Many women experience vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse in one way or another. In fact, 63% of post-menopausal women experience vaginal dryness and vaginal bleeding or spotting during sexuality. 9% of women who have menstrual bleeding have bleeding after the intercourse.
Occasional mild bleeding is not a cause of trouble. If you have certain risk factors or if you have passed menopause, bleeding after the relationship may require a doctor visit.
Causes of bleeding after sex
Bleeding after sex is called medically postcoital bleeding. It may occur in women of all ages. In young women who have not reached menopause, the source of bleeding is usually cervical. In women with menopause, the cause of bleeding may be different. It may be caused by:
- the cervix
- vagina lips
Given the reasons, cervical cancer is the biggest concern, especially for post-menopausal women. However, postcoital bleeding is more likely to be caused by common conditions.
Some infections can cause inflammation in the vagina and cause bleeding. These include:
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- sexually transmitted diseases
Urogenital Syndrome in Menopause
This discomfort was also known in the past as vaginal atrophy. It is a common disorder in women who have undergone menopause or have had an overdose, but they are also common in women whose ovaries are taken. As they age, especially when the menstrual periods stop, the body produces less estrogen. Estrogen is one of the female hormones that regulate reproductive systems.
When estrogen levels fall, a few things happen in the vagina. The body produces less vaginal fluid and therefore the vagina becomes more dry and inflamed. Low estrogen levels also reduce the elasticity of the vagina. Vaginal tissues are thinned and contracted. This causes unrest, pain and bleeding during sexuality.
Vaginal dryness can also cause bleeding. Other than MÜS, it can be caused by many other factors and some of them are:
- certain drugs such as colds, asthma medications, antidepressants and anti-estrogen drugs
- chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- taking a shower
- chemicals in women's hygiene products, detergents and pools
- Sjögren syndrome, an inflammatory disease of the immune system and reduces the moisture produced by the glands in the body
Polyps are non-cancerous formations. Sometimes they are found in the cervix and endometrial tissue of the uterus. The polyp hangs like a necklace or chain. The movement of the polyps disturbs the surrounding tissues and can cause bleeding due to capillaries.
Sex, especially hard sex, can cause small scratches and tears in the vagina. Especially if there is vaginal dryness due to menopause, breastfeeding or other factors.
Irregular vaginal bleeding is a common symptom of cervix or vaginal cancer, including bleeding after sex. Even 11% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have been diagnosed because of this symptom. Postmenopausal bleeding can also be a sign of uterine cancer.
Do you have more risk of bleeding after sexual intercourse?
If you have the following conditions, your risk of postcoital bleeding is higher:
- cervix or uterine cancer
- to undergo menopause or post menopause
- to have a baby or breastfeed
- intercourse with many partners without condoms
- not be warned enough before the relationship
- wash the vagina often
Go to Doctor for Symptoms
The symptoms you may experience with postcoital bleeding vary and are dependent on the cause. If you're not in menopause, you don't have other risk factors, and you have small bleeding and spotting, you probably don't need to go to a doctor. If you experience any vaginal bleeding after menopause, you should see the doctor immediately.
You should also consult your doctor if you have the following symptoms:
- vaginal itching and burning
- stinging and burning sensation during urine
- painful sexual intercourse
- heavy bleedings
- severe abdominal pain
- vomiting and nausea
- unusual vaginal discharge
What Happens When Visiting a Doctor?
Visit your family doctor or gynecologist for postcoital bleeding. The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, such as the duration and amount of bleeding. They can also ask for the color of the blood.
Since the symptoms are related to sexual activity, the doctor may also question your sexual history. For example, whether you regularly use condoms or have more than one sexual partner.
It may recommend an examination based on your symptoms and your sexual history. Examination of the region may allow the doctor to find the source of the blood. Postcoital bleeding may come from the vagina walls, cervix, urinary tract or vulva.
To determine what causes the bleeding, the doctor may request additional tests such as pap smears, pregnancy tests and vaginal culture tests.
Many women are reluctant to visit the doctor for questions about their sexual health and find the physical examination uncomfortable. However, it does not necessarily have to be a physical examination during a visit to the doctor for postcoital bleeding.
