Here are eight reasons why you may see blood after sex, and when to see your gynecologist.
Considering we equate blood with injury, bleeding after sex can be particularly scary. But when it comes to postcoital bleeding, it’s generally not a cause for serious concern, says Makeba Williams, M.D., a gynecologist at UW Health in Madison, WI.
In fact, about 6 to 9% of women worldwide have bled after sex, according to a 2014 review in Obstetrics and Gynecology International, although some gynecologists believe this number is likely much higher.
Many times, the red surprise is a sign of fluctuating hormones or some kind of inflammation. That is part of the reason why bleeding after sex is more common among people ages 20-24, when women often start birth control and problems such as cervical ectropion, polyps are more likely. cervical (more on all this below). And in about half of women, any case of bleeding after sex will resolve on its own, the same study review says.
But it can be a marker of something more serious, namely cervical cancer. And because of that, you should always pay attention and tell your doctor if you bleed after sex more than once, adds Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Yale University.
To calm your anxiety until you wait for your appointment, check out the eight most common reasons women bleed after sex.
You have your period early.
The problem: If you shouldn’t have your period, there is still a chance that it is the cause of your spotting. Increase your exercise frequency, be very stressed, start a new contraceptive method, change your sleep habits – there are plenty of environmental and hormonal causes that can lead to an early or unexpected period, says gynecological obstetrician Sherry A., based in Santa Monica. Ross, MD, author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period.
The solution: If it happens once or twice, it is not cause for alarm, but if your period remains unpredictable, be sure to inform your doctor.
You are not producing or using sufficient lubrication.
The problem: If your estrogen levels are low, which occurs naturally during menopause, perimenopause, or while breastfeeding, your vagina has less blood flow. This makes the vaginal tissue less elastic, creating more friction during sex and potentially causing you to bleed, explains Dr. Minkin. But even among young women, if you’re not very aroused before sex, this dryness can also create friction.
The solution: If your problem is hormonal, use an over-the-counter moisturizer like Replens two to three times a week to keep the tissue moist. If you don’t get turned on enough before sex, tell your partner to skip a little foreplay to increase the chances of you getting wet naturally. For whatever reason, when game time comes, use a lubricant like Replens Silky Smooth or Good Clean Love as needed during sex.