LIFELINE: Rough sex & the vagina | Health

Dear readers,

Ingrid* is a 23-year-old student attending a tertiary institution. She is planning to break up with her boyfriend because of vaginal bleeding, which occurred after their last sexual encounter. The sex occurred just before the man had to attend some important lectures, so it occurred without any foreplay or preparation. It was forceful and hurried.

Ingrid is upset that she even allowed him to have sex with her in a rush like that because none of it was good for her. The mild bleeding held up, but she was left feeling sore.

Ingrid seems a bit angry with herself for allowing a “misuse” of her body. She feels unhappy and abused. Even though she consented to have the hurried sex, she just doesn’t like how she feels about herself or the guy afterwards.

Vaginal bleeding after sex is a fairly common occurrence and can be due to several causes. When it occurs after rough sex, a vaginal tear may well have occurred.

Other common causes of vaginal bleeding after sex:

n Friction sometimes occurs during sexual intercourse to slightly traumatise the cervix. This can result in a slight vaginal bleed after sex.

n Bleeding after sex can also result because of inflammation to the cervix, which may not be serious.

n Bleeding in this manner can also indicate a sexually transmitted infection which will need to be treated.

n If cervical polyps are present, they can also be irritated by sex and can bleed.

n In an older, post- menopausal woman, sex can sometimes cause irritation or even small tears which can bleed.

n Cervical cancer can present with slight bleeding after sex.

n Endometrial (womb) cancer.

n Inadequate lubrication or foreplay.

n Onset of menstrual period.

What to do if there is bleeding after sex

If vaginal bleeding is very heavy, then an immediate visit to the hospital emergency room is needed.

If there are fissures and tears near the vaginal entry which feel sore and burn, this could be due to sex without preparation (foreplay). Bathe the area with warm, diluted salt water and apply topical lubricant gel or antibiotic ointment. This should settle soon. If pain persists even though bleeding has stopped, a pelvic gynaecological examination is needed. In any case, once abnormal vaginal bleeding occurs, a gynaecological examination should be scheduled in the near future.

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AJM


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