Bleeding After Sex No Pain

If cancer is not the cause of your bleeding, a doctor may take additional steps to determine the source:

Is it normal to bleed after intercourse?

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It is not uncommon to bleed after intercourse. It can happen for many reasons, such as vaginal dryness, an injury, or polyps. Bleeding can also indicate a more serious condition, however, such as endometriosis or cancer.

An estimated 0.7 to 9 percent of menstruating women experience postcoital bleeding, primarily from the cervix.

Postcoital bleeding refers to genital bleeding after intercourse. The medical community typically uses this term to describe bleeding from the vagina

The source of this bleeding tends to be more varied in women who are no longer menstruating.

Fast facts on bleeding after sex:

  • The source of the bleeding is different, depending on whether a woman is menstruating.
  • If vaginal bleeding after sex is related to menstruation, it is not considered postcoital bleeding.
  • Anyone who engages in sexual intercourse can experience postcoital bleeding.

Midsection Of Couple Sitting At Home talking about bleeding after intercourse

Common causes of bleeding after sex include:

Injury

The friction and abrasion of intercourse can easily cause small tears and cuts in sensitive genital tissues.

Childbirth can also cause vaginal tissues to stretch and tear, sometimes making them more vulnerable to injury.

On the first occurrence of sexual intercourse, a small flap of vaginal skin called the hymen is often stretched and broken. The minor bleeding this causes can last 1 to 2 days.

Vaginal dryness

Dryness is among the most common causes of postcoital bleeding. When the skin is dry it becomes extremely vulnerable to damage. Mucus-producing tissues, such as those in the vagina, are especially vulnerable.

Common causes of vaginal dryness include:

  • Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM): Once called vaginal atrophy, GSM refers to reduced lubrication, thickness, and elasticity of vaginal tissue.
  • Ovary damage or removal: Severe accidents that damage the ovaries, or conditions that lead to their removal, destroy the body’s biggest source of estrogen.
  • Childbirth and breast-feeding: During pregnancy, estrogen levels are very high. However, they drop almost immediately after childbirth, because estrogen can interfere with the production of breast milk.
  • Medications that interfere with estrogen or dehydrate the body: Vaginal dryness can result from taking anti-estrogen medications, cold or flu medications, steroids, sedatives, several antidepressants, and calcium or beta channel blockers.
  • Chemicals and other irritants: Allergens and chemicals in hot tubs, pools, products such as laundry detergents, scented lubricants, and condoms can all cause dryness.
  • Douching: Douching can irritate and dry vaginal tissues.
  • Engaging in intercourse before arousal: During sexual arousal, vaginal tissues secrete natural lubricants, which help to prevent dryness and damaging friction during intercourse.

Infections

Any type of infection can cause inflammation of vaginal tissues, making them more vulnerable to damage. These commonly include yeast infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervicitis, vaginitis, and sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Cervical or endometrial polyps or fibroids

Polyps and fibroids are tiny noncancerous growths. They commonly grow on the lining of the cervix or uterus, especially in menstruating people, and can cause pain and bleeding.

Cervical ectropion

Glandular cells from the inside of the cervical canal can abnormally grow on the outside of the cervix. This condition usually clears up without treatment, but it can cause spotting and vaginal bleeding.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis causes endometrial tissues, the tissues that line the uterus, to grow outside of the uterus. This can cause inflammation, usually in the pelvic region and lower abdomen.

Cervical dysplasia

Cervical dysplasia occurs when abnormal, precancerous cells grow in the lining of the cervical canal, which is the opening separating the vagina and uterus. These growths can irritate and eventually damage surrounding tissues, especially during intercourse.

Anatomical abnormalities

Some people have differently shaped reproductive organs, which may increase the likelihood of painful friction and tearing.

Bleeding disorders

Diseases that cause abnormal bleeding or clotting can increase the risk of postcoital bleeding. Blood-thinning medications may also have this effect.

Cancers

Cancers that impact the reproductive system or urogenital tract can alter vaginal tissues and hormone levels, making them more vulnerable to damage. Postcoital bleeding is considered a common symptom of both cervical and uterine cancers.

