What can it mean when you're bleeding after sex?

There are a few reasons why women may experience bleeding after sex. We recommend for any ladies who do experience bleeding after sex, you discuss this with your GP straight away. They’ll be able to provide you with an individualised assessment and hopefully rule out anything more serious which could be causing your bleeding. Some reasons for bleeding after sex include:

Lack of lubrication

A common cause of bleeding after sex is lack of lubrication. If delicate vaginal tissues are dry, this can cause trauma from friction during penetration. Note that this doesn’t necessarily have to be from penetrative sex with a penis – if fingers or sex toys are inserted when there’s a lack of moisture, this can potentially cause bleeding, too.

A lack of natural moisture is nothing to be embarrassed about. Aside from age-related changes, there are a surprisingly large number of reasons why you might need a little extra top-up in the moisture department. Causes of vaginal dryness can include taking certain medications (including antihistamines and the birth control pill), using harsh products to cleanse the vulva, and sometimes just not feeling sufficiently aroused (more foreplay, please)!

OVIO personal lubricant has been scientifically formulated to add moisture during intimate moments, helping to increase your pleasure. It’s long-lasting, yet water-soluble and gentle enough for use on sensitive skin.

Vaginal atrophy

Vaginal atrophy is the thinning of the vaginal tissues with can occur after menopause due to reducing levels of oestrogen. As well as causing some women to experience painful sex (sometimes including bleeding after sex), it can result in other issues such as vaginal infections and urinary problems. As well as noticing pain during intercourse and possible bleeding after sex, other symptoms may include a sensation of vaginal burning, urinary tract infections and pain when passing urine.

If you’re affected by vaginal atrophy, your GP may also recommend the use of a topical oestrogen cream. They’ll also be able to discuss other treatments with you, such as HRT (hormone-replacement therapy).


Infections can cause bleeding after sex. One sexually transmitted infection which can cause bleeding after intercourse is chlamydia. Other symptoms of chlamydia can include bleeding between periods, abdominal or pelvic pain and pain when urinating. However, 70% of women with chlamydia don’t have any symptoms at all. This is why it’s important you visit your local sexual health/GUM clinic at the start of a new sexual relationship, to ensure you have a clean bill of health and eliminate the chances of you passing any infections to your new partner.

Another infection which can causes bleeding after sex is pelvic inflammatory disease (an infection of the female upper genital tract). As well as possible bleeding after sex, symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease (sometimes abbreviated to PID) can include pain (this may be felt in the pelvis or lower tummy), deep pelvic pain or discomfort during intercourse, unusual discharge and heavy periods. It’s easily treatable with antibiotics, but can become more serious the longer it’s left untreated. This is why it’s vital you make an appointment to see your GP.

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