If you have a uterus, you’re probably accustomed to the sight of blood. However, if you’re not on your period and notice blood after sex, you’re probably rightfully concerned.
But what can cause bleeding after sex? Is it something to worry about? I have once again had the privilege of contributing to an article on Giddy, this time on the causes of bleeding after sex.
Reasons You’re Bleeding After Sex
Is it your hymen?
If this is your first time having penetrative intercourse, there is a chance the blood could be from the breaking or tearing of your hymen, the membranous tissue at the opening of the vagina.
However, hymens don’t always “break” during sex, said Thais Aliabadi, M.D., a board-certified OB-GYN and founder of Trimly, a weight-loss program based in Los Angeles.
“The hymen is not like a seal on a drink…Some will ‘break’ with first penetrative intercourse and some won’t. Some will break before or outside of intercourse. The state of the hymen is not evidence of sexual activity or lack thereof,” said Wendy Goodall McDonald, M.D., a board-certified OB-GYN at Women’s Health Consulting in Chicago.
“Some vaginas will bleed during the first time having penetrative intercourse due to the hymen being stretched or torn,” explained Jerome Chelliah, M.D., M.P.H., a board-certified OB-GYN in Cleveland and vice president of clinical operations at HerMD, a women’s healthcare provider.
What else causes bleeding after sex?
Other causes that might explain why you are bleeding during sex include: atrophic vaginitis, which is vaginal dryness that results from reduced vaginal secretions, typically after menopause; damage to the vagina, such as tears caused during sex; cervical or endometrial polyps; cervical ectropion; and, rarely, cancer, Chelliah explained.
Can sex jump-start your period?
If you are bleeding after penetrative intercourse and your period is around the corner, there is a chance the sex you just had did somewhat jump-start your period, especially if you orgasmed.
“If you orgasm during sex, the orgasm can cause uterine contractions. If you are within a few days of the anticipated start of your period, an orgasm can cause menstrual blood to be expelled as a result of uterine contractions,” Chelliah said.
However, if you orgasm during sex and your period is not expected to start any time soon, penetrative intercourse will not jump-start your period, Chelliah explained.
What is the treatment for bleeding after sex?
Treatment for bleeding after sex depends on the cause of the bleeding.
“If the bleeding is from an infection or an STI, antibiotics will serve as the first line of treatment. If the bleeding is caused by a polyp, then removal of the polyp is generally necessary,” Chelliah said. “If a tear is causing the bleeding, it should be repaired. In the unlikely event cancer is causing the bleeding, an oncologist will manage your treatment options.
Chelliah added that you should be evaluated by a medical provider if the bleeding is persistent, occurring each time you have sex, or heavy, which is defined as soaking through one pad every hour.
If you’re experiencing unexpected bleeding, contact Dr. Aliabadi
Dr. Thais Aliabadi is a renowned OB/GYN familiar with all aspects of women’s health. As a skilled gynecological surgeon, she is not only knowledgeable in the possible causes of post-coital bleeding but fully equipped to treat them.
Problems can arise at any age; even if you aren’t currently experiencing gynecological concerns, it’s important to have an established relationship with a trusted OB/GYN.
Make an appointment online or call us at (844) 863-6700.
The gynecology practice of Dr. Thais Aliabadi is conveniently located for patients throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area. We are near Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Culver City, Hollywood, Venice, Marina del Rey, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, and Downtown Los Angeles.