Around 9% of menstruating women experiencing bleeding after sex [1]. Often, there is no need to worry. However, bleeding after sex can indicate a more serious health condition. You should speak to a doctor and explore the possible causes if you are concerned.

If you have noticed bleeding after sex, try not to panic. There are many reasons why this can occur, so it’s important to be aware of what could be causing it. Knowing the potential reasons for bleeding after sex will help to keep your vaginal and cervical health in check.

What can cause bleeding after sex?

Bleeding after sex can signal one of the following:

  • A sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), usually caused by leaving an STI untreated
  • Tears or cuts caused by friction or rough sex
  • Vaginal dryness
  • A skin condition around the vagina, such as psoriasis
  • Benign (non-cancerous) growths in the womb/lining of the cervix
  • Inflammation on the surface of the cervix
  • Cervical cancer.

Can bleeding after sex be a sign of pregnancy?

Since pregnancy can cause changes to the cervix, bleeding after sex can occur due to pregnancy. However, if you do bleed after sex, this does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. If you are concerned that you could be, or you have missed your period, consider taking a pregnancy test to be sure.

What should I do if I’m bleeding after sex?

Firstly, an STI test is a good place to start. This will help to rule out potential infections which may be the cause for concern.

Better2Know’s Comfort Screen is ideal if you are experiencing bleeding after sex or general discomfort in your genital area. Testing for seven STIs, this screen will look for the STIs which most commonly cause this: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes I/II, Ureaplasma, Mycoplasma, Trichomonas and Gardnerella.

If you are concerned about cervical cancer, our Comprehensive Cervical Screen is available at many of our nationwide clinics. This screen will provide a full picture of your current cervical health, testing you for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), in addition to a PAP Smear.

If you suspect that you are frequently experiencing vaginal dryness during sex, you may wish to consider using a water-based lubricant.

Speak to us in confidence

If you are concerned about bleeding after sex, or any other aspect of your sexual health, Better2Know can help you. Our highly trained sexual health experts can provide advice on which STIs to test for and find a convenient appointment for you. We can also arrange a confidential doctor’s consultation. Simply contact our team by phone or live chat today. Alternatively, click Book Now to book your tests online.


[1] WebMD: Bleeding After Sex

[2] Cosmopolitan: Is it normal to bleed after sex? A doctor explains the possible causes

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