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Bleeding after sex

Can bleeding from the vagina after sex ever be normal or does it always mean cancer?

No, it isn't normal and you should see your doctor. But it isn't necessarily a sign of cancer. Bleeding after sex in women is often caused by something called a cervical erosion or ectropion. This is an inflamed area on the surface of the cervix (neck of the womb). Sex can make it start bleeding. Cervical erosion is common in young girls, during pregnancy and in women on the contraceptive pill. This is due to changes in hormone levels. It is harmless and often goes away by itself. Although sometimes it may need treating. Cervical erosion is nothing to do with cancer. And it is easily treated with cryotherapy (freezing the area under local anaesthetic) if needed.

As cervical cancer can cause bleeding after sex, it is always sensible to get this symptom checked out. Unless you go to your doctor or well woman clinic, you will not know what is causing your bleeding. If your symptom does turn out to be due to cancer, the earlier you are diagnosed the easier it will be to treat you and the more likely you are to be cured.

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Updated: 10 June 2014