If your doctor wants a pelvic examination, you can ask your options to make it more comfortable for you. For example, according to studies, different leg positions or water-based lubricants make the examination easier for some women. If you have concerns about postcoital bleeding, see your doctor will relax your mind.
Cervix and Uterine Cancer
Vaginal bleeding can be a symptom of cervix and uterine cancer, including post-bleeding bleeding. These types of cancer are very common in women over 50 years of age or menopausal women.
Other risk factors for age include family history of these cancers, overweight (for endometrial cancer), taking birth control pills for more than five years (for cervical cancer). Having HPV virus increases the risk of cervical cancer.
If you have had menopause and if you have postcoital bleeding, you should see a doctor to eliminate cancer types. As with other types of cancer, early detection and treatment of cancer makes the treatment more efficient.
Serious complications of postcoital hemorrhage, if not cancer or untreated infection, are not very common. The following are the most likely complications.
Having severe or prolonged bleeding may cause iron deficiency anemia because the red blood cells in the body have decreased due to blood loss. The symptoms of anemia are as follows:
- unusual wilt skin
If anemia is caused by blood loss, the doctor may prescribe iron supplements. But the most important source of iron nutrition. If you are concerned about your iron levels, add the following iron-laden foods to your diet:
- the fish
- peanut butter
- leafy vegetables
If you have vaginal dryness, you risk more urinary tract infections.
Definition of Reason
Bleeding after sex is commonly caused by vaginal dryness, but there are other serious causes. Postcoital bleeding may be a symptom of many disorders. The doctor will first check the cancer by examining the vagina and cervix. Pap smears and biopsy can be used for this. If cancer is found, you will be directed to a specialist.
If it is understood that cancer is not a cause of bleeding, a few steps can be taken to find the cause:
- visual inspection of the vagina or cervix with a magnifying glass
- transvaginal ultrasound
- urine test
- blood test
- testing of vaginal discharge
Postcoital Bleeding Treatment
Vaginal hemorrhage causes treatment to be determined.
If bleeding is due to vaginal dryness, vagina lubricants may work. When applied regularly these products are absorbed by the vagina walls. They increase moisture and ensure the natural acidity of the vagina.
Vaginal lubricants also prevent uncomfortable friction during sexual intercourse. You may wish to avoid products containing paraben and propylene glycol.
Warning: Petroleum-based lubricants such as Vaseline may damage condoms and diaphragm. Therefore, do not use vaseline and condom at the same time. You can use water and silicone based lubricants.
If vaginal dryness is caused by menopause or the removal of the ovaries, you can talk to your doctor about estrogen therapy. Excluded products include vaginal estrogen creams and suppositories. Another option is the estrogen ring. This flexible ring is inserted into the vagina. During the 90 days it releases a low dose of estrogen.
Oral hormone therapy, namely estrogen and progestin therapy, is also an option for some women. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this treatment.
Vaginitis may be caused by infection or vaginal dryness. The cause may be unknown. Depending on the cause, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics.
Antibiotics can also be written for pelvic inflammatory disease and sexually transmitted diseases.
If the cervix has been damaged by infection, the doctor can destroy the damaged cells with silver nitrate or ice cream. In this process, damaged cells are frozen and killed.
Prevention of bleeding after sex
In order to find out how to prevent post-bleeding, there must be something in the past that causes bleeding. In many women water-based or silicone-based lubricants help prevent vaginal dryness and friction-induced bleeding. If you use condoms, oil-based lubricants can damage it. Water based lubricants are among the most recommended.
It may also be helpful to take sexuality a little and stop the pain. Regular use of vaginal moisturizers helps keep the area moist and comfortable.
If your symptoms of postcoital bleeding are associated with a medical condition, you can ask your doctor what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future. Be sure to adhere to the treatment plan recommended by your doctor.
As a result
Bleeding after sexuality is usually a symptom of another disorder. Some of them, such as infection and polyps, are treatable. Occasional spotting after sex usually passes on itself without the need for medical assistance. If you are in the postmenopausal period, talk to your doctor if there is any bleeding.
What causes bleeding after sex? Ayse Tolga first appeared on Good Life.
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