Vaginal Bleeding After Sex: Care Instructions

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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 examination 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 call line 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 call 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 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have sudden, severe pain in your belly or pelvis.

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

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. You are soaking through your usual pads every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • You have bleeding that is heavier than your normal period for longer than 6 hours.
  • You feel dizzy or light-headed, or you feel like you may faint.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have new belly or pelvic pain.
  • You have vaginal discharge that smells bad.
  • You feel weak and tired.

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

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Current as of: October 13, 2016