Bleeding After Sex While Pregnant
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A woman undergoing nine months of pregnancy is a tumultuous journey combining excitement, happiness, frustration, worry, and plenty of hormonal action! Some days, it is enough to make even the strongest woman feel weak and defeated. Dealing with morning sickness, mood swings, weird cravings, and those raging hormones. You still find yourself craving physical pleasure! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? There are days when you just want to get into bed with your partner and make the most of it!
Engaging in sex during your pregnancy is quite safe, provided it’s done in a manner that causes no harm to your body or health. Of course, it’s different from when you weren’t carrying around a round belly, so there are certain precautions to take, which can be recommended by your gynaecologist.
There might be a time when you find some blood on the sheets after a passionate romp with your partner and trace it back to yourself. That could be a bit terrifying! Bleeding after sex may indicate a problem, but it also could not be a problem and may just be a little consequence of being pregnant.
Let’s take a look at what bleeding after sex while pregnant means in the early as well as late stages of pregnancy.
Is Bleeding After Sex During Pregnancy Normal?
If you have the green light from your doctor, there is no problem in having sex when you are pregnant. Sex can be good for you during this time, giving you a chance to let off some steam and de-stress!
Seeing blood after sex can be a little harrowing, but there is no need to worry. Bleeding after sex is normal during your pregnancy and does not mean in any way that the baby is in danger. During pregnancy, the baby is sealed safely in the amniotic sac in the uterus, and mucus plugs the cervix closed. Therefore, no harm comes to the baby by engaging in sex.
However, it is important to know why the bleeding has occurred. Usually, it is due to the increased blood supply to the vagina during pregnancy. This, combined with the softening of the tissue in the cervix, results in occasional blood flow. But, again, there is no harm caused to the baby.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this!
What Causes Bleeding After Sex When Pregnant?
There are a few reasons why bleeding may occur after sex when pregnant. These reasons can be any of the following:
1. Blood Supply
When a woman gets pregnant, there is increased blood supply to her vagina and cervix. This increases the rate and the volume of the blood reaching the area. Increased pressure in those areas during sex could result in minor bleeding.
When a woman becomes pregnant, there is also a sudden increase in the amount of oxygen and blood required in the uterus and cervix. This results in the formation of many capillaries in the area, which may break during sex and thus result in spotting or light bleeding.
3. Softening of Cervix
The cervical area of the woman can become tender and soft and thus may break easily after vigorous sex. This results in bleeding.
5. Cervical Changes
During pregnancy, the cervix undergoes a series of changes in preparation for childbirth. Increased blood flow and hormonal changes can cause the cervix to become more sensitive and prone to bleeding, especially after sex. This type of bleeding is usually light and stops within a day or two.
In rare cases, bleeding after sex during pregnancy may be a sign of an infection. Sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. It can cause bleeding and other complications during pregnancy. Non-sexually transmitted infections, such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, can lead to bleeding after sex. If you suspect that you may have an infection, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
7. Placenta Previa
Placenta previa is a potentially serious condition when the placenta covers part or all of the cervix. This can cause bleeding during sex and other symptoms, such as abdominal pain and contractions. Placenta previa can also increase the risk of preterm delivery and other complications.
8. Placental Abruption
Placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus before delivery. This can cause bleeding after sex and other symptoms, such as abdominal pain and contractions. Placental abruption is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, as it can be life-threatening for both the mother and baby.
Does Post-Sex Bleeding Mean Miscarriage?
The chances of the pregnancy getting terminated and resulting in a miscarriage after and because of sex is rare. The baby is completely safe since it is inside the uterine amniotic sac. The sac nourishes the baby and acts as a cushion and shock absorber. Additionally, the baby is quite far from the vagina – there is no way that the sex can affect the baby in any manner.
However, as a word of caution, you could refrain from sex, at least during the first trimester, if you have a history of miscarriage. If you face heavy bleeding after sex, you must immediately contact your OB-GYN.
How to Deal With Bleeding After Sex While Pregnant?
In the first trimester, it is common for women to feel cramps after sex or an orgasm for a long period of time. However, you should go to the doctor if the pain is too long. Again, refrain from sex during the first trimester if you have had miscarriages.
