Unexplained Vaginal Bleed
October 29, 2007 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Why am I bleeding? ACK!

My partner noticed I was bleeding during some acutely angled sex a few days ago. Kind of a lot. Enough to stop.

Since then, I am noticing blood when I poop. Kind of a lot. The first time I saw it, I checked and it seems certainly to be coming from the vagina, not the butt. In between poopings, there is a trace amount, but not enough to wear a pad. Seems like only what's left from the bleed that happens when I'm on the toilet.

It seems not to be menstrual blood, because it's fresh red every time. This last time, there was definitely some clotting in it, sorry to be so graphic, but soft clots embedded in mucus, leading me to suspect an internal recent bleed, it was red red only, and this is the third day of the phenomenon. Menstrual blood is usually dark or brownish for me by the middle of my period. Also, no cramps. Also, not time for my period. I am not on the pill or any other hormonal birth control.

Nothing hurts. The sex didn't hurt. What could this be, please? Do I have a nosebleed in my vagina? My blood pressure is always 120/80, and I am otherwise a healthy young woman. I had my annual and pap in March.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
posted by rabbitsnake at 6:33 PM on October 29, 2007

Perhaps an STD, like chlamydia?
posted by sephira at 6:37 PM on October 29, 2007

Don't mess around. Go to an emergency room right now.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:40 PM on October 29, 2007

Any chance you could be pregnant?
posted by ms.v. at 6:45 PM on October 29, 2007

could be something dangerous, one possibility is an "ectopic pregnancy" - something you might not even feel except for the bleeding. so yea, go see a doctor.
posted by alex3005 at 6:54 PM on October 29, 2007

Seconding the pregnancy angle. Might be nothing, possible to be ectopic... more likely a very early miscarriage though. In either event, a doc is good, as you don't want leftover tissue hanging out and possibly causing issues.
posted by kellyblah at 6:58 PM on October 29, 2007

I had my annual and pap in March.

So you have a gynecologist then. Call them. They take phone calls on things like "I'm bleeding in an unusual way, can you fit me in today?" and "Should I go to the ER for this?"
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:00 PM on October 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Top 10 Causes of Vaginal Bleeding After Sex

Many of these are no big deal or are easily treatable, so I wouldn't lose sleep over this tonight, but you should call your doctor tomorrow and describe your symptoms so that you can seek appropriate treatment, either emergency or at a scheduled appointment.
posted by decathecting at 7:19 PM on October 29, 2007

Oh, and it should go without saying that if the amount of blood increases or you start to feel pain, you should go to the emergency room and get checked out.
posted by decathecting at 7:21 PM on October 29, 2007

This is random, but, do you happen to be taking a lot of zinc? Question based on an odd experience...

And yes, go see a doctor.
posted by Eringatang at 7:25 PM on October 29, 2007

FWIW (and I'm not you, obviously) I've had the same problem for years (Bleeding from sex, fresh blood after pooping) and had been terrified about it. Saw the gyno, had tests, blood work, ultrasound. Nothin'. I've never been pregnant. All they could come up with is that I have a low cervix, easily banged up and prone to trauma, and thin tissues that tear easily. I do have some tiny endometrial masses in the uterus that barely showed on an ultrasound but not enough to cause concern, and they probably didn't cause the bleeding; though the doc said that some women do experience similar bleeding at the onset of endometriosis so you may want to explore that possibility. Doc said similar bleeding could be caused by polyps or hemorrhoids (pardon my spelling if wrong), though I have neither of those. My problem was much more noticeable early in my relationship with my spouse (been married 10.5 years)... and I believe I have a mild latex allergy because the bleeding was heavier with latex condoms and occasionally accompanied by itching or pain. Switching to non-latex condoms helped a great deal until Mr. McSnuggy had a vasectomy and eliminated that complication although I still do have mild bleeding (visible on paper towels after wiping up post-nookie) and the after-poo thing. Have you used latex condoms or rubber toys recently? Perhaps a new lube or any other new type of toy, object, or feminine product introduced into the area? Partner use a new soap or lotion on his/her bits that would've come into contact with yours? Perhaps you may have an allergy to some substance. Though definitely go to your doc to have anything serious ruled out.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:05 PM on October 29, 2007

Jeez, where are you all from that you run to the emergency room at the drop of a hat? (Or splat, as the case may be.)

No pain, happens during intercourse and sometimes around pooping? Sounds like some sort of blood vessel. Hemorrhoids happen similarly, although that sounds different then what with you are dealing.

