You’re right to feel alarmed if you notice any bleeding after intercourse. Even if you only see slight spotting, it’s still a good idea to have it checked out. Most of the time bleeding after sex isn’t due to anything serious; however, abnormal bleeding could be a sign of an underlying issue.

OB/GYN Kiran Patel, MD, family medicine physician Leela Patel, MD, and our team of women’s health specialists take any instance of abnormal vaginal bleeding seriously. Read on to see what might cause vagina bleeding after sex and when to see a doctor about it.

Causes of bleeding after sex

The following are some of the things that can cause abnormal bleeding. 

Birth control side effects

The ability to regulate your cycle is the main advantage of hormonal birth control; however, any hormonal contraception can cause some spotting after intercourse. It is more likely to occur when you initiate hormonal birth control, and it can take your body a few months to adjust.

Vaginal atrophy or dryness

Vaginal dryness and atrophy are other possible side effects of hormonal birth control. Low estrogen during perimenopause and menopause, as well as surgical menopause, can also cause vaginal dryness and atrophy. Vaginal tissue that is thin and dry tears easily and can lead to bleeding after sex. 

Sexually transmitted disease

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause numerous unpleasant symptoms, including post-sex bleeding, especially if the infection causes inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis). Certain STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, can also cause cervical inflammation.

Endometrial polyps

Endometrial polyps are growths that develop in the lining of the uterus. If you have polyps that hang from the cervix into the vagina, they can be struck during sexual activity, causing bleeding. Polyps tend to have a good blood supply and are delicate, so it’s not surprising that bleeding may occur from sex.

Polyps are more common as you get older. Women aged 40 and over are more likely to have polyps, but you can develop them in your 20s and 30s.

Bacterial infection

Yeast infections and bacterial infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, are common and can cause cervical inflammation and lead to bleeding after sex. These infections can cause some slight spotting, along with other symptoms, such as abnormal odor and change in color and consistency of vaginal discharge.


Like polyps, fibroids are benign growths. While polyps tend to remain small and develop along the uterus lining, fibroids are made of dense tissue and can grow quite large. Depending on where the fibroids grow, sexual activity can cause bleeding. Fibroids are more likely to cause problems if they grow large.

When to see a doctor

While bleeding during or after sex is common, it’s a good idea to have it checked if it’s happening frequently. This way our team can rule out any serious underlying issues, and if we find any problems, we can get you started with an appropriate treatment plan to stop the bleeding and ease discomfort.

Come in for an evaluation if you experience any abnormal bleeding. Give our team a call to schedule a visit with one of our providers at our South Charleston, West Virginia office. 

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