August 11, 2009

Causes of Bleeding After Sexual Intercourse

Posted in Category : Women's Health

The discovery that you are bleeding just after you’ve finished making love can be quite a dampener for your spirits. If this becomes a regular occurrence, you would need to do something about it without any delay. Many women wonder if vaginal bleeding after sex and Pap smear is normal; this is also one of the reasons several women visit their Obstetricians/ Gynecologists each year. In most instances, vaginal bleeding after intercourse occurs due to harmless cervical changes, which does not require any medical treatment. However, at times the bleeding could be an indication of an infection or a more serious underlying condition. Therefore, it is important to get this checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Causes: You may experience post-coital bleeding even of you have a perfectly healthy cervix, because of the friction or inadequate lubrication.

However, there are many other factors because of which you may be experiencing bleeding after having sex. Given below are some of the common causes of post-coital bleeding:

  • Cervical dysplasia, the pre-cancerous changes that take place in the epithelial cells lining your cervix. The factors that increase your risks of this condition include – having sex before the age of 18, having multiple sexual partners or getting pregnant before the age of 16. Your healthcare provider may suggest cryosurgery or conization to treat this problem.
  • Chlamydia, a very common bacterial infection in women. You could contract this infection through sexual activity, or through direct contact with infected blood, vaginal fluid or semen.
  • A sexually transmitted disease (STD) known as gonorrhea, which is usually caused by bacteria. Your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics for treating this disease.
  • Cervicitis and vaginitis, which occur because of inflammation or swelling in the cervix and vagina. The treatment of these conditions depends completely upon the cause of the inflammation.
  • The development of smooth, reddish-purple, finger-like growths known as polyps, in the cervical canal. Polyps are very fragile and they extend out of the cervix. They can be removed by a doctor quite painlessly and easily.
  • Trichomoniasis, a common STD that is caused by a protozoan. This disease is usually transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse; however, it can also be passed on from an infected mother, to a newborn baby, during vaginal delivery. In rare instances, women can contract this disease through a hot tub, swimming pool, tap water and public toilets. You will be out on a course of antibiotics for treating this condition.
  • Yeast infections, which occur when there is an overgrowth of the Candida Albicans fungus in the vagina. These infections can be cured with the help of medication and simple home remedies such as garlic, yogurt, cranberry juice and vinegar.
  • Endometritis, an inflammation in the endometrium or the innermost layer of the uterus. The treatment for this condition usually includes antibiotics, pain medication and intravenous fluids.
  • Adenomyosis, a non-cancerous uterine condition, which occurs when the endometrial tissues get attached to the muscular wall of the uterus and start growing into it. The treatments for adenomyosis include anti-inflammatory drugs, hormone medicines and hysterectomy.
  • Vaginal atrophy, which can be described as the thinning of the vaginal walls, because of a decrease in the estrogen levels. Several factors like breastfeeding and menopause can result in this problem. The treatment for vaginal atrophy usually includes topical or oral estrogen therapy.

As you can see, some of the causes of bleeding after intercourse are quite serious and need to be treated by a doctor without any delay. Do visit your doctor as soon as you notice that you are bleeding. Your doctor will ask you to undergo certain tests to determine the cause of the problem, so that the appropriate treatment path can be adopted.

If you are suffering from an infection or disease, it is important to avoid any sexual activity, until the bleeding stops completely and the underlying problem is cured. In case all your tests are clear, you may be experiencing the bleeding because of vaginal dryness or excessive friction. In such cases simple home remedies will solve the problem.

  • Increasing the amount and quality of foreplay
  • Using a vaginal lubricant like petroleum jelly
  • Creating a more romantic mood by dimming the lights or using scented candles
  • Having intercourse regularly to improve vaginal lubrication

Some commercial products lead to vaginal irritation and dryness, which could increase risks of bleeding after intercourse. Avoid using:

  • Yogurt or vinegar douches
  • Harsh soaps
  • Bubble baths
  • Hand lotions

Bleeding after sex because of friction usually gets better on its own, without any treatment. However, you could control the bleeding sooner, by applying some ice to the vaginal area. In case the bleeding persists or causes dizziness and weakness, contact your doctor immediately.