Is It Normal To Bleed After Sex?

There are many things in this world that might conceivably be considered “scary.” Blood, for example, is scary for many people. Sex can also be scary. And, of course, the scariest thing of all is when you start to type “is it normal” into a Google search bar, for, as I recently learned, it results in…this:

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I don’t know if it is my own personal internet history that is influencing these results, or if this photo right here reveals the human condition in its rawest form. (It is also always possible, of course, that both things can be true.) But! I mean!!! There are so many questions here, all of which strike a real and actual panic into every tissue and fiber of my heart! There is blood! Vaginal discharge! Potential pregnancy! Alopecia!

Still, the thing that intrigues me the most is the first one. Is it normal to bleed after sex? I sure as heck don’t know, because my own visceral reaction to the question makes me lean towards “hell no,” while the fact that it pops up first on the list leads me to believe that a lot of people are asking this very question, which means that it’s quite common.

So. Is it normal to bleed after sex? I’ve done my research, so, let’s talk about it! Find out everything you need to know about bleeding before, during, and after sex right here:

Well, is it? Normal?

If you’re looking for a short answer, not really. Bleeding after sex doesn’t automatically mean that something is seriously wrong with you, per se, but it is considered a somewhat abnormal phenomenon and should almost always be checked out. At the same time, it is (somewhat paradoxically) a fairly common occurrence, particularly for women between the ages of 20 to 40. So, if you bleed after sex, you shouldn’t think of it as something you’re supposed to do, but you also don’t necessarily need to take it as an indicator that your uterus has fallen out and you need to go to the ER right away or else you’ll die. Like most things, it’s somewhere in the middle.

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Where does this blood come from?

If you’re bleeding after sex, this blood is coming from the vagina, cervix, or urinary tract.

 

What does it mean?

It could mean a lot of things! One of the most common causes are fissures, AKA tiny tears that can happen in the vagina during sex (usually if there isn’t enough lubrication or if it’s a little rougher than usual). This, usually, is a pretty easy fix, since it just requires some lube and maybe some more foreplay. It can also be caused by pelvic inflammation, which either happens randomly or because of STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Another potential cause are cervical polyps, which are small, usually non-cancerous growths that occur in the vagina.

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Is there ever a time when I should be bleeding after sex?

If you’re new to having sex, you might notice that you bleed a little after intercourse. This is normal (though not everyone will experience it) and it should stop happening once you start having more sex.

 

How can I tell the difference?

Pay attention to the volume and consistency at which you bleed. Basically, if you’re bleeding a lot, and it happens pretty much every time you have sex, that’s as good a sign as any that you should see a doctor ASAP. But if it seems more like spotting, and it doesn’t necessarily happen every time you have sex, it might not be as serious.

I do feel like I should mention that I am not a doctor, which means that you shouldn’t use my advice to diagnose yourself. If you notice that you’re bleeding pretty consistently after having sex, it’s probably a good idea to get it checked out. It could be something, or it could be nothing, but, either way, you need to know what’s really going on.

Do you ever bleed after having sex? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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