There are a number of reasons you might experience bleeding after sex.

If you have an intrauterine device (IUD), you may be wondering if bleeding after sex is a normal side effect.

For most people, IUDs don’t cause bleeding after sex. Keep reading to learn about some of the benefits and risks of using an IUD versus other forms of contraception like the pill, the possible causes of bleeding after sex, and when you should see your doctor.

What is an IUD?

An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into your uterus by a gynaecologist to prevent pregnancy. According to Planned Parenthood, less than 1 out of 100 women who use an IUD will get pregnant in a year. That makes it one of the most effective birth control options available.

IUDs protect against pregnancy but not sexually transmitted infections (STIs). To avoid contracting or spreading STIs, use condoms along with your IUD. The two main types of IUD are copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs.

Copper IUDs

Copper IUDs are plastic devices wrapped in copper. In most cases, you can use a copper IUD for 12 years before you need to replace it. You can even use it as emergency birth control by having it inserted within five days after unprotected sex.

Hormonal IUDs

Hormonal IUDs contain the hormone progestin. Depending on the brand, they should be replaced every three to five years. They may help ease menstrual symptoms and may even stop your period completely.

Side Effects

Side effects during menstruation

After you have your IUD inserted, you may experience heavy periods and breakthrough bleeding for three to six months. This bleeding is usually heaviest in the hours and days after insertion.

Copper IUDs raise your risk of heavy bleeding, cramping, and backaches during menstruation for the first three to six months. Your periods will likely normalise after six months. You should talk to your doctor if they don’t.

Hormonal IUDs tend to make your periods lighter and less painful over time. According to the company that manufactures the Mirena IUD, about 20 percent of women stop having periods after using the device for a year.

Side effects during or after sex

Beyond the initial three to six months, you probably won’t experience breakthrough bleeding with your IUD. It shouldn’t cause bleeding after sex either.

If you experience pain during sex after the initial 3 months from having your IUD inserted, speak to your doctor. Your IUD may be out of place. Your doctor can check its placement and reposition it if needed. They can also rule out other possible causes of your pain.

What can cause bleeding after sex?

If you experience bleeding after sex, it should not be caused by your IUD, and it is worth ruling out some of the other options.

If you’re premenopausal, take note of bleeding after sex. It’s usually not a sign of a serious health issue. The culprit is more likely irritation. Friction from sex can irritate it and cause some bleeding. If your cervix is inflamed, it can also lead to bleeding. However, bleeding that occurs frequently or heavily may be a sign of cervical cancer or another underlying health condition.

Postmenopausal women should pay careful attention to bleeding after sex. Any bleeding after sex is considered abnormal if you’ve already gone through menopause. You should tell your doctor about it. Vaginal dryness may be the cause, but it’s best to rule out more serious medical conditions.


  • If you’re premenopausal, occasional bleeding after sex is relatively common. Speak to your doctor if bleeding is frequent, heavy, or accompanied by other symptoms. If you have pain, your doctor may need to check the placement of your IUD.
  • If you’re postmenopausal, tell your doctor about any bleeding after sex.