Bleeding after sex while pregnant is quite common and can be caused by many factors. Statistics show that around .6 to 7% of women who still get their periods experience bleeding after sex – sometimes light and sometimes heavy bleeding. The underlying causes of heavy bleeding after sex during pregnancy can indicate a serious problem. If you face serious bleeding problems, get emergency medical help.
Causes of bleeding after sex
Some of the causes after sex in women without any major health issues are:
- Injury – friction during intercourse and a dilated cervix can cause bleeding.
- Vaginal dryness is another cause of bleeding after sex. Especially for expectant mothers, as hormones are high, it causes bleeding.
- Infections such as STDs, UTIs and yeast infections can cause acute discomfort and bleeding during sex while pregnant.
- Postcoital bleeding can occur in people with blood related disorders.
Other risk factors include:
- Aggressive sex
- History of cancer
- Sex without condoms
- Anxiety related to sex while pregnant
- High blood pressure
- Gestational diabetes
Diagnosing the condition:
To diagnose the problem, a doctor may prescribe a battery of tests which include specific tests to check out blood sugar levels and UTIs. Doctors may also choose to perform the following:
- Cultures to detect infections
- Abnormal growth
- Endometrial biopsy
- Blood tests
What to do if the bleeding is heavy
Contact your regular or OB/GYN if the bleeding continues for hours after sex. Tell him/her if you have the following symptoms:
- Burning or an itchy vagina
- Abnormal discharge
- Burning while urinating
- Pain in the lower back
- Talk to your partner about any issues regarding intercourse while pregnant
- Eat a well-balanced diet and stay hydrated to avoid getting sick while pregnant
Bleeding during pregnancy doesn’t always mean that there is a problem. Heavy bleeding after sex during pregnancy could indicate an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or placental problems. Some of the problems which can cause heavy bleeding include:
- Placental abruption is a condition in which the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus before or during the birthing process. This is a serious condition in which the mother can lose a lot of blood.
- Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta may partially or completely cover the cervix. This causes bleeding but there is not much pain. Even though this condition can resolve itself for some, a C-section may be necessary to deliver the baby.
- Placenta accreta is a condition in which the placenta or part of it embeds itself in the uterine wall and is inseparable. It can cause serious bleeding during the third trimester and even during delivery. If this condition is discovered in a timely manner, the OB/GYN can plan for a careful delivery. In many cases, women have to get a hysterectomy after delivery to prevent a life-threatening situation.
Is heavy bleeding a sign of pre-term labor?
If women suffer from heavy bleeding in their 3rd trimester or before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is pre-term labor. Pre-term labor can be managed based on tests which determine the mother’s and fetal health. If it is too far along, the baby is delivered early and kept in the neo-natal ICU.
All in all, if you are pregnant and are experiencing odd symptoms, talk to your doctor and get the help you need to deliver a healthy baby. There is no need to give up on sex while being pregnant.