Bleeding after sex can be really unnerving when it’s not during your period. In menopausal women, bleeding can occur because of dry vaginal walls and is a fairly common phenomenon, but bleeding in younger women can point to other conditions. About 9% of all woman will face post-coital bleeding once in their lives. Sometimes, the reason can be as simple as not enough lubrication, and other times, it could be a sign of something more serious. Either way, a trip to the gynecologist can save you the trouble of constant worrying so make that appointment for a confirmed medical opinion. Below are some reasons why you could possibly have post-coital bleeding:
Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause bleeding inside the vagina. These are common STIs and attack the cervical cells, leading to symptoms like vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, burning and itching along with bleeding during sexual intercourse. Another STI, trichomoniasis, also causes bleeding after sex along with discharge and itching. All these infections are treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, can result in infertility.
Vaginitis is a fairly common problem in women of all ages. The walls of the vagina become inflamed because of a disturbance in the pH levels due to an irritant, and can either be infectious or noninfectious. Chemicals in creams and sprays, clothing, bacteria, yeast and virus are most of the culprits that causes the irritation in the vaginal areas. Most types of vaginitis can be treated with oral antibiotics, though some may require vaccines and external agents like balms or creams to manage the symptoms.
Cervicitis is the inflammation of the cervix, which is the lower end of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Like vaginitis, it can be a common problem among women, and is caused by factors like infections, chemical or physical irritation, or allergies. Along with bleeding after sex, other symptoms include greyish vaginal discharge, pain during sex and difficult, painful or frequent urination. Treatment includes antibiotics, antifungal medications and antiviral treatment.
4. Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is the 2nd most common type of cancer in women all over the world, but it is also one of the most preventable types. Diagnosis is usually done through a pap smear followed by a cervical cancer screening. Irregular and abnormal bleeding is present not just after sexual intercourse, but also in between menstrual cycles, after a pelvic exam and after using contraceptives like douches. Along with this, you may have pain in your pelvic area, increased frequency of and pain during urination, and heavy discharge that could be thick and with a foul odor. Cancer is a serious diagnosis, so getting a medical opinion before diagnosing yourself is important.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is the infection of the organs of a woman’s reproductive organs: including the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, ovaries and the cervix. Infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can spread to the reproductive organs if left untreated. PID might not have any symptoms initially, but as the infection progresses, you might have pain in your lower abdomen, heavy discharge with an unpleasant odor, bleeding between periods, fever and chills, and pain during urination or difficulty in urinating. PID needs to be treated right away, as it can lead to life threatening conditions if not controlled.
Endometriosis is a condition that can be extremely painful. The normal endometrial tissue grows inside the uterus, breaks down and bleeds out, but in endometriosis, the tissue grows outside of the uterus. This means the tissue breaks down and bleeds out, but has nowhere to go. Due to this, there may be cyst formation which then can lead to tissue adhesions and scarred tissues around the uterus, and even go onto cause organs to stick to each other. Having endometriosis can also cause bleeding after sexual intercourse. Fortunately, there is treatment available, and can range from oral medication to surgery.