Is It Regular to Bleed After Intercourse?

For many of my adolescence, I used to be underneath the impression that bleeding after intercourse solely happens while you “pop your cherry,” or break the hymen, a crescent- or ring-shaped piece of tissue on the opening of the vagina. Because it seems, the concept that the hymen tears while you lose your virginity is basically a fable, and even when harm to the hymen does happen because of penetration, it is simply one among many causes it’s possible you’ll expertise bleeding after intercourse, regardless of how lengthy you have been sexually energetic.

Catherine Bevan, MD, FACOG, ob-gyn division director for Texas Well being Care, explains that postcoital bleeding can happen attributable to quite a few circumstances, from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to vaginal dryness. You could even expertise bleeding after significantly vigorous intercourse, which might trigger small cuts or tears within the vagina. Though bleeding after intercourse is widespread, it is not one thing you must ignore. Most of the circumstances that may trigger postcoital bleeding require testing and therapy. Maintain studying to be taught extra about the most typical causes of bleeding after intercourse and when specialists advocate chatting with your physician.

Is It Regular to Bleed After Intercourse?

It completely could be regular to bleed after intercourse, Dr. Bevan says, although it is by no means a nasty concept to flag your signs to a health care provider. Elements like your sexual historical past and age can usually assist pinpoint a trigger: Do you frequently use a condom? Are you menopausal? Did you latterly begin having penetrative intercourse for the primary time?

Whereas an remoted incident typically is not trigger for concern, it is necessary that you simply make an appointment along with your ob-gyn if the bleeding you are experiencing after intercourse is persistent, worsening, or heavy, or in case you have pelvic ache, cramping, fever, or a historical past of irregular Pap smears. “Heavy postcoital bleeding that requires a brand new pad after an hour or a fever better than 100.4 warrants quick consideration,” Allison Canavan, MD, FACOG, a board-certified ob-gyn in California, tells Testing could embody a pelvic examination, screening for STIs, a Pap smear, and typically imaging, reminiscent of an ultrasound or CT scan, relying in your signs.

Causes of Bleeding After Intercourse

These are the most typical causes it’s possible you’ll expertise postcoital bleeding, in line with specialists.

Tearing the Hymen

Injury to the hymen can lead to a small quantity of bleeding, in line with Georgia-based ob-gyn Jennifer Kaby, MD, MPH. Whereas this could occur the primary time you could have penetrative intercourse (or later, if a companion has a bigger girth), the hymen may also stretch or tear from utilizing tampons and even using a motorbike. Nevertheless it occurs, this recognizing is just not trigger for concern and can heal by itself.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

“Postcoital bleeding can happen with sexually transmitted infections, significantly any that trigger irritation of the cervix reminiscent of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and even trichomoniasis,” Dr. Canavan explains. She provides that genital herpes ulcers may also trigger vaginal bleeding in the event that they’re severely irritated, although that is unlikely. In the event you assume you will have contracted an STI, it is necessary to see your physician. If left untreated, an STI can flip into pelvic inflammatory illness (PID), so get examined frequently and look ahead to telltale indicators together with yellow or inexperienced discharge; vaginal irritation or odor; and pelvic ache.

Pelvic Inflammatory Illness

“Pelvic inflammatory illness is an an infection involving the cervix, uterus, and surrounding organs that usually results in pelvic ache and vital cramping, in addition to bleeding after intercourse,” Dr. Canavan tells Sometimes, PID is brought on by untreated STIs reminiscent of chlamydia and gonorrhea; nevertheless, PID may also be spurred by infections that are not sexually transmitted, like these that may outcome from douching. When you’ve got vaginal bleeding after intercourse along with pelvic ache, vital cramping, foul-smelling discharge, or a fever, discuss to your physician.

Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness may also end in bleeding after intercourse and sometimes happens attributable to a lower in estrogen ranges. “That is one thing extra generally seen in breastfeeding sufferers the place estrogen ranges are tremendous low, in addition to in menopausal and postmenopausal sufferers because the ovaries aren’t producing as a lot estrogen as they as soon as had been,” Dr. Bevan explains. If you’re postmenopausal and have vaginal bleeding, Dr. Bevan recommends getting a vaginal sonogram instantly to rule out uterine most cancers. No matter reproductive stage you are in, it is best to speak to your physician in the event you’re experiencing vaginal dryness. Relying on the trigger, your physician could prescribe vaginal estrogen within the type of a cream or pill or counsel lubricants that may assist make intercourse much less painful.

Cervical or Endometrial Polyps

Polyps are one wrongdoer that may trigger fairly a little bit of bleeding after intercourse. “A cervical or endometrial polyp is a benign development of both cervical stroma or endometrial tissue,” Dr. Kaby says. “This overgrowth or protrusion of tissue makes the small vessels contained in the polyps much less protected. When friction or mechanical contact happens, they bleed.”

In the event you’re struggling to grasp what a polyp is, think about them as little pores and skin tags on the cervix or within the uterine lining, Dr. Bevan says. These “pores and skin tags” have a feeder vessel that helps them develop. Once they’re brushed towards throughout intercourse, they develop into irritated and, consequently, bleed. Whereas most cervical polyps could be eliminated within the workplace by your physician, Dr. Canavan says endometrial polyps could require a minimally invasive process reminiscent of a hysteroscopy, which makes use of a small digicam to look contained in the uterus.

Friable Cervix

Friable cervix is a medical time period used to explain cervical tissue that is extraordinarily delicate. Its fragility means it is extra vulnerable to irritation, discomfort, postcoital bleeding, and even tearing after penetration. Dr. Kaby explains {that a} friable cervix usually stems from infections brought on by a pH imbalance, reminiscent of bacterial vaginosis or a yeast an infection. In the event you’re experiencing signs of an an infection, reminiscent of uncommon discharge, itching, or burning, it is time to make an appointment.

Cervical Dysplasia

Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous situation that happens when irregular cells develop on the liner of the cervix, Dr. Canavan says. Signs of cervical dysplasia, whereas not at all times current, can embody painful intercourse, bleeding after intercourse, and extra discharge. Cervical dysplasia is discovered on a Pap smear, which is why it is so necessary to remain on prime of your wellness exams.

“Please, please, please do not sleep on this one! When you’ve got a historical past of irregular Pap smears or are overdue in getting your Pap take a look at, go to your gyno as quickly as you’ll be able to,” Dr. Canavan says. You could simply catch one thing earlier than it has an opportunity to develop into cancerous.

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