Pregnancy calls for a lot of self-care … Whether you’re someone who commits to a well-balanced pregnancy diet, start to do yoga to relax and unwind, or treat yourself to some shopping.
This time in your life is a huge achievement on its own, which means you should continue to do the things you enjoy. Having sex during pregnancy is completely safe under normal circumstances.
Though you may be thinking about putting your sex life on hold after receiving a positive pregnancy test, it’s important to know that you can have sex while pregnant and still have a healthy pregnancy.
However, many women experience light bleeding after sex while pregnant, which forces them to wonder if it’s normal to bleed after sexual intercourse. But is bleeding or spotting normal during pregnancy?
Here’s everything you need to know about bleeding after sex during pregnancy.
Is It Normal To Bleed After Sex While Pregnant?
While seeing blood after sex can seem concerning, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something has gone wrong. In fact, it’s very common as vaginal bleeding occurs in about 15 to 25 percent of pregnancies (usually during the first trimester), though can still occur on and off during the rest of your pregnancy term.
As concerning it may seem to you, it is very normal and common to experience brown discharge after sex during pregnancy. Nonetheless, you should still consult with your doctor to see what exactly is causing you to be bleed, and ensure there is no cause for concern.
Why Are You Bleeding After Sex?
Unless your doctor says otherwise, having sex during your pregnancy is normal during your first, second, and third trimester. However, you may experience some side effects that you haven’t seen before which include light spotting or vaginal bleeding after having sex.
There are many different reasons bleeding after sex can occur:
As you know, your body will go through many changes throughout the term of your pregnancy, including your cervix - in fact, your cervix may be the area of your body that changes the most due to your hormones. The changes in your cervix are one of the main causes of pinkish, brown, or light red spotting after sex while you’re pregnant.
Your cervix tends to become softer when the level of blood rises in your cervix. This makes your cervix very sensitive and prone to bleeding due to the pressure from having sex.
Implantation occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of your uterus. Seeing light or medium blood can be due to implantation bleeding - essentially, a bundle of cells makes its way into the uterine lining and can cause spotting during your first trimester, around the time you expect to be on your period.
Because of the timing, many women don’t even know that they’re pregnant and assume the bleeding to be a result of their menstrual cycle. In fact, a pregnancy test will not even show a positive result until after implantation has happened.
Cervical ectropion is when the soft cells that line the inside of the cervical canal spread to the outer surface of your cervix, and is actually the most common cause of bleeding during the end of your pregnancy term.
When this happens, your cervix becomes very sensitive, making it prone to blood during sexual intercourse.
It’s possible that the bleeding during or after sex can have nothing to do with your sexual activity. In fact, bleeding can be an early sign of your body going into labor.
If you notice blood or brown discharge after having sex and you’re near the end of your pregnancy nearing your due date, your baby may be ready to breakthrough.
Spotting after having sex during your pregnancy can be due to untreated sexually transmitted infections.
Yeast infections are also a very common problem that can cause light bleeding. Getting these infections often can lead to vaginal tears and in turn, bleeding.
Though sex isn’t a direct cause of placenta previa, penetration can cause the bleeding to occur. This can lead to more serious consequences, especially because it can be difficult to realize due to the bleeding occurring without pain. Therefore it’s important to pay attention to the color and amount of blood after having sex.
Placental abruption occurs if and when the placenta separates from the uterine wall during your pregnancy. This can cause heavy bleeding and can be a life-threatening condition for both the mother and the baby.
If this occurs, it is common for you to experience the symptoms like abdominal pain, back pain, and vaginal bleeding during or after sex.
Sex during pregnancy does not cause you to have a miscarriage, however, experiencing heavy bleeding or long-term bleeding can be an indication that you're at risk of pregnancy loss.
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding for several days or experiencing these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
What Should You Do After Bleeding After Sex?
Even having known that bleeding during pregnancy can be completely normal, seeing any amount of blood after having sex can make you worried and concerned. Checking in with your doctor will be the best course of action to be sure there is no reason to worry and will also give you peace of mind.
If the bleeding is heavy and consistent or you’re experiencing pain in your abdominal or back area, go to the emergency room immediately so that you can get your symptoms monitored right away.
It’s best to rule out any medical issues or pregnancy problems, so don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you feel like the bleeding isn’t normal.
If you decide to call your doctor to address the complications or worries you’ve been having such as symptoms, or pains, they’ll ask you questions such as:
- When did you notice the bleeding had started?
- Is the bleeding consistent?
- Does it happen during or after sex?
- Is it light spotting or heavy bleeding?
- What color is the blood or spotting?
- Are you experiencing any pain or other symptoms?
Expecting to get these questions is a good way to start. If they feel like your experience can be harmful to you or your baby, they will ask you to pay the doctor a visit in order to run a test and ensure that they address any pregnancy complications.
The Bottom Line
Overall brown vaginal discharge after sex and bleeding is usually very normal due to the changes your body goes through during pregnancy.
If your doctor doesn’t inform you that sexual intercourse can be threatening to you, your pregnancy, or your baby, keep it up! Sexual activity is actually healthy during your pregnancy as it can reduce stress, keep the romance alive, and help you stay connected with your partner until your baby arrives.