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Vaginal Bleeding After Sex: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Bleeding from the vagina after sex often is caused by an infection. Other possible causes are a tear in the vagina or a growth (polyp) on the cervix. You may need a physical and pelvic exam to find the cause of your vaginal bleeding.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor gave you medicine, take it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Do not douche.
  • Use pads, not tampons, for menstrual bleeding.
  • Do not have sex until you talk with your doctor.
  • Be sure to tell your sex partner or partners that you have had bleeding after sex. They may need a doctor to check them for infection.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.
  • You have new or worse belly or pelvic pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.
  • You have unusual vaginal bleeding.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.