Q&A: When I Haven’t Had Sex For A While, I Bleed A Lot. Why?

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QUESTION: I've been sexually active for about two years now but when I haven't had sex for a while, I bleed – sometimes a lot. What does this mean? My gynecologist had no answer.

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Photo: Heo2035 (flickr.com)

Try using a lubricant to make sex more comfortable and to reduce the risk of tearing.

Seek Medical Attention

If you find that you are bleeding during sex – especially if it is a lot of blood, as you mentioned, or if is uncomfortable or painful – then I would recommend checking with a healthcare provider for a second opinion.

The fact that this seems to happen regularly to you suggests that it would be worth the effort to have a second healthcare provider examine your vagina, cervix and uterus to make sure that all is okay.

Suggestions for More Comfortable Sex

If it is, then it may just be that when you have sex after periods without it, that you are nervous or jump into it quickly without adequate foreplay. If this is the case, then your vagina may not be well lubricated and it may be more prone to small vaginal tears that bleed.

Try using a water-based or silicone-based lubricant to make sex more comfortable and pleasurable and to reduce the risk of tearing. You might also try sex positions that give you more control so that you can make sure the sex that you do have is gentle in terms of impact and the way that it feels.

Consider, too, whether there are ways that you have sex after periods of time without it. When you start having sex again, do you typically have rough or vigorous sex? If so, you might want to try starting off slower or more gentle and easing your way into more energetic sex.

More Information

Learn more about sexual tips and techniques, in regard to lubricant and sex positions, in Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction. To learn more about vaginal health, check out The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulovaginal Health.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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