March 8, 2012

Q&A: I Had Quickie Sex, Now I’m Bleeding

When a woman feels sexually aroused or has sex, it typically takes some time for sufficient vaginal lubrication to kick in.

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Question: About a month ago my boyfriend and I were making out and went in for a quickie. It hurt when he was trying to insert his penis, but after he got it in I was fine. When he finished, we noticed blood and I felt a little discomfort. A few days ago I attempted to masturbate and while it didn’t hurt upon penetration, I still bled. Should I be worried?

This is a common experience.

Foreplay Or Lubrication Will Help

Here’s why: when a woman feels sexually aroused or has sex, it typically takes some time—even several minutes—for sufficient vaginal lubrication to kick in. Vaginal lubrication is a process; it doesn’t happen in an instant.

So if you decided to have intercourse before you had sufficient lubrication, then it makes sense that it hurt while your boyfriend was trying to insert his penis into your vagina.

Using a little lubricant, or spending more time in foreplay to enhance natural vaginal lubrication, may have helped make insertion more comfortable and pleasurable for you.

Once your boyfriend’s penis was inside your vagina, your vagina may have lubricated more. It’s also possible that his penis helped drag vaginal lubrication throughout the vaginal canal, thus helping sex to feel better.

Small Cuts And Tears

Without much vaginal lubrication, the vagina is more prone to small cuts and tears, which may explain the blood that you noticed after sex.

It can take a few days for these small vaginal cuts and tears to completely heal and so occasional light vaginal bleeding in the days following sex is not uncommon – especially if the vagina is further touched in ways that aggravate the cuts and tears as they try to heal.

In the future, you might consider spending more time in foreplay to build up vaginal lubrication before intercourse.

Using a water-based lubricant can also help make quickies more comfortable, pleasurable and satisfying for both of you.

If the bleeding persists, is associated with pain or discomfort, or if you have questions about your personal health, please check in with a healthcare provider.

You can also learn more about vaginal health by reading The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Vulvovaginal Health by Elizabeth Stewart and Paula Spencer or a book that I co-authored with Vanessa Schick titled Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva.

Next Question: Why Did My Condom Slip Off?

I am a sexually active, heterosexual male in a monogamous relationship. Recently, at or near climax during vaginal sex my condom slipped off completely. Along with condoms, we also use vaginal contraceptive foam, but considering the depth the condom had reached we opted to use Plan B emergency contraceptive as well. My question is two-fold. First, why did this happen. I produce a lot of pre-cum; does this have anything to do with it? Second, and more importantly, how can this be prevented in the future?

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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