Common risk factors for postcoital bleeding include:

  • vaginal dryness
  • dehydration
  • aggressive intercourse
  • immunosuppressant medications
  • immune conditions
  • family history of vaginal dryness or inflammation
  • history of cervical or uterine cancer
  • being perimenopausal, menopausal, or postmenopausal
  • sex without the use of condoms
  • anxiety or reluctance around intercourse and intimacy
  • lack of sexual experience
  • exposure to irritant chemicals or allergens
  • vaginal or uterine infections
  • douching
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure

There are no national or international guidelines doctors use to diagnose or manage postcoital bleeding.

Many medical professionals will ask questions about individual and family medical histories and perform a full physical exam.

Additional tests may include:

  • culture tests for infection
  • biopsies of abnormal growths and masses
  • a transvaginal ultrasound
  • a colposcopy
  • an endometrial biopsy
  • blood tests
  • a pregnancy test

If a doctor can not determine the cause of problematic bleeding, they may refer a woman to a gynecologist.

Talk with a doctor any time postcoital bleeding is severe, frequent, or continues for more than a few hours after intercourse.

Also speak with a doctor if postcoital bleeding is accompanied by additional symptoms, including:

  • vaginal burning or itching
  • abnormal discharge
  • intense abdominal pain
  • nausea, vomiting, or lack of appetite
  • stinging or burning when urinating or during intercourse
  • lower back pain
  • unexplained fatigue and weakness
  • headaches or lightheadedness
  • abnormally pale skin
  • bladder or bowel symptoms

In many cases, there is no single clear cause of postcoital bleeding, so there is no direct course of treatment.

Potential treatment options include:

  • vaginal moisturizers, available for purchase online.
  • antibiotics for infections caused by bacteria, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia
  • medications for viral infections
  • surgical removal, cryotherapy, or electrocautery in cases of cervical ectropion
  • removal of polyps, especially those that cause significant bleeding or appear abnormal
  • surgery or therapy for cancer
  • low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy, in the form of creams, suppositories, or rings, for vaginal dryness

Pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding all cause major hormonal changes, most of which can make vaginal tissues more prone to damage. During pregnancy, minor bleeding during or after intercourse is common.

Talk with a doctor about any form of heavy or prolonged bleeding during early pregnancy. Seek immediate medical care for bleeding during the late pregnancy, as it can be a sign of preterm labor.

Minor postcoital bleeding can often not be prevented. However, the following actions tend to greatly reduce the severity and frequency of bleeding.

Prevention tips include:

  • staying hydrated
  • using water- or silicon-based lubricants during foreplay and intercourse. A range of lubricants is available for purchase online.
  • avoiding aggressive sexual acts
  • using vaginal moisturizers on a daily basis, available for purchase online.
  • avoiding scented or flavored feminine products
  • always using condoms, especially when engaging with different sexual partners
  • talking with sexual partners about anxieties and reluctance surrounding intercourse
  • trying to become aroused before engaging in intercourse
  • seeking medical advice and treatment for suspected infections

In addition, a person can use herbal supplements that have been scientifically shown to help reduce vaginal dryness and GSM symptoms. Some of these supplements are available for purchase online, including black cohosh, vitamin E, omega-3, and oil of primrose.

It may also be beneficial to consume foods rich in plant estrogens or phytoestrogens.

Foods rich in phytoestrogens include:

  • flax
  • lentils
  • oats
  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • olive oil
  • alfalfa
  • apples
  • grapes
  • carrots
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds

Bleeding after sexual intercourse is a common occurrence, especially in people who are no longer menstruating or who have ovarian conditions.

In people who are menstruating, postcoital bleeding normally stops on its own. However, severe, chronic, or complicated cases require medical attention.

People who experience postcoital bleeding during periods of hormonal changes, such as menopause, pregnancy, or breast-feeding, should also talk with a doctor.

