Sometimes I have bleeding after sex. What could be causing this?

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If you're experiencing a little bleeding after intercourse, there's no need to panic. More often than not, there's a harmless explanation. We'll go over some common causes and help answer when and if you should make an appointment to get checked out.

Your Monthly Cycle

Bleeding during or after sex is usually caused by your monthly cycle. In the few days before or after your period, you may experience a little spotting or bleeding. While messy and annoying, this is usually nothing to be concerned about.

In fact, having sex can sometimes make your bleeding start a little earlier than normal if you are close to your expected start date. This is due to a combination of your uterus naturally contracting when you orgasm, and semen softening your cervix. Similarly, if you have just ended your period, you may still have had a little bleeding over the next day or two, even if you thought it was over.

A New Hormonal Birth Control

When you start a new hormonal birth control, it's normal to experience "breakthrough bleeding." While this irregular bleeding is not uncommon with any new hormonal method, it's especially common in the first few months of an IUD placement. If you have any concerns about your new birth control or if the bleeding persists for more than 6 months, reach out to your doctor.

Lack of Lubrication

Bleeding can also occur from friction. If you're struggling with producing natural lubrication, talk to your partner about ways to improve your arousal. You could also purchase a lubricant at your local drugstore.

A Vaginal Infection

Unfortunately, a yeast infection or STI can sometimes be the underlying cause. If you have bleeding after sex and it is coupled with any signs of vaginal infection such as foul-smelling discharge, colored discharge, itching, discomfort, or pelvic pain, we recommend you come in for an infection screening right away.

Something More Serious

Rare, but serious causes of bleeding after sex include:

  • Uterine or cervical polyps
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and even certain cancers.

If there's a deeper cause, you'll want to seek treatment as soon as it’s diagnosed. The above typically cause heavier-than-normal menstrual periods, so if your bleeding is excessive even outside of sex, come in for a pelvic exam and possible pap smear.

Need to make an appointment? Call (877) 883.7264 or go to to book an appointment online.