Normally bleeding through vagina is not an unusual happening for women. Apart from menstrual bleeding some women bleed when they have sex for the first time and some may bleed even being habitual to sex due to various other reasons. This bleeding can be harmful to them if not recognised and treated in time. Common causes of bleeding during sex and bleeding after sex are briefly discussed in this write up to help you in this respect.
Bleeding during sex
- Women usually bleed and experience some pain while having penetrative sex for the first time due to breaking of their hymen. A thin skin covering the vagina, partially or completely, is known as hymen which can cause bleeding during sex while having sex for the first time, if it has not been broken earlier due to various reasons. In some women hymen breaks up even before having sex due to the use of tampons or taking active part in certain sports like biking and horse riding etc. But in such situation women usually are unaware of this breakage as normally it does not cause noticeable pain and bleeding. So if the hymen is already broken then women may not bleed even while having sex for the first time. But it does not raise any doubt about their virginity as it is a normal happening.
- Dryness in vagina can also cause bleeding during sex due to having rough sex or inserting sex toys into the vagina.
Resolving the problem of bleeding during sex
If you are bleeding during sex while having sex for the first time then normally you need not worry as it may stop bleeding itself in a day or two. But if it bleeds abnormally or bleed due to any other vaginal problem like vaginal dryness etc. then you should consult an experienced general health care provider as soon as possible to resolve the problem as per her advice. You need not necessarily go to the emergency department of a hospital every time for this problem. A visit to the office of a specialist doctor for female reproductive system i.e. a gynaecologist can be enough if you do not have any other problem than bleeding during sex.
Bleeding after sex
Many women bleed after sex due to various reasons. Postcoital Bleeding is the medical name of the problem of bleeding after sex. It should not be taken lightly as it can be a caution symptom for some major health problem. If you are experiencing this problem frequently or you are worried about it then you should immediately visit your gynaecologist to have her advice about it. She will assess your problem on the basis of your family and medical history and certain tests and examinations. She can suggest any treatment after evaluating your problem completely.
Causes of bleeding after sex
- Sexually transmitted diseases: Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are the two sexually transmitted diseases that can cause bleeding after sex due to infection in cervix or pelvic inflammatory disease. Your gynaecologist can confirm your problem through urine test and examination of swab from the cervix and pelvic examination. Several community health clinics and parenthood clinics offer the testing services in such cases.
- Precancer (dysplasia) or cancer of the cervix: In many cases precancer or cancer in cervix can also be the cause of bleeding after sex. Though early cancers or precancers may not bleed every time but if you are feeling some abnormality in your vagina then you should not ignore to get it checked through an experienced gynaecologist. Usually gynaecologists recommend HPV test and Pap smear for women over 30 years of age to confirm this health condition. If Pap smear is not found effective then some doctors test the scrapping from the inside of cervix to discard the possibilities of any abnormality.
- Cancer of the uterus: Some of the women over 35 years of age experience bleeding after sex due to cancer of the uterus as well as precancer so it is necessary for them to go for endometrial biopsy to evaluate their condition. The possibility of cancer of the uterus increases with obese women as their fatty tissues help in making estrogen hormone responsible for the growth of this cancer. So, for this reason some doctors recommend endometrial biopsy even for under 35 years overweight women. They take sample of the cells on the lining of the uterus to conduct this biopsy
- Cervical ectropion: It is one of the most common and harmless cause of bleeding after sex. This problem happens when the cells usually found inside the cervix also start growing outside it. These cells grown outside the cervix start inflaming and irritating by coming in contact with the acidic contents of the vaginal secretions which can bleed when touched with Pap smear or during intercourse. This condition can be aggravated or worsened by taking birth control pills as they help in increasing the level of estrogen hormone which effects adversely for this health problem. So women taking birth control pills should switch over to low-estrogen pills or non-estrogen devices for this purpose to control the problem of bleeding after sex.
General recommendations for treating bleeding after sex
Usually general medical practitioners recommend women over 30 years of age and having problem of bleeding after sex to undergo various tests and examination according to their medical history. These tests may include:
- A pregnancy test, depending on the age of the patient
- A pelvic examination in which your doctor inserts her two fingers into you vagina to feel any abnormality
- Examining the cervix through Speculum
- Screening tests of the cervical
- They may also recommend to use certain lubricants or creams if the bleeding problem is due to dryness in the vagina
- They may also refer you to consult a specialist like a genitourinary specialist or gynaecologist.