If you visit your gynaecologist after facing bleeding after sex in the first trimester, the doctor may prescribe an ultrasound scan to check on the baby – the cause may be a low-lying placenta or simply the increased blood supply in the area. Either way, you should visit the doctor if pain or cramps persist. Additionally, you can follow the following steps to work around the bleeding post-sex:
- Avoid sex until the bleeding stops: While bleeding after sex during pregnancy may not always be a sign of a serious problem, it’s important to give your body time to heal. Wait for an evaluation from your doctor about the exact cause of your bleeding and ensure it’s safe to resume sexual activity.
- Rest and take it easy: If you experience bleeding after sex during pregnancy, it’s important to take it easy and avoid strenuous activity or exercise. Bed rest may be recommended in some cases, depending on the underlying cause of your bleeding.
How to Avoid or Minimise the Risk of Bleeding?
There are a few ways to reduce the risk of bleeding during sex when you are pregnant. Take a look at them below:
1. Safe Sex Positions
When you are having sex, ensure that you are comfortable with the position and the pace. Avoid rough sex when you are pregnant, as this could increase the risk of bleeding.
2. Oral Sex
Oral sex is a great alternative, as it is one of the most satisfying ways to be sexually content without intercourse. However, ask your partner not to blow air into the vagina, as it may cause an air embolism, which is the formation of air bubbles in the blood vessels.
3. Cosy Sex
Be as gentle as possible during sex – rough sex may be fun, but it increases the risk of bleeding. Discuss with your partner about your problems and needs, so that both of you are on the same page.
The vagina is overtly soft and sensitive during pregnancy, so friction may be enough to cause bleeding of varying degrees. Therefore, using lubrication will help you reduce the chances of irritation within the vagina.
Condoms will prevent you and the baby from any sexually transmitted infections. Always use them during pregnancy (and otherwise, too!).
When to Avoid Intercourse During Pregnancy?
Sometimes, you are simply better off refraining from sex. Some situations where this is applicable are:
1. Placenta Previa
The placenta sometimes lies low in the uterus and covers the cervix completely or partially, resulting in a higher chance of miscarriage after sex.
2. Cervical Incompetence
The cervix may open prematurely in a woman during pregnancy, so the chances of miscarriage increase. In such cases, avoiding sex would be the better option for your and your baby’s health.
3. Multiple Pregnancies
When you are pregnant with more than one baby, sex may involve higher chances of risk for foetuses. It is a common occurrence that you may face such type of bleeding after sex in early pregnancy as well.
4. High-risk Pregnancy
If you have a high-risk pregnancy due to underlying medical conditions, such as preeclampsia, placenta previa, or a history of preterm labour, your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding sex. This is because intercourse can sometimes trigger contractions or bleeding in high-risk pregnancies, leading to complications for both the mother and baby.
5. History of Miscarriage
If you have a history of miscarriage or preterm labour, your healthcare provider may recommend abstaining from sex during pregnancy. While there is no clear evidence that sex causes miscarriage or preterm labour, some studies suggest that it may increase the risk of these complications in certain situations.
If you have an infection, such as a sexually transmitted infection or bacterial vaginosis, your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding sex until the infection is treated. Infections can cause complications during pregnancy, and some can be transmitted to the baby during delivery.
When to Call a Doctor?
Sometimes, you may feel that something is wrong. Calling the doctor as soon as possible would be the best thing to do! Some of these situations might be:
- If the bleeding is heavy and consistent after sex.
- If you experience consistent cramps and intense pain in the lower abdominal and pelvic areas.
- If you observe vaginal discharge which contains tissues or clots.
- If you feel dizzy or faint.
- If you get a high fever with or without chills.
- If your uterine contractions continue even after sex is over.
1. Can I bleed after sex during the first trimester?
Orgasms early in the pregnancy can cause uterine contractions, which can rupture the tiny blood vessels in the uterus and the cervix. Light bleeding after sex is common and will reduce as you pass the second and third trimesters. This is because of the increased hormonal activity.
2. What does light spotting after sex mean?
Sometimes, you might observe light pink spotting after sex during your pregnancy. This is blood mixed with vaginal fluid or could be due to anaemia in the woman. Consulting your doctor would be the best course of action.
3. Is heavy bleeding after intercourse during pregnancy normal?
Heavy bleeding is not normal. If you do soak more than one pad within the hour, you may have a haemorrhage. Consult your doctor as soon as possible.
4. How long does prenatal bleeding after sex last?
Mild bleeding may last a few hours, but you should see your doctor if it lasts more than a day.
Bleeding during pregnancy is common, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. It’s normal to feel panicky but remember to stay calm. The bleeding will probably be light and last only a few hours. However, if it is heavy or does not seem to stop, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
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