Four Causes of—and Natural Treatments for—Bleeding During Sex
Bleeding during or after sex can be embarrassing and even frightening—but luckily it's harmless in most cases. However, it's important to rule out the root cause if you're experiencing it. Here are 4 common causes of coital and postcoital bleeding, and ways to treat them—naturally, of course.
The cause: Vaginal dryness
The friction caused by sex can create small tears, which can cause bleeding. Vaginal dryness can come from having sex before you're fully aroused, experiencing a reaction from chemicals in feminine hygiene products, taking certain medications, and even douching. If left untreated, dryness can lead to urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervicitis, and vaginitis.
The treatment: Natural lubricants, coconut oil
Lubrication specifically made for sex is a good solution here, but for a more natural approach coconut oil works just as well. If using condoms, though, it's best to avoid oil-based lubricants, which can render condoms useless.
The cause: Polyps
Polyps, which are typically noncancerous growths, can pop up in the cervix or in the uterus' endometrial lining. The friction caused during sex can irritate the tissue and blood vessels surrounding these benign polyps, causing bleeding.
The treatment: Removal, time
Luckily, polyps can be removed by a gynecologist, usually on an outpatient basis. Sometimes, they even go away on their own.
The cause: Menopause
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause, or GSM, is common in perimenopausal and menopausal women, as well as those who have had their ovaries removed. Estrogen loss is the culprit here, leading to less lubrication and reduced vaginal elasticity. Bleeding can come from the cervix, uterus, labia, or urethra.
The treatment: Seed cycling, estrogen-rich foods
While many women turn to estrogen therapy, the therapy itself can cause a host of other conditions. A more natural approach is seed cycling, which involves eating a mix of raw seeds that mimic estrogen and progesterone to keep hormone levels balanced. Eating foods with plant estrogens—think lentils, apples, grapes, almonds, walnuts, carrots, oats, and olive oil—can also be beneficial.
The cause: Cancer
While uncommon, cancer is certainly a concern here, particularly for postmenopausal women. In this case, tumors fed by blood vessels can become strained as they grow, and sex can make them more prone to bursting. Cancer also changes both hormone levels and tissues, leading to bleeding and other symptoms.
The treatment: Doctor visit
If regular coital or postcoital bleeding occurs and you're postmenopausal, it could potentially be vaginal, cervical, or uterine cancer. Visit your doctor to potentially rule it out.
There are ways to stop bleeding before it even occurs—and just like with so many other topics I talk about, diet is a huge component. To stave off this embarrassing experience as naturally as possible, drink plenty of water daily and eat estrogen-rich foods. And as always, pay attention to your body. You know it best!