Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks
Updated July 1, 2004





Q&A Pain and Bleeding with Intercourse
By Gabrielle Matthieu, LAc

Gabrielle Mathieu is a Licensed Acupuncturist, with a graduate degree in Oriental Medicine. She has an undergraduate degree in medical technology and worked in hospitals as a lab technician for 12 years before coming to Oriental Medicine. She integrates both medicines in her Austin Texas practice.

I don't know if this is the right place to ask this...but I can't find any sites that help. I had sex for the first time and it was quite painful. I have done it about 10 times now and I started to bleed a few times. I feel pressure inside, but no pain. The bleeding doesn't last very long. I am wondering why could it be bleeding?

Jess K

Hi Jess,

We're glad you felt comfortable approaching us. However, the best way to find out what is causing bleeding after intercourse is to have a nurse practitioner or Western physician actually take a look in the area.

With the decision to begin having sex, come responsibilities, both emotional and physical. You should have a gynecological exam as soon as possible.
If you do not have your own insurance yet, it is always possible you might be able to go to a community clinic such as Planned Parenthood, and get a low-cost exam then. You could also ask your partner if he is willing to pay half the cost of your exam and birth control, if you get some there.

If you feel more comfortable having the exam with a woman than a man, be sure to bring that up at the time you make your appointment. During your appointment, your health care provider will check the area of your uterus that protrudes slightly into the opening of the vagina. This area is called the cervix, and the bleeding could be coming from there. A benign (non-cancerous) polyp could cause bleeding, as well as other abnormalities of the tissue. Of course, an infection such as Chlamydia might also cause bleeding. You will be checked for any infections, and if you are not sure how to prevent pregnancy and have safe sex, those topics will be covered as well.

- Gabrielle Mathieu

Editor's Note: Another occasional cause of painful intercourse is psychological. Some women who have unresolved sexual trauma from earlier in life experience pain with intercourse apart from any physical problem. Also, don't forget the common sense fact that even if you have none of the above physical or emotional issues, intercourse that is too long in duration or too forceful can cause damage to the sensitive tissues in your vagina, and these tissues need time to heal before the next intercourse.

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All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.

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