Is Bleeding After Sex Normal?
In the 2 years that I’ve been sexually active, I’ve never had any issues until the end of summer last year when I started bleeding after sex.
A little history is in order for this post, I first started using contraception when I was 16 because my periods we’re frustrating as hell. I was originally put on the combined microgynon pill by my mother who had been on the same pill for a number of years. This wasn’t agreeing with my body (I bled continuously for 3 months) and decided to visit the sexual health clinic about it all. Turns out I shouldn’t of been on that pill because I suffer from migraines, so always visit your local GP or clinic before starting any medication. After a health assessment, I was given the POP pill (Cerelle) which only has the hormone progestogen and is taken continuously without a 7 day break.
Ever since then I’ve been on the POP pill and have only come off it once for one month earlier this year, because I wasn’t having sex and wanted to see if my body would regulate again. I’m turning 21 at the end of this year, so I’ve inevitably been on the same contraceptive pill for just under 5 years and had no issues.
During the summer of 2015, I got into a relationship and after so long we began having sex like all other couples. Everything was going fine, until a couple of weeks into the sexual part of everything and I began to bleed afterwards. At first we put this down to the rough sex we regularly we’re having, but the bleeding became more persistent to the point where I bled once for 2 weeks straight. Usually what would happen is I'd have sex and then a day or two after, that's when the bleeding would start to happen. This obviously became more concerning for myself and my boyfriend at the time, so we both decided I needed to speak to a GP about it all.
After an appointment I was booked in to see the nurse, where she would do an internal vaginal examination. I remember this was the same day I was getting my cat tattoo and I was totally cool with it all, until afterwards when I was super spaced out until I actually got to the tattoo parlour. Anyhow when I got there, I had a quick discussion with the nurse, then was told to remove all clothing below my waist and lie down on the weird chair/bed contraption. I’ll be honest, I was a little uncomfortable lying there, legs spread to a complete stranger but you soon get distracted as the nurse talks you through it all.
I had a speculum inserted inside, which allowed to nurse to see my cervix and if there we’re any abrasions or tearing. I've inserted a photo of what one looks like below (they cover it with a condom during the exam) and they do look quite intimidating but basically they squeeze the bottom half and it opens your cervix up. The nurse did notice I had a small amount of cells just outside of my cervix, which we’re bright red which could’ve been contributing to the bleeding. She then took a swab of my cervix (this was a little weird feeling) to send off and got told to keep a note of any further bleeding.
This began a circle of more internal vaginal examinations, swabs and notes for a couple months. The bleeding was still happening, but at this point my ex boyfriend and I split, so it was hard to figure out if I still had an issue because I stopped having regular sex. The new year began, and an old flame and I began sleeping together and not long after, the whole situation started again. This lead to me calling up the GP rather frustrated that I hadn’t been told anything new, yet I was still bleeding heavily enough to now wear tampons.
After crossing out infections, diseases and all the malarkey I finally got referred over to the gynaecology unit at my local hospital, specifically the colposcopy unit.
On June 16th, I went for my colposcopy appointment accompanied by one of my best friends, Shelly. A colposcopy internal examination is basically the same as what I previously had with a nurse, but this time they used a crazy magnifying glass and camera to get all up in my cervix's grill. In fact, they had a monitor next to me and I got to see what my cervix looks like - in case you were curious it looks like a pink cloud. After testing some solutions on there, the doctor decided the next protocol was to take a biopsy for further testing as I had a white area on my cervix.
I’m not gonna sugar coat the next part, whatsoever because it fucking hurt. I don’t know if it varies between hospitals but I wasn’t offered any pain relief for this, and was told it would just feel like a little nip. And they we’re telling the truth, but didn’t prepare me for the immediate pain afterwards. In total I had 6 pieces of my cervix taken in the biopsy, and just thinking about it makes my insides squirm. I apparently had quite a bit of bleeding afterwards, so that got cauterised which basically means they burned the skin to stop anymore bleeding, and was sent on my jolly way.
Honestly, I got pain straight after it. It was like the WORST period pains I’ve ever experienced, trying to sit down in the car was such a mission, I nearly started crying from the pain of bending. I crawled into bed and slept it off and thankfully was back to normal the next day.
I had to wait between 6 - 8 weeks for the results, when I was told I have stage 1 precancerous cells, which meant I had to have a follow up appointment a couple of months down the line to discuss further treatment. Usually stage 1 cells return back to normal with time, which is exactly what they did.
I’ve since been for my follow up appointment and didn’t need any further treatment. I’m scheduled to see my doctor again in January for a smear test, to check everything is alright again. If you’ve read this article and noticed bleeding, please tell your GP and if it continues, be persistent on being referred to colposcopy at the gynaecology unit. The overall process took me just under 12 months, to be seen, referred and receive treatment.