Aunt Vadge: copious bleeding after sex

Hi Aunt Vadge, 

For the past six years I have had bleeding after sex. I am not talking about a little drop or a streak, but it is like a small animal was slain in my sheets… The only way it has been controlled is with birth control and sometimes that has not even worked. When I turned 31 in 2015 it got worse, and the birth control did not seem to help anymore. 

I had a d & c hysteroscopy in September 2015 and then had an IUD inserted a month later.  Everything was going fine during intercourse and I had no bleeding. A month after the IUD was inserted my uterus contracted the IUD out.  After it came out I stayed off birth control and my vagina decided to start bleeding again after sex.

The first time was not too bad and I thought I was getting my period anyways because it was close to that time of the month. So I used my diva cup and went on my merry way… Until my period got so bad by the 7 day I was filling up the cup every hour.  I suspect it was started by my boyfriend and got worse with the friction of taking the cup in and out.  My ob/gyn said there cut on my cervix and had to use monsel’s [a paste used to stop bleeding] to stop the bleeding.

So a week and a half later we have sex for like 30 seconds and I bled a little bit, but the bleeding would not stop but did not get really bad, so I went back to the gyno, and she said I was bleeding from a little cut and from the os of my cervix. Generally the bleeding is short and stops with in a few hours. But my body does not want me to use tampons or put anything up there because it feels irritated. I have had ultrasounds and pap smear, pap smears and STD test every month for the past 7-8 months.  Everything comes back normal.

I am begging for help. I would like to have another child in the next couple of years, but need this to get this resolved first and my gynecologist does not seem to know what is wrong with me. 

Thanks,
Unstoppable
USA, Age 31

Dear Unstoppable,

Your symptoms sound full-on! It sounds similar to cervical ectropion symptoms, but again, there are a lot of reasons – some unusual and weird – for unusual bleeding. We’ve written a few articles about unusual uterine bleeding, so go through the list and see if your doctors have really thoroughly checked for all of the possibilities. Pull out your test results and notes (you should have a copy) and if necessary, write your doctor an email and ask them which they have ruled out, and what their rationale was.

You could also check that you have had bleeding disorders ruled out (blood clotting problems combined with cervical ectropion, for example, could cause a double-barrelled bleeding problem).

  1. https://myvagina.com/cervical-ectropion-erosion/
  2. https://myvagina.com/metrorrhagia-mid-cycle-spotting-and-bleeding/
  3. https://myvagina.com/dysfunctional-uterine-bleeding-dub-causes-and-treatments/

Please write back and let us know how you go. This is a really interesting case, and I’d really love to know what the outcome was – if they find one. Once you have gone through all of those options listed and if it isn’t any of them, please write back and we can see if we can come up with some more options.

In the meantime, you really need to make sure you are keeping your iron intake high – as high as you can – because you are losing so much blood. You’ll end up with low iron, if you don’t have it already, and low iron actually contributes to heavy uterine bleeding from the endometrium, because the small filaments that cause the bleeding to stop and start get turned on, but can’t stop easily. Iron is the missing link there. So, ironically, low iron causes more low iron.

You may also want to consider going to another gynaecologist – you can call around talk to gynaecologists about your symptoms briefly on the phone before you go in there, saying you have a very complicated case and you need some more support. Your gynaecologist may also have some other recommendations for you in your area (they all know each other and their reputations!). Doctors are notoriously hard to get on the phone, but there is someone out there who can help you, you just have to find them. There is something very specific going on, and if your doctor doesn’t know, find another one.

I know it can be hard when you already have a relationship with your gynaecologist, but you really need to know what’s going on. Bleeding endlessly at the slightest provocation is just not acceptable.

Also, if everything has been tested for and nothing has been left out, you may benefit greatly from visiting a very experienced naturopath or herbalist and ask for help there. There is so much that could be done to help, despite not knowing what the problem is (based on symptoms and exclusion), so you definitely have other avenues available to you for altering the behaviour of your cervical/uterine cells. There are some excellent herbs that can make a great impact on your insides in many ways, so don’t feel too despondent – you just need to get to the right person to get the job done.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Dear Aunt Vadge,

I am sorry I have not had a chance to write you back. I am really busy I work full time and am in nursing school full time. I work with lots of doctors and I have seen two but they are only associated with the hospital. I have not had a chance to call another physician and I do not work with any gyno docs but I plan on it calling one, as I have gotten a recommendation from a coworker.  I have had my period since last Sunday and I am still bleeding, but I just started bleeding heavily yesterday. 

So I am going to call my gyno tomorrow and talk to her to see what she thinks. I think you are right, I think I have cervical erosion. This all started when I had a miscarriage six years ago. I was given misoprostol [miscarriage/abortion medication] and that was it. Ever since then I have had this problem.  

It initially started with lots of wetness but now I feel like I am constantly dry all the time. I had to stop using tampons because it would feel like I was ripping my cervix out every time I would take one out. I did go to a local vitamin shop and asked them what they recommended for my situation. I started taking iron, maca, primrose oil, vitamin k and an organic prenatal vitamin. I started all of that in September.

At the same time my gyno prescribed me antibiotics around the same time. That helped for about 6 weeks so I am not sure what was helping at that point. I stopped taking all of the herbs and vitamins from October to December and in November is when my uterus contracted the iud out. So restarted taking the primrose and prenatal vitamin.  I have found that the primrose oil significantly helps with cramping during my period.I am a fair skinned red head and  I do know I am sensitive to soaps down there so far I use Kiehl’s moisture sensitive soap for down there. It’s been a trial and error type of deal.

I had sex twice this past month and bled just a very little but I think it was from lack of lubrication. If you know of a women-focused naturopath in the mid-west of the United States, let me know. I have found one on the east coast, but it is really hard to get out there with expense and my schedule. This has been very trying ordeal to figure out what is going on.

I sincerely appreciate all of your help and trying to figure out what is going on. I will keep you updated. 

Forever Grateful,
Unstoppable

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.