Bleeding After Sex, Is it Normal?

Bleeding after sex or foreplay can be highly alarming for women and of course can also be something of a turn off – if engaging in intercourse is going to be you at risk of bleeding every time. However the good news is that in many cases this is nothing at all to worry about and will often have a relatively harmless cause. That said however, any abnormalities in this region should be taken very seriously and this is a symptom that should not be ignored. It’s highly important that you look into the possible causes and consult with your doctor if you are concerned.

Here we will look at some of the potential causes of bleeding after sex.

Menstrual Cycle

Of course if you have reached that point in your menstrual cycle then this can cause bleeding. While you might have thought you had a few more days’ grave before your period started, note that intercourse or foreplay can actually cause it arrive quicker thus catching some people off guard.


During pregnancy something called ‘spotting’ can occur at certain stages which is when the embryo attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. If this is the first time this has happened, and if you suspect you could possibly be pregnant then a pregnancy test may be in order.


Something to consider if you have engaged in foreplay prior is that your partners’ nails may have scratched the wall of the vagina. This can happen relatively easily as the area is highly sensitive and it is more likely of course the man has rough or sharp nails. This will usually go away after a couple of days, but it’s important to ensure that your partner is gentle in future.


Likewise if your partner is large, then some amount of tearing may also occur during sex which might lead to discomfort and bleeding. A doctor may recommend techniques to ‘stretch’ the vaginal opening, while lubrication may also help to make sex more pleasurable.


If this is your first time having sex then you will likely have penetrated your hymen. This is a layer of skin inside the vagina, and in some cases it can cause bleeding a couple of times after sex as well.


Bleeding after sex can be a sign of various sexually transmitted infections. These include chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis among others. If you have participated in unprotected sex and if you are experiencing other symptoms such as burning then this may be the case.

Yeast Infection

A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of the fungi that inhabit the vaginal region. Other symptoms may include burning, itching and white discharge (like cheese in appearance).

Hormonal Imbalance

Vaginal bleeding may also be a sign of a hormonal imbalance which may require hormone replacement therapy in order to cure. Many things can cause hormonal imbalances including the oral contraception or kidney infection. Intercourse or foreplay may trigger this bleeding, but it will likely also occur on its own if this is the cause.


Cervical polyps are small growths that grow out of the mucus layer of the cervical canal. These are smooth and red or purple in color, and can become damaged during sex or foreplay. Fortunately they can be easily and painlessly removed.

Uterine polyps meanwhile are polyps which protrude into the uterus. Symptoms include bleeding between periods and after sex as well as spotting.

Cervical Dysplasia

This condition describes changes in the epithelial cells which line the cervix. This is more common in those who have had multiple sexual partners and younger women. Treatment is normally cryosurgery or conisation.

Fibroid Tumor

A usually benign tumor in the uterus may also cause bleeding after sex. Other symptoms vary but it is highly important that women suffering from this condition do not take any form of oestrogen – for instance in the form of the birth control pill.

If you are bleeding after intercourse and cannot identify a clear cause, then it is important to see a doctor or a gynaecologist. Normally they will carry out a simple vaginal inspection, which will hopefully reveal the cause of the problem.


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