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 exam 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 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 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 your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.
  • You have new or worse belly or pelvic pain.

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

  • You have unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.