Bleeding during or after intercourse: Vaginal tears and other problems

michelle-brea-picture-of-a-woman-from-flickr-creative-commons

Sex Crisis #2: You Get a Sex Cut

Last week we explored what to do when a condom breaks during sex. This week, I want to make sure you know how to handle sex cuts (such as tears from vaginal sex or anal sex), as they happen to many women and men at one point or another.

In case you’re wondering what the heck a sex cut is, it’s a cut or tear that happens during sex. Given that vaginal intercourse is one of the most common sex acts, it’s perhaps no surprise that many sex cuts occur during vaginal sex. However, they can also happen during anal sex, fingering (of the vagina or anus) or toy play.

Here’s what to do if a sex cut happens to you:

1. Don’t panic. While sex cuts are rarely everyday occurrences, they’re not uncommon either. In my role as a sex columnist, I hear from women about their sex cuts nearly every single week. Panicking will only make you more anxious and stressed, so try to remain calm if you’re feeling freaked out.

2. Assess the situation. Is it a teensy, tiny cut that results in the tiniest amount of blood (more diluted pink than red) that you see only when peeing after sex, but that doesn’t really bleed out onto your underwear? Or is it a large cut on your vulva (outside genital parts), inside your vagina (the birth canal) or around your anal area? Try to take out a mirror and look in a well-lit room or ask your partner to check for you. Yes, I know this can be awkward or embarrassing, but it’s important.

3. Act. If it’s a tiny cut or if there is very little bleeding during or after intercourse, you may be able to wait it out. Small vaginal and anal cuts often heal on their own without any treatment within a few days. However, moderate or large cuts, or those that are bleeding a good deal, may require medical attention. If you have questions about whether your cut requires medical attention, or if you are not sure whether yours qualifies as “small” or “large” and such, please call your healthcare provider and ask to speak with a nurse. Trust me – healthcare providers get these questions! In many cases, they will advise you to not irritate the skin or tissue for a few days while the cut heals (that may mean laying off masturbation or partner sex for a few days). Less often, they may ask you to come into the office for a check-up and/or prescribe a cream or ointment that can reduce the risk of infection while the cut heals.

4. Keep an eye out. If you find that sex cuts are a relatively common occurrence for you, it may be that you need to make adjustments to your sex life. Are you being too rough on yourself or with each other? Try to be more gentle. Do your bodies have a tight fit? Perhaps a personal lubricant would help. Then again, you may have a skin or genital condition that makes you particularly vulnerable to cuts or tears. Let your healthcare provider know if you have frequent or severe cuts or tears, or regular bleeding during sex or after sex, so that he or she can check to make sure all is well.

Sex has the potential to be fun as well as connecting, exciting and/or loving. With a little bit of knowledge and confidence, you can handle the few sex crises that happen to the best of us. Check back next week to learn what to do when you wake up and realize you’ve gone home with a random.

Related MSP Posts:
- Bleeding during sex: common causes and solutions
- Why does sex hurt?
- Why does sex hurt my girlfriend? Does sex hurt the first time?
- What should I do if I get semen in my eye?

This article was originally published in my weekly Cheeky Chicago sex column. Follow me on Twitter - I am @mysexprofessor

[Image by Michelle Brea via Flickr Creative Commons]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

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  • star

    im 17yrs old
    but me and my boyfriend for 3monts had sex for the 1st time and it hurted so bad do that means something is wrong? is it going to hurt all the time? i was bleeding is that good or bad?

  • star

    im 17yrs old
    but me and my boyfriend for 3monts had sex for the 1st time and it hurted so bad do that means something is wrong? is it going to hurt all the time? i was bleeding is that good or bad?

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  • naape

    hello sir/madam,
    I am a 26 year old boy . I married a year ago and up till today my wife feels pain when we have sex. And sometimes there’s a cut just between the end part of the vagina but before the anus. hope you know what the exact place where i am asking now ? i just wanted to ask you why that is and how we can reduce the problem. hope you will reply me soon.thnx

  • naape

    hello sir/madam,
    I am a 26 year old boy . I married a year ago and up till today my wife feels pain when we have sex. And sometimes there’s a cut just between the end part of the vagina but before the anus. hope you know what the exact place where i am asking now ? i just wanted to ask you why that is and how we can reduce the problem. hope you will reply me soon.thnx

  • Rachel

    I have a light pinky coloured blood but only comes when I pee,except I can’t pee soI am drinkinglots of water and putting ice on my vagina. I love sex and realise I have had quite a bit (every second night at least 4 times each night) in the last week after a year of no sex! I love sex and wonder how long will it take to heal? Then I’ll take it a little easier!

  • Rachel

    I have a light pinky coloured blood but only comes when I pee,except I can’t pee soI am drinkinglots of water and putting ice on my vagina. I love sex and realise I have had quite a bit (every second night at least 4 times each night) in the last week after a year of no sex! I love sex and wonder how long will it take to heal? Then I’ll take it a little easier!

  • Debbie

    My partner and I were having intercourse and while his penis was in my vagina, not at the start of sex but he cut his penis. My partner seems to think it is nothing to worry about (although embarassed) and was just a little tear. However i am worried because when he realised and his penis was in pain it was bleeding after and an awful lot of blood came out of my vagina. Bits of blood were still coming out of me a few hours later. He definatley does not have an STD or anything and i am not worried about that because he and i have both never been with anyone else. I am just worried incase there is any other type of infection i can get from having his blood inside me? Please help.

  • Debbie

    My partner and I were having intercourse and while his penis was in my vagina, not at the start of sex but he cut his penis. My partner seems to think it is nothing to worry about (although embarassed) and was just a little tear. However i am worried because when he realised and his penis was in pain it was bleeding after and an awful lot of blood came out of my vagina. Bits of blood were still coming out of me a few hours later. He definatley does not have an STD or anything and i am not worried about that because he and i have both never been with anyone else. I am just worried incase there is any other type of infection i can get from having his blood inside me? Please help.

  • jennifer1909

    I found out i had an std about a year ago and now when i get figered or actually havin sex i bleed alot and me and my partner are freaking out and im afraid what it could be

  • lalak

    this was really helpful but my tear is pritty big and bleed alot i thought i needed stitches but dont want to go to the hospital will it heal on its own?

  • nora081691

    im 18 yrs old, and when my partner and i have intercourse somewhere in the middle of intercourse i start bleeding and dont know why this happens… the condom breaks basically everytime we have sex, and im not pregnant, could this possibly be a reason for the bleeding or could it be because we're doing something wrong? we dont have sex on a regular basis or even weekly, we dont really see each other that much because of where we live, but the bleeding only happens when i have sex with him and it doesnt happen when i have sex with someone else… so, could we possibly doing something wrong to cause this?