Last medically reviewed on January 16, 2020

  • Blood / Hematology
  • Sexual Health / STDs
  • Women’s Health / Gynecology
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How we reviewed this article:

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Bleeding during pregnancy. (2016, July)
    https://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq038.pdf
  • Cervical ectropion (cervical erosion). (2015, May 21)
    https://www.jostrust.org.uk/about-cervical-cancer/cervical-erosion-cervical-ectropion
  • Shapley, M., Blagojevic‐Bucknall, M., Jordan, K. P., & Croft, P. R. (2013, October). The epidemiology of self‐reported intermenstrual and postcoital bleeding in the perimenopausal years. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 120(11), 1348–1355
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.12218/full
  • Tarney, C. M., & Han, J. (2014, June 17). Postcoital bleeding: A review on etiology, diagnosis, and management. Obstetrics and Gynecology International, 2014
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ogi/2014/192087/
  • Uterine fibroids. (2016, January 12)
    https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/uterine
  • Wan, Y. L., Edmondson, R. J., & Crosbie, E. J. (2015, April 1). Intermenstrual and postcoital bleeding. Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine, 25(4), 106–112
    http://blog.utp.edu.co/doctorgaviria/files/2015/09/sangrado-intermenstrual-y-poscoital.pdf
  • What causes a woman to bleed after sex? (2015, May 12)
    https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/977.aspx?CategoryID=118

What Causes Bleeding After Sex?

Vaginal bleeding after sex can be caused by dryness, tearing, an infection, or a growth in the uterus, such as cancer or polyps.

Many people with vaginas experience vaginal bleeding after sex at one time or another. Up to 63% of postmenopausal people may experience vaginal dryness and vaginal bleeding or spotting during sex.

Additionally, up to 9 percent of menstruating people experience postcoital (after-sex) bleeding.

Occasional light bleeding is usually not a cause for concern. If you have certain risk factors or have gone through menopause, bleeding after intercourse may warrant a visit to the doctor.

Bleeding after sex is medically known as postcoital bleeding. It occurs in people of all ages. In younger people who haven’t reached menopause, the source of the bleeding is usually the cervix.

In those who have gone through menopause, the source of the bleeding is more varied. It can be from the:

In terms of causes, cervical cancer is the greatest concern. This is especially true for postmenopausal people. However, postcoital bleeding is most likely caused by a common condition.

Vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness can lead to bleeding. In addition to the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), other factors can cause vaginal dryness, such as:

  • having intercourse before being fully aroused
  • friction during intercourse
  • douching
  • chemicals in feminine hygiene products, laundry detergents, and pools
  • breastfeeding
  • childbirth
  • certain medications, including cold medication, asthma medications, some antidepressants, and anti-estrogen drugs
  • having your ovaries removed
  • chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Sjögren’s syndrome, an inflammatory disease of the immune system that reduces moisture generated by glands in the body

Infections

Some infections can cause inflammation of the tissues in the vagina, which may lead to bleeding. These can include:

  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the reproductive organs in the lower abdomen, which includes the fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, and uterus
  • sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia
  • cervicitis, which is inflammation of the cervix that occurs as the result of an infection
  • vulvovaginitis, which is inflammation of the vulva and vagina that often occurs due to an infection

Cervical ectropion

Cervical ectropion is considered benign or not harmful. It occurs when the cell type that typically grows on the inside of the cervix grows on the outside instead. Cervical ectropion may result in an inflamed area.

Also known as cervical ectopy or cervical eversion, this condition is caused by high estrogen levels. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for regulating your reproductive system.

However, it is considered a natural variant and tends to occur in:

  • adolescents
  • pregnant people
  • people using hormonal contraception
  • people who menstruate

Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)

GSM was formerly known as vaginal atrophy. It is common in those in perimenopause and menopause and those who’ve had their ovaries removed.

As you get older, especially when your menstrual periods stop, your body produces less estrogen.

When your estrogen levels are lower, several things happen to your vagina.

Your body produces less vaginal lubrication, so your vagina can become dry and inflamed.

Lower estrogen levels also reduce the elasticity of your vagina. Vaginal tissues become more fragile, get less blood flow, and are more susceptible to tearing and irritation. This can lead to discomfort, pain, and bleeding during sex.

Polyps

Polyps are noncancerous growths. They’re sometimes found on the cervix or in the endometrial lining of the uterus.

A polyp dangles like a round pendant on a chain. Polyp movement can irritate the surrounding tissue and cause bleeding from small blood vessels.

Vaginal tearing

Sex, especially vigorous sex, can cause small cuts or scrapes to the vagina.

This is more likely to happen if you have vaginal dryness due to menopause, breastfeeding, or other factors.

Cancer

Irregular vaginal bleeding, including bleeding after sex, is a common symptom of cervical or vaginal cancer. In fact, according to a review of literature from 2021, up to 3.8% of women with postcoital bleeding have cervical cancer.

