Filed under:

Questions and Answers

What Should I do if I Bleed After Sex? Is Blood Normal?

confused or nervous cartoon heart

Bleeding after sex is fairly common, but sometimes it can be pretty concerning. Bleeding a small amount after being penetrated by a penis, fingers, or toys happens to a lot of people, especially if there wasn’t enough lubrication.

This can, however, be a sign of something serious, especially if it’s a lot of blood or if bleeding happens regularly and not just after sex. Some STIs (sexually transmitted infections) cause bleeding and irritation, so it can be worth it to get tested and talk to a doctor for peace of mind. We’ll go over the basics of how to prevent and deal with bleeding when/if it happens to you.

Bleeding in the vagina

Bleeding after being penetrated by a penis, fingers, or toys happens to a lot of people, especially if there wasn’t enough lubrication or their partner didn’t have trimmed fingernails.

Rough or vigorous sex can cause small tears in or around the vagina, which can cause it to bleed. Luckily, these can usually be avoided by using more lubrication. The vagina lubricates itself, but sometimes that isn’t enough. If it feels like there’s tugging or dragging, there’s too much friction. Using extra lube can help things glide along, even with intense sex! Sometimes just taking more time for foreplay can help someone get wet and ready. Making an effort to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water every day can also make it easier for the vagina to lubricate itself.

Being fingered by someone who hasn’t trimmed their fingernails can also cause bleeding. The surface of the vagina is delicate, so a fingernail can scratch it and make small tears that can bleed. In the future, it’s a good idea to ask your partner to trim their nails, use more lubrication, and be gentle the next time that they finger you. They could also prevent scratches by wearing latex gloves while fingering you, and putting a cotton ball under the glove at the tip of each finger if they have very long nails.

You can buy lube at most pharmacies next to the condoms. You can also get it for free from ACCM, Head and Hands, and some free clinics. See the resources below for some of these!

Bleeding in the anus

Rectal bleeding, or bleeding from the anus, is fairly common, but it can be a concern. This can be a sign of something more serious going on, so we recommend checking in with a doctor.

Small tears in the anus from sex or butt-play are not unusual. You can reduce the risk of anal tearing by using lots of lube during anal penetration. You can also reduce the risk of tearing by teasing the anus to help it relax before anything goes in. That means prodding, rubbing or licking it gently until it opens up. When it comes to penetration, it helps to start off slowly and put one finger in at a time before building up to larger toys or penises.

If your anus bleeds after sex, it’s a good idea to take a break from putting anything in it, so that it can have a chance to heal. More sex could make small cuts worse, and cuts make it easier to transmit STIs.

You can buy lube at most pharmacies next to the condoms. You can also get it for free from ACCM, Head and Hands, and some free clinics. See the resources below for some of these!

Bleeding from the penis

Bleeding from the penis can have many causes. If it happens after sex, a tear or injury to the prostate vein is often the cause. Bleeding can also be caused by an STI, a skin infection, being very aroused without ejaculating, eating a lot of spicy foods, or irritating the prostate gland. This may cause bleeding during or after peeing, which is a symptom you should talk to a doctor about.

Significant bleeding on the outside or inside of a penis is not normal. If you cannot find out why this is happening, seeing a doctor is your best option. A doctor can also refer you to a specialist if it is something complicated or serious.

If some of the blood gets into someone’s vagina or anus, it could transmit STIs. It can help to get tested for STIs if you think this might have happened, so you know if there’s a chance you transmitted one. While there, you can explain the issue to the doctor, and they can recommend the right tests. For more information on testing, check out the resources at the end of the page.


If you are still bleeding now, it’s a good idea to see a health care professional soon. Bleeding for a long time might be a sign of a more serious issue.  If the bleeding stopped on it’s own and you aren’t in any pain, your body is likely healing.

To learn more about lube, safety, and bleeding, check the resources below!

More info:

  • Kontak

    A program offering free delivery for at-cost sex toys, lube, and safer sex supplies. Run by AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM). Website includes depictions of sexuality, but not genitals, and is accessible to all ages.
    *You can also text Kontak at 514-941-SEXE (7393)

  • Head & Hands Health Services

    Head & Hands is a health clinic for youth ages 12-25 near the Vendome metro station. They offer free, anonymous STD testing, even if you’re not covered by RAMQ. Head & Hands also has a lot of other services, including medical check ups, getting contraception, transitioning, and more.

    They offer a walk-in clinic on most Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 4:45pm. Everyone who comes in for the clinic is given a name card and entered into a draw. At 5:00pm, they draw 10 names to decide who sees the doctor.

    They recommend bringing your Medicare card if you have it, but you can still see someone if you don’t have it.

  • Lube 101 – Scarleteen

    Scarleteen gives a 101 on lube.

  • Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding – WebMD

    Possible causes of bleeding outside someone’s period.

  • Vaginal bleeding after intercourse – Ask Alice

    This article lists the many possible reasons for bleeding slightly after intercourse, including bumping the cervix and spotting between periods.

  • Fingering and Fisting – Planned Parenthood

    A quick look at safe fingering and fisting, talking about what the risks are, how to lower them, and how to make it more enjoyable! 

  • FAQ on testing

    Scarleteen’s article discussing frequently asked questions about STI testing as well as describing the testing procedures for many STIs.

  • Assessing STI Risk — Heart your Parts

    Heart your parts compiles a list of STBBIs (sexually-transmitted and blood-brone infections), and the transmission risk levels depending on sexual activity.