Medical Q&As

Sexual intercourse - bleeding afterwards?

Is it normal to bleed after sexual intercourse?

In answering this question I am assuming that you are female and that blood you are referring to is coming from your vagina. Although there may be a simple explanation for bleeding after intercourse it is never considered to be normal and should be medically assessed unless there is an immediate and obvious explanation for it. Infection can lead to bleeding because the act of intercourse may slightly traumatise inflamed tissues giving rise to minor bleeding. For example in the case of thrush or bacterial vaginitis the walls of the vagina and cervix may be very red from the infection and it is easy to visualise how friction from the penis may cause such inflamed tissue to weep small amounts of blood. Cervical polyps may also result in vaginal bleeding following intercourse. If the cervix contains abnormal cells this may also cause bleeding. Sometimes the act of intercourse might cause a small tear in the vagina especially if it were dry and if the act of intercourse was particularly vigorous. You should attend your GP in order to establish the cause of the bleeding. This can be done relatively easily by examining the vagina and cervix and noting the presence of infection, polyps etc. A smear test could also be performed at that time if one had not been performed in recent times.