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Doctors Lounge - Gynecology Answers

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Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: What could cause intercourse to trigger menstruation?


 CMD - Mon May 11, 2009 11:56 pm

Over the past 2 months or so my husband and I have been experiencing an issue with my menses being seemingly triggered by intercourse - that is whenever we make love, period-like bleeding follows within the next 1-2 days, lasting approximately a week each time. Each time this occurs we wait patiently for it to pass so we can make love again, only to have it occur again right away. After this occurred 4 times in a row we refrained for about 2 weeks during which time I experienced no bleeding, but sure enough once we made love again the bleeding followed.

To give a little potentially relevant history, I am 28 years old and have been married for about 2.5 years. I have never been pregnant. I have never had an STD. I keep up with regular physicals and pap smears. A single small cyst was found on an ovary three years ago during an unrelated ultrasound - I was told this was nothing serious and would require no treatment. Menarche occurred at age 10. I do not menstruate regularly and have averaged 3-4 periods a year since I was 16 - the flow is typically light to medium lasting 2-4 days. My husband and I have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive since before we were married. We were researching fertility clinics and treatments when this issue began and agreed that this should be dealt with first.

I am calling tomorrow to make an appointment for this, but was hoping I could get a heads up on what we may be dealing with so that I will be more informed at that time. Thank you.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:40 am

User avatar Hello
If you have some cervical condition, polyps or other cell changes, this could cause bleeding following penetration. I'm glad you are seeing your doctor for regular exams and that he/she will be able to assess the cervix for signs of infection or abnormal cells, which of course could develop at any time.

One possible reason for your period starting could be orgasm, when the uterus contracts, causing the lining of the uterus to shift and to be forced out. In addition to that, semen contains hormones called prostaglandins which causes uterine contractions. These two factors together may result in an increased number of uterine contractions and menstrual blood. This is not common - to have it happen so frequently, but there may be something to it. I will be interested to hear what your doctor says about this.

Best wishes

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