Why do I bleed after sex?

Monday January 28 2019

Many women fear bleeding after sex (post coital

Many women fear bleeding after sex (post coital bleeding) because it may be a first sign of the rampant cancer of the cervix. 

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

I am a 27-year-old mother of three. Six days after my period, I had sex with my husband and started bleeding again. This is the second time this is happening. What could be the problem?
Mariam

Dear Mariam,
Many women fear bleeding after sex (post coital bleeding) because it may be a first sign of the rampant cancer of the cervix. Bleeding on one occasion or even twice may happen without any medical problem, especially happening due to sex immediately after periods or during ovulation. In your case, six days after the period means you could actually be having inter-menstrual bleeding related to ovulation, the time theoretically when women are most horny.

Vaginal bleeding after sex may come from tissues around the vaginal opening including the urethra, the vaginal canal, the cervix or even the uterus. It may happen innocuously during pregnancy and when a woman has irregular periods (has hormonal imbalance as due to hormonal contraception). It may, however, happen when a woman is on blood thinners such as Aspirin or has other causes of a bleeding tendency.

If the bleeding is associated with pain, it may be because one is a virgin, has inadequate lubrication, has menopausal thinning of the genital tissues, there was forceful entry (such as from rape) or following infections in the genital tract.

Happening painlessly may be the first sign of cancer of the cervix (or even uterus) requiring that any woman having bleeding following sex should have a PAP smear test. A separate test for HPV called HPV DNA testing may be done to check HPV infection that may risk cancer of the cervix or venereal warts. Also, an inflamed cervix that may also lead to post-coital bleeding may be detected.

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