Bleeding after intercourse: what causes it?

It is not abnormal for a woman to have bleeding after penetrative sex: up to 9% of women experience it. If the cause of this bleeding is usually not good, it should not be given little attention.

What can cause bleeding after sex? Find out the answers from Anne-Marie Ménard, sexology professional*.

1. Lack of natural lubrication can cause bleeding.

“The walls of the vagina are like the mouth: they are very sensitive and reactive. In the case of vaginal dryness, the simple fact of penetrating something into the vagina can create microfissures that, in turn, can cause bleeding.

If there is pain or lack of lubrication during intercourse, do not hesitate to add a silicone-based lubricant to your routine. This type of lubricant will create a protective filter between the wall of the vagina and the penis. It also makes it easier to move.

It should be remembered that not everyone lubricates in the same way. Lubrication can depend on a variety of factors, including the menstrual cycle or medication intake. There is no correlation between pleasure and lubrication. A woman can be aroused without lubricating, but the opposite is also true. »

2. A sexually transmitted infection can cause bleeding.

“Bleeding can be caused by sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia and certain types of HPV (human papilloma virus).

While some strains of HPV are unhealthy, others, more dangerous, can become cancerous or tumors. Because of this, all women should have a PAP test once a year. Those who are sexually active should also have a gynecological examination every three months. »

3. Hormonal imbalance can cause bleeding.

“Contraceptives can cause vaginal bleeding. During the first three months after trying a new method of contraception, such as a pill or IUD, there may be bleeding.

If, after this time, the bleeding still does not disappear, the procedure should be examined. Sometimes it takes a lot of testing to find the method that will work for a woman. You should not hesitate to consult your doctor if the current method of contraception causes discomfort and bleeding. »

4. Vaginitis or yeast infection can cause bleeding.

“It’s not uncommon to see women struggling with vaginitis or a yeast infection, unknowingly. Either way, it can cause bleeding after sex.

You need to watch out for changes in the composition (texture, color and smell) of her vaginal discharge, which have nothing to do with the menstrual cycle. If in doubt, the advice of a health care professional should be sought. »

5. Having sex for the first time can cause bleeding.

“It is possible to bleed at first intercourse with penetration. However, it must be specific that the hymen is not torn. She is just relaxing. There are many deconstruction myths related to virginity, which can create a feeling of fear.

If this is reassuring to some women: a small number of men will bleed at first intercourse. Most of the time, the bleeding is due to the initial frictions at the level of the vaginal walls.

Because stress can also influence lubrication, it can create microlesions of the mucous membrane of the vagina (see point 1), which can cause small bleeding.

“You should consult immediately if the bleeding is accompanied by pain or recurrent. It is also necessary to consult if there are unusual odors or unprotected sex with a new partner.

* Want to know more? Anne-Marie Ménard shares the educational content for free on her Instagram platform In bed with Anne-Marie.

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