I tend to bleed after having sex. Is that normal or is there something going on that I should get checked out?

This is a hard question to answer without having a medical professional assess the symptoms in person, but we can try and help clear some things up for you.

Vaginal bleeding can be a sign of infection, whether a sexually transmitted infection or an organic infection, like yeast or bacterial vaginitis, or it can be something entirely different.

To start off, it’s important to note that someone’s period can actually fluctuate based on what’s going on in their life.  This means that stresssicknesschange in physical activity, or even worrying about being pregnant can make a period act differently- potentially causing abnormal bleeding.

While someone’s menstruation can happen on the traditional 28-day cycle, plenty do not.  It’s possible that you may have had an annovulatory cycle (that you did not release an egg this month).  A missed ovulation can translate to a missed or irregular period. While this can be healthy and normal, make an appointment if you find yourself worrying about your period. Our Teen Clinic practitioners can offer tips and strategies for regulating the period, and they’ll make sure you’re healthy.

It’s also possible that you were spotting a small amount before having sex and didn’t notice, but noticed afterwards because of the increase in sexual fluids.

Another possibility is that the sexual contact is too rough, or that enough lubrication was not used before hand. It’s important to talk about your level of comfort before engaging in sexual contact. That way, you can tell your partner if they are working at a level that is both comfortable and pleasurable for you.

Lubrication is important during sexual contact as well. Although vaginas and penis’ are self-lubricating organs, often times enough lubrication is not produced. Some bodies self-lubricate quite a bit; some don’t at all!  Lubrication will lower the  amount of friction during intercourse, reducing the chances that a barrier method (like a external or internal condom) will tear or that a mucus membrane (like the vagina, penis, or anus) will become irritated.

Even if your body does self-lubricate, it’s great to have a bottle of water-based lube on hand just in case things become dry and uncomfortable.

It’s also good to know that any time someone comes into contact with one or more of the four modes of transmission, they can be at risk of STI (or sexually transmitted infection) transmission.  The four modes of transmission are…

  • Blood
  • Skin to skin contact
  • Sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluids)
  • Mother to child (breastmilk and vaginal delivery)

In order for someone to contract an STI, they would need to engage in sexual activity with a person who already has an STI in which one or more of these modes would come into play. Although STIs can be common, remember that they are preventable!

STIs can be transmitted through oral sex, anal sex, and vaginal sex. Many people think that with oral sex, there is little to no risk. But the fact is, you can get all STIs (except for pubic lice) when engaging in oral sex with someone who has the infection.

So remember to reduce your risk of STI transmission by using barrier methods and getting tested regularly!

The best thing for you to do is to make an appointment with a medical professional. They will be able to assess your symptoms and help you know for sure what is going on with your body. Teen Clinic offers confidential and low-cost services. Call us to make an appointment! 303-442-5160.