You may be at greater risk of postcoital bleeding if you:

  • have cervical or uterine cancer
  • are in perimenopause, menopause, or are postmenopausal
  • recently had a baby or are breastfeeding
  • aren’t fully aroused before intercourse
  • douche frequently

The symptoms you may experience along with postcoital bleeding vary depending on the cause. If you aren’t menopausal, have no other risk factors, and have only minor spotting or bleeding that goes away quickly, you probably don’t need to see a doctor.

If you experience any vaginal bleeding after menopause, talk with a doctor right away.

You should also consult with a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • vaginal itching or burning
  • stinging or burning sensation when urinating
  • painful intercourse
  • heavy bleeding
  • severe abdominal pain
  • lower back pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • unusual vaginal discharge

If you need help finding a primary care doctor or gynecologist, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.

What happens when you see a doctor?

You can visit a primary care doctor or gynecologist for postcoital bleeding. The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, such as how long and how heavily you’ve been bleeding. They may also ask about the color of the blood.

Because your symptoms are related to sexual activity, they may also ask about your sexual history. For example, they may ask if you use condoms or barrier methods regularly.

A doctor may recommend a physical exam depending on your symptoms and history. Examining the area may help the doctor find the source of the blood. Postcoital bleeding may come from your vaginal walls, cervix, urethra, or vulva.

To help determine what’s causing the bleeding, the doctor might also order tests, such as a pap smear, pregnancy test, and vaginal cultures to look for STIs.

Some people may hesitate to visit a doctor about a sexual health question if they find pelvic exams uncomfortable. However, seeing a doctor about postcoital bleeding won’t necessarily require a pelvic exam.

If you’ve been worried about postcoital bleeding, seeing a healthcare professional may help put your mind at ease.

Bleeding after sex is commonly caused by vaginal dryness, but there are other more serious causes, too.

The doctor will first rule out serious causes such as cancer by examining your vagina and cervix, taking a pap smear, and possibly conducting a biopsy. If cancer is found, you’ll be referred to a specialist.

If cancer is not the cause of your bleeding, a doctor may take additional steps to determine the source:

  • examination of your vagina and cervix, either visually or through a magnifying device called a colposcope
  • transvaginal ultrasound
  • urine test
  • blood tests
  • testing of your vaginal discharge

Vaginal bleeding, including bleeding after sex, can be a symptom of cervical and uterine cancers. These cancers are most common in people over age 50 or those who’ve experienced menopause.

In addition to age, other risk factors include:

  • a family history of one of these cancers
  • excess weight (for endometrial cancer)
  • cigarette smoking
  • past human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

If you experience postcoital bleeding and have gone through menopause, see a doctor to identify or rule out cervical and uterine cancers.

As with other types of cancer, treatment is most effective when the cancer is found and treated early.

Serious complications from postcoital bleeding aren’t common unless the cause is cancer or an untreated condition. The following include some possible complications.

Anemia

Heavy or prolonged bleeding can cause iron deficiency anemia in very rare instances. It happens because the red blood cells in your body become depleted through blood loss. However, this is not typical of postcoital bleeding.

Signs of anemia include:

  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • unusually pale skin

If your anemia is caused by blood loss due to postcoital bleeding or other reasons, a doctor may prescribe an iron supplement. But the most important source of iron is diet. If you’re concerned about your iron levels, add more of these iron-rich foods to your diet:

  • peanut butter
  • fish
  • beans
  • leafy vegetables like spinach
  • eggs
  • meat

Infection

If you have vaginal dryness, you may have a greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection.

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The cause of your vaginal bleeding will determine your treatment.

Lubricants

If your bleeding is due to vaginal dryness, vaginal moisturizers may help. Applied regularly, these products are absorbed by the walls of the vagina. They increase moisture and help restore the natural acidity of the vagina.

Vaginal lubricants also reduce uncomfortable friction during intercourse.

Caution

  • Petroleum-based lubricants, such as Vaseline (petroleum jelly), can damage latex condoms and diaphragms. Don’t mix Vaseline and condoms. Use a lubricant containing water or silicone if this is a concern.

