Is vaginal bleeding after sex normal?

Is vaginal bleeding after sex normal?

Even though bleeding after sex is quite common, it doesn’t mean it’s normal. It is usually not worrisome if it just occurs once and there is only minor spotting of blood. However, severe bleeding, bleeding for several days, or bleeding frequently may indicate a serious medical condition.

Postcoital bleeding (also known as vaginal bleeding) might be scary but it’s usually not something to be alarmed about. Infection, however, might also be the cause. In very rare cases, it could even indicate cervical cancer.

What causes bleeding after sex?


Small tears and cuts can occur in delicate vaginal tissues as a result of the friction and abrasion of sexual intercourse.

Additionally, vaginal tissues can tear and strain during childbirth, increasing their susceptibility to injury.

A small flap of vaginal skin known as the hymen is frequently torn and strained during the first occurrence of sexual activity. This may result in mild bleeding that lasts for a few to ten days.

Medical conditions affecting the vagina itself can result in this kind of bleeding. These conditions include:

Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) – This condition involves the thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls post-menopause. Previously known as vaginal atrophy.

Vaginal precancer or cancer – Referring to precancerous or cancerous developments originating in the vagina. Precancer denotes irregular cells that may or may not, progress to cancer.

Vaginitis – Characterized by vaginal inflammation, potentially stemming from GSM or an infection.

Disorders affecting the cervix, the thin end of the uterus at the bottom, can also result in vaginal bleeding after intercourse. Among them are:

Precancer or cancer of the cervical region – This is precancer or cancer that originates in the cervix.

Cervical ectropion: In this condition, the cervix’s inner lining grows on the vaginal portion of the cervix and protrudes through the cervical opening.

Cervical polyps: These cervix-based growths are not cancerous. They may also be referred to as benign growths.
Cervicitis: An infection is often the cause of the cervix-affecting disorder, which is characterized by an inflammatory type of swelling.

Other factors that may result in vaginal bleeding after sexual activity include the following:

Endometrial precancer or cancer: This refers to abnormal cell growth that initiates in the uterus.

Genital sores: Sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis or genital herpes can cause these sores.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): This condition involves an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

Vulvar precancer or cancer: This indicates that abnormal cell proliferation began in the female vaginal area’s outer portion.

Vulvar or genital diseases: These encompass various conditions such as lichen sclerosus and lichen simplex chronicus.

When to visit a physician:

If the bleeding persists for more than a few hours after intercourse or occurs frequently you should consult a physician.

Also, speak with a doctor if postcoital bleeding comes with other symptoms like:

Burning or itching in the vagina
Unusual discharge
Severe discomfort in the abdomen
Vomiting, queasy feeling, or appetite loss
Burning or stinging when urinating, Burning or stinging while having sex
Lower back discomfort
Inexplicable weakness and tiredness
Headaches or dizziness.


After sexual activity, bleeding is often observed, particularly in those who are no longer menstruating or who suffer from ovarian disorders.  Postcoital bleeding typically ceases on its own in women who are menstruating. On the other hand, serious, long-term, or complex situations need medical care. Individuals who have postcoital bleeding during hormonal transitions, such as menopause, pregnancy, or nursing, ought to consult a physician.

Ankura Hospital
Author: Ankura Hospital

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