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Vaginal bleeding after sex

Bleeding after sex may be caused by several things, such as:

  • Inflammation of the cervix (also known as cervical erosion). This is common in young women, pregnant women, or women taking the contraceptive pill.
  • Vaginitis (infection of the vagina).
  • Small polyps (growths) on the surface of the cervix. These are often benign, meaning they’re not cancerous.
  • An infection, such as chlamydia.
  • Changes to the cells in the cervix.
  • Vaginal dryness.
  • A tear or rip in the vagina.
  • Friction during sex, or inadequate lubrication.
  • A sexually transmitted infection like genital herpes of syphilis.
  • A cancerous growth – although this is rare.

If you have any vaginal bleeding after sex you should visit your doctor or family planning clinic. Any bleeding from the vagina after menopause should be checked by a doctor.

If you are bleeding very heavily or you feel faint or as if you might pass out call triple zero (000) immediately and ask for an ambulance. If calling triple zero (000) does not work on your mobile phone, try calling 112.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about vaginal bleeding after sex, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: September 2017

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