Seeing blood after sex is a frightening experience, but light bleeding in early pregnancy is normal and does not indicate that the fertilized egg is in danger. However, you should seek medical attention if the bleeding is heavy or lasts for a few days.
While spotting after sex is normally nothing to worry about, it can be a sign of a serious problem later in the pregnancy.
Bleeding during pregnancy is common, but it’s not always a sign of something serious. In fact, a small amount of bleeding can be completely normal, especially in the first trimester. Light spotting, which usually looks pinkish or reddish and doesn’t last long, can occur due to changes in your cervix. It may happen if the cervix gets bumped during sex or during a physical exam from your doctor or midwife.
Spotting can also be caused by the hormones that are surging through your body during pregnancy. Higher levels of estrogen can cause a condition called cervical ectopy, which is a raw area on the cervix that bleeds easily. This is normal during and after pregnancy and will go away within a few months of having your baby.
During the first trimester, you may have implantation bleeding, which is spotting that occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. This can happen eight or nine days after conception, or six to 12 days after you ovulate. It’s not usually a sign of sex, but it can be.
If you’re concerned about your sex-induced bleeding, call your doctor. They’ll want to do a pelvic exam and run blood tests to make sure you and your baby are safe. Bleeding is more likely to be a sign of a problem if it’s heavy and continues for more than a few days or if you have other symptoms like back pain, cramping, or vomiting.
Bleeding after sex while pregnant is usually nothing to worry about, but it’s always best to speak to your doctor. Any bleeding should be evaluated, and you can help your doctor determine the cause of the bleeding by describing what happens to you during intercourse.
Bleeding is most likely to happen when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of your uterus. This process, called implantation, can cause light bleeding and may be mixed with semen or mucus. It can last from 2 to 7 days, and it’s not unusual to have this bleeding in the first trimester. This type of bleeding is also known as spotting, and it’s often less severe than your period.
Less commonly, the fertilized egg could implant outside the uterus, in one of the fallopian tubes. This is called an ectopic pregnancy and is much more dangerous than a normal pregnancy. This type of bleeding is usually bright red and is accompanied by abdominal pain. If this occurs, call 111 immediately.
Rarely, sex can trigger bleeding caused by a problem with the placenta. This condition is called placenta previa, and it causes spotting that’s often bright red. It occurs when the placenta covers part or all of the cervix, and it’s sometimes accompanied by pelvic pain. In some cases, the bleeding can become heavy and lead to a miscarriage.
If your cervix becomes more sensitive during pregnancy, light bleeding from any penetration may occur. This can happen with a pap smear, sexual intercourse or physical exam from your doctor or midwife. Usually, this spotting is not painful and lasts only a day or so. It may appear as pinkish or reddish blood on toilet paper, in your underwear or panty liner, and is mixed with semen or mucus.
During the first trimester, this type of bleeding is common and is caused by high levels of the hormone progesterone. This hormone causes the cervix to soften and become more easily bruised.
Bleeding may also be the result of a cervical ectopic pregnancy, a placenta that attaches to the uterus in an abnormal location. This is not usually a medical emergency but your doctor may recommend bed rest for a few days or that you wear a pad to track the amount of blood that passes through each time.
Heavy bleeding that fills a pad every hour or that lasts for several days is more serious and may indicate the early beginning of a miscarriage. This can be a very dangerous situation for the pregnancy and your doctor will want to see you in person right away to determine what is causing this. Your doctor will probably recommend that you use a condom for all sexual activity during this period and in the future to avoid a miscarriage.
A few drops of pinkish, reddish or brownish blood after sex are not uncommon at this stage of pregnancy. This is called implantation bleeding and happens when the embryo burrows into the lining of the uterus. It may also be caused by a vaginal infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea. This type of bleeding can be treated with antibiotics that are safe in pregnancy.
Heavier, bright red bleeding or pain after sex is more worrisome and should be checked by your doctor as soon as possible. The bleeding could be a sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus (usually in the fallopian tube). This is a serious condition that needs medical attention immediately.
In general, light or sporadic bleeding during pregnancy is not something to worry about, especially when it is accompanied by other symptoms such as tender breasts and fatigue. It is not a sign of early labour and you can resume having sex as normal. You may need to change your sex positions or use water-based lubricants that reduce friction and are safer than those containing glycerin. Using a condom is another good way to prevent sexually transmitted infections, including those that cause abortions and bleeding after sex. In most cases, the bleeding will stop as the cervix relaxes.