundry detergents, and swimming pools
  • Sjögren’s syndrome, an inflammatory illness of the immune system that reduces moisture generated by glands within the physique


Polyps are noncancerous growths. They’re generally discovered on the cervix or within the endometrial lining of the uterus. A polyp dangles like a spherical pendant on a series. Polyp motion can irritate the encircling tissue and trigger bleeding from small blood vessels.

Vaginal tearing

Intercourse, particularly vigorous intercourse, may cause small cuts or scrapes to the vagina. That is extra more likely to occur when you’ve got vaginal dryness attributable to menopause, breastfeeding, or different elements.

Most cancers

Irregular vaginal bleeding, together with bleeding after intercourse, is a standard symptom of cervical or vaginal most cancers. In truth, it was the symptom for which 11 p.c of these identified with cervical most cancers first sought therapy.

Postmenopausal bleeding will also be a symptom of uterine most cancers.

It’s possible you’ll be at better danger of postcoital bleeding in case you:

  • have cervical or uterine most cancers
  • are in perimenopause, menopause, or are postmenopausal
  • lately had a child or are breastfeeding
  • aren’t absolutely aroused earlier than intercourse
  • douche steadily

The signs chances are you’ll expertise together with postcoital bleeding fluctuate relying on the trigger. In the event you aren’t menopausal, don’t have any different danger elements, and have solely minor recognizing or bleeding that goes away shortly, you most likely don’t have to see a health care provider.

You probably have any vaginal bleeding after menopause, see your physician straight away.

You must also seek the advice of your physician when you’ve got any of the next signs:

In the event you need assistance discovering a main care physician or gynecologist, you possibly can browse docs in your space via the Healthline FindCare device.

What occurs once you see your physician?

You may go to your main care physician or gynecologist for postcoital bleeding. Your physician will ask questions on your signs, similar to how lengthy and the way closely you’ve been bleeding. They could additionally ask in regards to the shade of the blood.

As a result of your signs are associated to sexual exercise, your physician may ask about your sexual historical past. For instance, they may ask in case you use condoms or barrier strategies recurrently or when you’ve got multiple sexual accomplice.

Relying in your signs and sexual historical past, your physician may suggest a bodily examination. Analyzing the world might assist your physician discover the supply of the blood. Postcoital bleeding might come out of your vaginal partitions, cervix, urethra, or vulva.

To assist decide what’s inflicting the bleeding, your physician may also order checks, similar to a pap smear, being pregnant take a look at, and vaginal cultures to search for STIs.

Many hesitate to go to their physician a few sexual well being query in the event that they discover pelvic exams uncomfortable. Nonetheless, seeing your physician about postcoital bleeding received’t essentially require a pelvic examination.

In the event you’ve been nervous about postcoital bleeding, seeing your healthcare supplier might assist put your thoughts comfy.

Vaginal bleeding, together with bleeding after intercourse, generally is a symptom of cervical and uterine cancers. These cancers are most typical in folks over age 50 or those that’ve skilled menopause.

Along with age, different danger elements embrace a household historical past of certainly one of these cancers, extra weight (for endometrial most cancers), or cigarette smoking. Getting the human papilloma virus (HPV) is one other danger issue for cervical most cancers.

In the event you expertise postcoital bleeding and have gone via menopause, see your physician to establish or rule out cervical and uterine cancers.

As with different varieties of most cancers, therapy is handiest when the most cancers is discovered and handled early.

Critical problems from postcoital bleeding aren’t widespread, until the trigger is most cancers or an untreated situation. Following are some attainable problems.


Heavy or very extended bleeding may cause iron deficiency anemia in very uncommon situations as a result of the crimson blood cells in your physique are depleted via blood loss. Nonetheless, this isn’t typical of postcoital bleeding.

Indicators of anemia embrace:

  • fatigue
  • weak point
  • dizziness
  • complications
  • unusually pale pores and skin

In case your anemia is attributable to blood loss attributable to postcoital bleeding or different causes, your physician might prescribe an iron complement. However crucial supply of iron is weight loss program. In the event you’re involved about your iron ranges, add extra of those iron-rich meals to your weight loss program:

An infection

You probably have vaginal dryness, you’re at better danger of growing a urinary tract an infection.

Bleeding after intercourse is usually attributable to vaginal dryness, however there are different extra critical causes, too. Postcoital bleeding generally is a symptom of many circumstances.

Your physician will first rule out most cancers by analyzing your vagina and cervix, taking a pap smear, and presumably conducting a biopsy. If most cancers is discovered, you’ll be referred to a specialist.

After most cancers is eradicated as the reason for your bleeding, a number of steps could also be taken to find out the supply:

  • examination of your vagina and cervix, both visually or via a magnifying system known as a colposcope
  • transvaginal ultrasound
  • urine take a look at
  • blood checks
  • testing of your vaginal discharge

The reason for your vaginal bleeding will decide your therapy.


In case your bleeding is attributable to vaginal dryness, vaginal moisturizers may help. Utilized recurrently, these merchandise are absorbed by the partitions of the vagina. They improve moisture and assist restore the pure acidity of the vagina. Store for vaginal moisturizers on-line.

Vaginal lubricants additionally cut back uncomfortable friction throughout intercourse. Store for some water-based and silicone-based lubricants on-line.

Estrogen remedy

In case your vaginal dryness is attributable to menopause or elimination of the ovaries, speak along with your physician about estrogen remedy. Topical estrogen merchandise embrace vaginal estrogen lotions and suppositories.

An alternative choice is an estrogen ring. This can be a versatile ring that’s inserted within the vagina. It releases a low dose of estrogen for 90 days.

Oral hormone remedy, which replaces the hormones estrogen and progestin, is another choice for some. Speak along with your physician in regards to the dangers and advantages of this therapy.

Further therapies

Vaginitis could be attributable to an an infection or vaginal dryness. The trigger may be unknown. Relying on the trigger, your physician might prescribe an antibiotic.

Antibiotics may be prescribed to deal with pelvic inflammatory illness and STIs.

In case your cervix has been broken by an an infection, your physician might take away affected cells utilizing silver nitrate or cryosurgery. On this course of, broken cells are frozen and killed.

Figuring out methods to forestall postcoital bleeding is determined by what has prompted bleeding for you previously.

For most individuals, utilizing water- or silicone-based lubricants will assist forestall bleeding attributable to vaginal dryness and friction throughout intercourse. In the event you’re utilizing condoms, an oil-based lubricant can injury it. Water-based lubricants are really useful.

It could additionally assist to take intercourse slowly and to cease in case you really feel ache. Utilizing vaginal moisturizers recurrently may help maintain the world moist and make you are feeling snug.

In case your signs of postcoital bleeding are associated to a medical situation, you possibly can speak to your physician about the very best choices to forestall future episodes.

Bleeding after intercourse is often a symptom of one other situation. Many of those, similar to infections and polyps, are treatable. Occasional recognizing after intercourse typically clears up by itself with out medical care.

In the event you’re postmenopausal, promptly notify your physician about any postcoital bleeding.

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