Q. I've noticed blood on my sheets after sex. Why might this happen?
A. If you're not menstruating at the time, bleeding after sex can be alarming, though some of its possible causes are minor. A top contributor is vaginal dryness, which is common among women after menopause due to declining estrogen levels and can also cause the vaginal walls to become thinner and more fragile. But bleeding after sex can also stem from inflammation from yeast or other vaginal infections, including sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Cervical polyps — small, typically noncancerous growths on the cervix — can also bleed from the chafing of vaginal intercourse.
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About the Authors
Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
Hope Ricciotti, MD, Editor at Large, Harvard Women's Health Watch
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