If you're premenopausal and you experience vaginal bleeding after sex now and then, but not often, it probably isn't something to get too worried about. Vaginal bleeding after sex could indicate cervical cancer, but if you've had normal results on routine Pap tests, it's more likely that the cause is another condition.

If you're postmenopausal, however, vaginal bleeding of any sort is considered abnormal until it's been evaluated and a cause determined.

Vaginal bleeding after sex may result from:

  1. Placenta previa
  2. Cervical dysplasia: Is it cancer?
  3. Cervicitis
  4. Friction during sexual intercourse
  5. Hormone therapy and vaginal bleeding
  6. Inadequate lubrication or foreplay
  7. Injury to the uterine lining (endometrium) during intercourse, especially in women taking oral contraceptives
  8. Normal uterine bleeding, if you're just beginning your period or if it has just ended
  9. Vaginal atrophy
  10. Vaginal dryness
  11. Vaginitis

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Oct. 18, 2011