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:
- Placenta previa
- Cervical dysplasia: Is it cancer?
- Friction during sexual intercourse
- Hormone therapy and vaginal bleeding
- Inadequate lubrication or foreplay
- Injury to the uterine lining (endometrium) during intercourse, especially in women taking oral contraceptives
- Normal uterine bleeding, if you're just beginning your period or if it has just ended
- Vaginal atrophy
- Vaginal dryness
Oct. 18, 2011
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Hoffman BL. Abnormal uterine bleeding. In: Schorge J, et al. Williams Gynecology. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=3153117. Accessed Sept. 7, 2011.
- Mohan S, et al. Diagnosis of abnormal uterine bleeding. Best Practice & Research. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2007;21:891.
- Goodman A. Overview of causes of genital tract bleeding in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2011.
- Sahu B, et al. Prevalence of pathology in women attending colposcopy for postcoital bleeding with negative cytology. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2007;276:471.
- Tehranian A, et al. Evaluation of women presenting with postcoital bleeding by cytology and colposcopy. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2009;105:18.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 7, 2011.