Post-coital bleeding happens at the cervix, although other female reproductive parts may be involved. It can be a scary thing if it happens for the first time. Common questions women ask are “why am I bleeding after sex?” and “is it serious?”
Although it is rarely severe, light bleeding after sex is more common than you may think. It is estimated to affect up to 9% of menstruating women. The good news is that light bleeding after intercourse is treatable. Keep reading to find the answers to all your questions on the subject.
Leading Causes of Vaginal Bleeding After Sex
Bleeding after sex is not in any way related to menstruation. The main reason for vaginal bleeding is lesions or injuries to the vaginal tract. It can affect the cervix, urethra, labia, or uterus. Below are some common causes of light bleeding after sex.
Infection can lead to the inflammation of the vaginal tract. During intercourse, the sensitive tissues are easily bruised and bleed. Here a few conditions that may be responsible for your distress:
- Sexually transmitted infections – STIs often catch people off guard. In addition to the discomfort and possible discharges, they can also cause light bleeding after sex. Diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause spotting after a sexual encounter.
- Vaginitis – The condition is sometimes referred to as vulvitis. It is a bacterial or viral infection that affects an estimated 30% of American women. Vaginitis causes the inflammation of the vulva and the vagina.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease – PID affects female reproductive organs, such as the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tube, and urethra. It starts as a bacterial infection and moves up the pelvis. PID is very dangerous and can be life-threatening if not treated in time.
- Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
As women get older, the production of estrogen slows down and eventually stops. This phenomenon happens during perimenopause and menopause. Estrogen plays a big role in regulating the female reproductive system. The absence of estrogen has several consequences. For one, the vagina stops producing lubrication needed for sexual intercourse. Dryness during sex can cause tearing and bleeding of the vaginal tract. Lower estrogen production also causes thinning and shrinking of the vaginal tissues.
As a result, the vagina becomes less elastic. This can cause discomfort, pain, and bleeding during sex. For older women approaching menopause and asking themselves, “why am I bleeding after sex?”, it is possible that age is just catching up with you.
- Vaginal Dryness
Although almost all bleeding after sex has something to do with dryness, it deserves a category. Vaginal dryness is not expected during sex and often an indication of a problem. Apart from a simple cause like lack of foreplay, it can be caused by other more serious reasons.
At the top of the list is childbirth. During pregnancy, the production of estrogen and progesterone spikes. However, after delivery, the levels of those hormones drop to an all-time low. Estrogen levels drop even lower during breastfeeding as it interferes with milk production. This condition is known as postpartum vaginal dryness.
Another common cause of vaginal dryness is medication. Even something as simple as asthma or cold medicine could hamper lubrication. Other culprits include the use of feminine hygiene products and diseases that affect glands like Sjogren’s syndrome.
You probably don’t want to hear this, but sexual problems could mean a more significant cancer problem. If you are bleeding after sex every time, then it is better to cover all your bases. Cervical, vaginal, and uterine cancers can all cause bleeding during and after sex. Cervical screening is the best way to find any cancerous growths. Sometimes, the bleeding is caused by a non-cancerous growth, commonly known as a polyp.
According to research, 11% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer first noticed bleeding after sex. Although it may be scary, it’s worth noting that early diagnosis makes treatment easier. Then again, it might just be an infection.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Now that you have an idea, what might be the reason for bleeding after sex every time? The more immediate concern is seeking treatment. The remedy for your problem depends on the cause. Only a doctor can determine the cause through a diagnosis. Below are treatment options that you should consider.
- Use of Lubricants
Vaginal dryness can be prevented using specialized moisturizers. These are absorbed by the vaginal walls, helping them regain their elasticity. Using vaginal lubricants during sex also minimizes friction. It prevents the strain or bruising during intercourse. However, you should be careful about what type of lubes you use. Stay away from products containing parabens and propylene glycol. Water-based vaginal lubricants are the safest; they don’t cause any complications.
Since the hormone estrogen plays a vital role in female sexual health, deficiency can lead to complications. The only way to restore this hormonal imbalance is through estrogen therapy. It is the best solution for those going through menopause or who had their ovaries removed.
Estrogen levels can be restored using topical products like estrogen creams. Another is using a ring inserted in the vagina. The ring produces estrogen for about 90 days, and then it is removed. You can also consider oral products. Consult your doctor about what options are best for you.
Vaginal dryness caused by sexually transmitted infections is addressed by treating the infections. Fortunately, most bacterial and parasitic infections, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be treated using antibiotics. Usually, a single dose is sufficient to get you cured. Common antibiotics are ofloxacin and ciprofloxacin. Antibiotics are also an effective treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Laser Treatments
Laser treatment offers an alternative for those looking for a minimally invasive procedure. It is just as effective as any other vaginal surgery in Fort Lauderdale. The MonaLisa Touch laser treatment stimulates the production of collagen and restores the vaginal mucosa. As a result, it improves lubrication, preventing dryness. The MonaLisa Touch treatment also boosts blood circulation.
Consequently, the vaginal muscles become more toned and elastic. Overall, the treatments can counteract the effects of menopause, childbirth, and hormonal imbalance. All this is done after just a few weeks of laser treatment sessions.
Post-coital bleeding caused by cancer or polyps may require surgical intervention. Depending on how far cancer has spread, the doctors can recommend any of the surgical options available. One option is cryosurgery, which kills cancerous cells by freezing them. This procedure is one of the least invasive vaginal surgeries in Fort Lauderdale.
Another alternative is a procedure called conization. Here, a cone-shaped tissue where cancer is likely to spread to is removed from the cervix. More invasive procedures include the removal of the uterus in what is called a hysterectomy and trachelectomy. The more extensive the surgery, the longer it takes to recover.
Contact Dr. Krinsky for Help
Many women suffer in silence due to stigma or fear. We understand that reproductive health issues require privacy. Dr. Krinsky is a certified gynecologist and menopause expert who champions a holistic approach to women’s health. Dr. Krinsky has performed more than 500 procedures and helped countless women regain their sexual health and harmony. You couldn’t be in safer hands.
If you are worried about vaginal surgery in Fort Lauderdale, the MonaLisa Touch is minimally invasive and reverses all the effects of childbirth and menopause. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule an appointment today and make post-coital bleeding a thing of the past.