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Answer to your Health Question


Why do I have spotting (blood) after having sex?



Dear Alicia,

Your cervix - the narrow, lower end of your uterus - is usually the source of bleeding brought on by vaginal sex, especially before menopause.

If the cells of your cervix are inflamed or otherwise abnormal, sexual intercourse can cause enough friction to make them bleed.

Bleeding after vaginal sex is never normal, but in most cases, it's the result of harmless, treatable cervical changes, not cancer.

Possible causes of bleeding after vaginal sex include:

* Cervical cancer
* Cervical dysplasia: Is it cancer? (abnormal cells on the cervix that aren't cancer but may be precancerous)
* Cervical ectropion, a condition in which the cervical tissue is more susceptible to abrasion
* Cervical polyps
* Cervicitis (Inflammation of the cervix)
* Endometrial cancer
* Oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy
* Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
* Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) (such as chlamydia or gonorrhea)
* Uterine fibroids
* Vaginal cancer
* Vaginal dryness (more common after menopause)
* Vaginitis

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