Bleeding After Sex During Pregnancy: Is It Normal?

Bleeding After Sex During Pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

Is It Normal To Bleed After Sex While Pregnant?

Any bleeding, light or heavy, after 20 weeks of pregnancy is not normal (1). You should see a doctor immediately. But do not panic as not all bleeding is dangerous. You must keep away from sex to prevent further complications and seek your doctor’s advice on when you can resume having sex (2).

What Causes Bleeding After Sex During Pregnancy?

A tender and sensitive cervix causes bleeding after sex while pregnant. The cervix could be sensitive –because of:

  1. Increased blood supply: The rate of blood supply to the vagina and cervix increases considerably soon after you conceive. During sex, there would be added pressure over the cervical area causing minor bleeding or spotting (3).
  1. Increased capillaries: Several blood capillaries (small blood vessels) form during pregnancy to meet the high oxygen demands of the mother and fetus. Many of these capillaries develop in the vagina and cervix. They are so delicate that they rupture easily during intercourse (4).
  1. Cervical polyps: Polyps are harmless growths on the cervix and happen due to the high estrogen levels. Containing small blood vessels, the polyps are fragile, and any pressure on the area during intercourse could cause bleeding (5).

Does Bleeding After Sex Mean Miscarriage?

Sex-triggered miscarriage are rare because the fetus is secured in the amniotic sac filled with fluid. This cushions the baby and acts as a shock absorber from any physical harm. Moreover, the baby is placed away from the intercourse region.

However, if you have had a miscarriage earlier or weakened cervical walls, the doctor will recommend you to abstain from sex as a safety measure (6).

[Read: What To Do After Miscarriage – Healing & Care]

How To Stop Bleeding After Intercourse While Pregnant?

You could minimize the risks of bleeding and complications by following some simple rules.

1. Try comfortable and safe sex positions:

Some sexual positions can increase the risk of vaginal spotting or bleeding as they exert pressure on the cervical area. You could try safe positions such as spooning and rear entry (7).

2. Oral sex:

It is one of the safest practices to get sexual satisfaction without an intercourse during pregnancy. Though not harmful to the baby, refrain from blowing air into the vagina as it can cause air embolism (blockage of blood supply due to air bubbles in the blood vessels (8).

3. Have cozy moments:

Be as gentle as possible with progressing pregnancy. You can enjoy the intimacy through cuddling, kissing, hugging, holding hands, and sharing a shower as they are more comfortable. Discuss with your partner about what you like (9).

4. Use lubricants:

Use water-based lubricants as they help reduce the friction and discomfort during intercourse (7). They will also reduce bleeding and the chances of irritation in the cervical region. Coconut oil is the best natural lubricant. Avoid those containing glycerin as it is likely to cause thrush.

5. Use condom:

Make sure you use barrier contraceptives such as condoms in intercourse. They will protect both you and your baby from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (8).

These are the alternatives to intercourse if you are feeling uncomfortable or bleeding frequently while having sex during pregnancy. While these might be a choice in some cases, in a few other cases you do not have an option but to restrain from sex.

[ Read: How To Stop Vaginal Bleeding Or Spotting During Pregnancy ]

When Should You Avoid Sex During Pregnancy?

Sex becomes a no-no under certain conditions, including:

  1. Placenta previa: In this condition, the placenta lies low in the uterus and covers the cervix fully or partially. Therefore, the chances of miscarriage are high if you involve in sexual intercourse (9).
  1. Cervical incompetence: It is a condition where the cervix starts to open prematurely, and increases the risk of miscarriage and premature loss. You should avoid sex to lessen the chances of an untoward incident (10).
  1. Multiple pregnancies: There are high chances of risks if you indulge in sex when pregnant with more than one baby (11).

[ Read: Is It Safe To Have Sex During Pregnancy ]

When To See A Doctor?

Any bleeding concerns should be immediately taken to your doctor’s notice. Evaluate the nature, appearance, and quantity of bleeding after intercourse. Wear a sanitary pad to see the type of bleeding so that you can give the right details to the doctor.

Here are some symptoms that you should not ignore if they accompany bleeding or spotting after sex during pregnancy:

  • Intense cramps and pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic region
  • Heavy and consistent vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge that may show tissues and clots
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • High fever with or without chills
  • Uterine contractions that begin and continue even after sexual intercourse

Even if you have mild bleeding without any pain or cramping, you should talk to your doctor to be avoid any complications.

[ Read: Brown Discharge During Pregnancy ]

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can you bleed after sex during early pregnancy?

Yes, it is normal to bleed after sex in your early pregnancy as orgasming can cause uterine contractions that can rupture tiny blood vessels.

You may experience light bleeding after sex during pregnancy first trimester. But as you progress to the second and third trimesters, the increasing hormonal activity may reduce the bleeding (12).

2. During pregnancy, is it normal to bleed after sex and have no pain?

Yes, it is normal to bleed after sex without any pain. If it is a mild bleeding, you might feel no pain, unlike blood clots that may be painful.

3. Is heavy bleeding after sex during pregnancy normal?

Heavy bleeding is not normal. If you are soaking more than one pad in an hour, it may be a hemorrhage and requires immediate medical attention (13).

4. What does light pink spotting after intercourse mean?

Pink spotting or discharge after sex during pregnancy is blood mixed with vaginal fluid. But sometimes, it can be due to anemia or disturbed integrity of blood vessels. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor.

5. How long does the bleeding last after sex during pregnancy?

In most cases, mild bleeding that is lightly stained, may continue for a few hours. If it is heavy and lasts for a day or two, you should see a doctor.

Sensitive blood vessels in your cervix might get ruptured under pressure during intercourse. Safe sex positions will not affect these blood vessels and also prevent any other complications. Do remember, that bleeding during pregnancy could happen due to various other reasons. Consulting a doctor is your best bet as it will eliminate all your doubts.

[ Read: Oral Sex During Pregnancy ]

Take precautions. Be on the safer side. Enjoy the time together as the arrival of a baby can keep you busy. If you have any experiences or thoughts to share with us on your pregnancy, write to us below.

Recommended Articles:

Click
The following two tabs change content below.
Profile photo of Rebecca Malachi

Rebecca Malachi

"I believe words have power. They are a powerful tool for a creative soul. Being a 'word addict', I express my thoughts and contribute articles on health, wellness and beauty. Apart from writing, I love listening to gospel music and enjoy observing nature in silence."
Featured Image
  • Kalpana Nadimpalli

    Hi,

    It works and don’t worry. If you are still concerned then ask her to take the home pregnancy test if she misses out on her period.