Estrogen therapy

If your vaginal dryness is caused by menopause or the removal of your ovaries, talk with a doctor about estrogen therapy. Topical estrogen products include vaginal estrogen creams and suppositories.

Another option is an estrogen ring. This is a flexible ring that’s inserted in the vagina. It releases a low dose of estrogen for 90 days.

Oral hormone therapy, which replaces the hormones estrogen and progestin, can be another option for some. Talk with a doctor about the risks and benefits of this treatment.

Additional treatments

Vaginitis can be caused by an infection or vaginal dryness. The cause may also be unknown. Depending on the cause, a doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat pelvic inflammatory disease and STIs.

If your cervix is inflamed because of cancer or precancer, a doctor may remove affected cells using silver nitrate or cryosurgery. In this process, damaged cells are frozen and killed.

Determining how to prevent postcoital bleeding depends on what has caused bleeding for you in the past.

For most people, using water- or silicone-based lubricants will help prevent bleeding caused by vaginal dryness and friction during sex.

If you’re using a condom, an oil-based lubricant can damage it. Water-based lubricants are recommended.

It may also help to take sex slowly and to stop if you feel pain. Using vaginal moisturizers regularly can help keep the area moist and make you feel comfortable.

If your symptoms of postcoital bleeding are related to a medical condition, you can talk with a doctor about the best options to prevent future episodes.

Bleeding after sex is usually a symptom of another condition. Many of these, such as infections and polyps, are treatable. Occasional spotting after sex generally clears up on its own without medical care.

If you’re postmenopausal, promptly notify your doctor about any postcoital bleeding.

Bleeding after sex can be caused by dryness, infections, or other conditions such as cervical or uterine cancer.

If the bleeding is occasional and mild, you may not need to see a doctor.

But if the bleeding occurs often, occurs alongside other symptoms, or you have postcoital bleeding after menopause, it may be best to see a doctor. They can determine the cause and treatment.

Last medically reviewed on September 1, 2022

Bleeding After Sex

You’ve just finished having sex with your partner, when you look down and see blood on the sheets. You don’t have your period and aren’t supposed to get it anytime soon, so what gives?

While vaginal bleeding after sex can be scary, it’s also fairly common. It affects up to 9% of menstruating women. There’s probably no cause for concern. But it can also result from an infection. In rare cases, it’s a sign of cervical cancer.

Causes of Bleeding After Sex

The most common causes for vaginal bleeding after sex both start in the cervix, which is the narrow, tube-like end of your uterus that opens into the vagina.

One of those causes is cervical inflammation, or cervicitis. It can be ongoing and totally harmless, or it can happen because of a sexually transmitted infection that you need to get treated, like chlamydia or gonorrhea. Both types of cervical inflammation can cause bleeding after sex.

A second common reason for bleeding after sex is cervical polyps. These growths are usually small — about 1 to 2 centimeters. They often appear on the opening of your cervix. Most aren’t cancerous. Your doctor can remove them during an appointment.

Other causes of vaginal bleeding after sex include:

  • Friction during sex or not enough lubrication
  • Normal uterine bleeding if you’re just beginning your period or if it’s just ended
  • A cervical or vaginal infection
  • Genital sores caused by herpes or another condition
  • A precancerous cervical spot
  • Cervical ectropion (when the inner lining of the cervix pokes through the cervical opening and grows on the vaginal side of the cervix)
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (when pelvic organs, like the bladder or uterus, protrude or fall just beyond the vaginal walls)
  • Cancer of the cervix, vagina, or uterus

Dryness caused by these things can also lead to vaginal bleeding:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Childbirth
  • Some cold, allergy, and anti-estrogen medications
  • Cancer therapy and its effect on your ovaries
  • Douching
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Menopause

While many of these causes don’t need treatment and are harmless, sometimes vaginal bleeding after sex can be a sign of a more serious problem.

Risk Factors for Bleeding After Sex

You may have a higher chance of bleeding after sex if you:

  • Have cancer of the cervix, vagina, or uterus
  • Are going through menopause or perimenopause (the transition to menopause)
  • Had a baby not long ago or are breastfeeding
  • Aren’t fully aroused before vaginal penetration
  • Use douche products
  • Have an infected cervix
  • Have a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection

Is Bleeding After Sex Serious?

