Can sex cause bleeding during pregnancy?

By Lara Alspaugh

Most men and women are concerned about the safety of sexual intercourse during pregnancy. In most every situation sex during pregnancy is safe. Sex can cause bleeding during pregnancy, but that in itself doesn't need to alarm you. Bleeding after intercourse while you're pregnant is common and usually not a sign of danger.


During pregnancy there is an increased blood supply to the cervix and vaginal walls. When a pregnant woman has sex, these blood vessels are more likely to break than if she weren't pregnant. It is not uncommon at all for women in their second or third trimesters to experience some spotty, occasional bleeding after intercourse. If you experience no cramping and there is not a heavy flow of blood then you likely have no cause for concern. If you're unsure, contact your health care provider immediately.


To prevent bleeding after sex while you're pregnant you can try different positions that will put less pressure on mom. Rear entry and spooning positions are likely to decrease any bleeding you experience. Some women will prefer abstinence or other forms of intimacy--massages, showers or cuddling. Be sure to talk through these changes with your partner.


If you experience bleeding after sex while you're pregnant you may want to contact your health care provider to positively determine the cause. Your provider will want to know the amount of blood that was passed as well as the colour and consistency--were there any clots or was it only blood. It is important to tell your health care provider that you have recently had intercourse. Bleeding after sex is likely to only be spotting. If your bleeding is heavier than scant spotting, notify your health care provider immediately.

Time Frame

Bleeding after intercourse while you are pregnant can cause scant bleeding or spotting. This spotting is likely to appear shortly after intercourse but could take up to 24 hours to show.


If your bleeding is more than spotty and you are experiencing any cramping at all you need to see your health care provider. If you have contractions that are stimulated by sex and continue after you are through you should contact your health care provider as well. Bleeding during pregnancy can mean many different things. If you are at all unsure about the origin or meaning of your bleeding contact your health care provider immediately.

About the Author

Lara Alspaugh is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Michigan State University. She is a faculty member at Lansing Community College in the nursing department. Her work can be found on and as well as many print magazines and newspapers.