The fresh blood says re-occurring breakage. Some cut or abrasion that keeps re-opening with pressure. What you really do want to watch out for is an infection. Keep the area clean with soap and water. Really. I mean, really really.

One other thing. Do you drink alcohol regularly? A lot of coffee or caffeine? Smoke? Lots of red meat? Since you are being so forthcoming, I'd like to know.
posted by humannaire at 8:28 PM on October 29, 2007

Could be a cervical polyp, which are surface-rich in capillaries and can be irritated by intercourse, causing them to bleed. That doesn't explain the poop aspect, though. Polyps are generally no big deal unless they cause discomfort or excessive bleeding.
posted by Brittanie at 9:00 PM on October 29, 2007

"Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding during a woman's reproductive years. The diagnosis of DUB should be used only when other organic and structural causes for abnormal vaginal bleeding have been ruled out."

IANAD. You might read up on and ask your doctor about dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
posted by judith at 12:07 AM on October 30, 2007

follow-up from the OP:

Not likely to be pregnant as there have been no condom mishaps and had a
normal period ending two weeks or so ago. Yes on Latex condoms. No on
corrollary allergic symptoms.
Have been tested for STIs and have since been with one partner
faithfully for over five years.
Smoke occasionally, drink moreso, not much for caffeine, take a daily
multivitamin, and am essentially a pescatarian, though my last burrito
had big pieces of beef, contrary to order, that I happily devoured.
Definitely have a sensitive cervix, which bleeds from pap smear
procedures sometimes for the rest of the day, and does not like to be
poked the wrong way.
Also happen to be nursing an anal fissure off and on over the past four
months, first time ever.
I think I am leaning toward the cervix-related causes, and will place a
call to Planned Parenthood tomorrow. I just don't relish shelling out
the $200 it takes to be seen without insurance at an all-hours clinic
only to be told I'm spotting in a hip new way. Unless it's Greg House on
Thanks for the ideas heretofore, all.
posted by jessamyn at 5:33 AM on October 30, 2007

By all means, pop into PP to get it checked and reassure yourself, but this sounds like a garden-variety vaginal tear, or (less likely) cervical mishap to me.

The vaginal canal is blood-rich and a small tear from friction or penetration acrobatics can take a long time to heal, even though it will heal normally on its own. Bowel movements, as you've discovered, can cause stress on the tear and that is part of what makes the process slow.

Your cervix, as you probably know, moves from low to high to low in your vaginal canal through your cycle, so can be more prone to getting, well, banged at some times. I'm not familiar with cervical bleeding lasting more than a day (ala pap smear), though. IANAD, but my money is on vaginal tear.

Anyway, since IANAD and this is the internet, those are just worthless guesses. What I really popped in to say is: Contrary to what humannaire suggests, I would urge you to leave it alone. Do not attempt to "clean" your vagina. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, in the first place; in the second place, soap and/or douching can very easily throw off the pH of your vaginal canal and make an already irked hoohoo even more irritated. Owie.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:39 AM on October 30, 2007

Do not attempt to "clean" your vagina.

LOLZ! Sorry sorry! I was thinking anus with regard to cleaning due to the blood and defecating relation.

If you had an anal fissure — hey! which it turns out you do — it can get infected which can result in "a painful condition" (understatement). A mere wipe after pooping can leave residuals which can make this happen.

Now, anal fissure. There are four things you should avoid if you are working to heal one: Alcohol and caffeine and smoking and meat eating. Aha! You are intaking all four, at least two regularly! Coffee at all, smoking at all, and drinking alcohol at all leads to bodily responses which dramatically prevent healing of and often worsens anal fissures.

Many people have never even heard of such a thing. However they are common with hemorrhoid sufferers. And I have learned a lot about all this first out of personal interest long ago, but then out of follow-up over the years as the information to deal/handle/manage such conditions successfully — even on the internet — is challenging to gather.

I hope this information has been helpful. Incidentally, one of the most successful treatments for anal fissures is anal penetration and some sort of spreading and manipulation. For some this means anal sex, for others the latex glove and fingers. But the vigorous stretching (and then cleaning) of the tissues/membrane successfully induces healing. Contrarily, complete minimalization of any forced pressure (pooping) on the anus is also necessary for healing. This almost always requires a change in diet, including the addition of high-fiber supplements and stool softeners.
posted by humannaire at 8:27 AM on October 31, 2007

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