If you have some minor bleeding every once in a while, chances are everything is fine. But the only way to know for sure is to see your doctor for a physical exam.

If the bleeding happens right before you get your period or within a few days after it ends and it doesn’t happen again, you can hold off on making that appointment. You can also probably hold off if you recently had a pelvic exam and Pap smear and got a clean bill of health. In all other cases — or if you’re just worried — it’s best to get checked out to rule out infection or anything more serious.

Bleeding After Sex and Menopause

If you’re postmenopausal, any bleeding after sex isn’t normal. See your doctor to rule out cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, and other issues.

Bleeding After Sex and Pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding after sex can be scary if you’re pregnant, but it probably isn’t a cause for concern. Your cervix may bleed more easily during pregnancy because extra blood vessels are developing in the area.

Bleeding After Sex Diagnosis

Your doctor’s first step will probably be to ask you some questions to see if there’s an obvious cause for the bleeding, like breakthrough bleeding after you just start to take a birth control pill.

They’ll also want to know if you’re having pain during sex, which can be a sign of dryness or infection, depending on when it happens.

The doctor will give you a pelvic exam and look for any source of the bleeding, like vaginal tears or lesions, signs of pelvic organ prolapse, cervical polyps, or inflammation. If you have polyps, they might be able to remove them in the office and send them to a lab for testing. Or you might need a later appointment to have them surgically removed. You could also get a:

  • Pregnancy test
  • Cervix exam with a tool called a speculum
  • Colposcopy
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Pap test
  • Test for a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection

During a Pap test, the doctor can swab your cervix to test for any sign of abnormal, precancerous growths or cancer cells. But they will also use the test to check for any sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can cause bleeding after sex and are treated with antibiotics.

Abnormal Results

If the Pap test reveals any problems with your cervix at the time of your exam, you’ll probably get a colposcopy. It starts out like a Pap test but takes a bit longer. The doctor will use a special magnifying device called a colposcope to get a closer look at the cervix. If they see anything suspicious, they can take a small sample of tissue for testing.

If bleeding after sex is an ongoing thing, the doctor may recommend a colposcopy even if your Pap test results are normal, to get a better look at your cervix.

If you’re postmenopausal, the doctor might do a transvaginal ultrasound to get a closer look at your pelvic organs. They might also do an endometrial biopsy to check for abnormal cells in the endometrial tissue that lines your uterus.

Treatment for Bleeding After Sex

Since there’s no one cause of bleeding after sex, there’s no single treatment. Some options include:

  • Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers
  • Medication for sexually transmitted infections
  • Estrogen therapy
  • Cervical cancer treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation)
  • Polyp removal

Can Bleeding After Sex Stop on Its Own?

It might. A recent study found that just over half of women who had bleeding after sex reported that it cleared up on its own within 2 years.

Preventing Bleeding After Sex

You can make some lifestyle changes to lower your risk of bleeding after sex:

  • Use a lubricant before and during sex
  • Wait a bit longer after your period ends to start having sex again.
  • Have your doctor remove any cervical polyps or treat cervical infections.
  • Have more foreplay before penetration
  • Try less aggressive sex

Show Sources

Mayo Clinic: “Vaginal bleeding after sex: Definition,” “Vaginal bleeding after sex: Causes,” “Chlamydia: Symptoms,” “Gonorrhea: Symptoms and causes,” “Vaginal bleeding after sex: When to see a doctor,” “Chlamydia: Treatments and drugs,” “Colposcopy: What you can expect,” “Colposcopy: Definition.”

Obstetrics and Gynecology International: “Postcoital Bleeding: A Review on Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management,” “Vaginal dryness after menopause: How to treat it.”

Harvard Medical School: “Cervical Polyps.”

ACOG: The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “FAQs: Perimenopausal Bleeding and Bleeding After Menopause,” “FAQs: Cervical Cancer,” “FAQs: Bleeding During Pregnancy.”

American Cancer Society: “Cervical Cancer,” “Cervical Cancer: Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer.”

CDC Publication: “Cervical Cancer.”

National Health Service (U.K.): “What causes a woman to bleed after sex?”

Cleveland Clinic: “Do You Bleed After Sex? When to See a Doctor.”

HealthyWomen: “Bleeding After Sex: Should You Be Concerned?”

RagiologyInfo.org: “Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding.”

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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