If you've ever noticed spotting—or outright bleeding—after sex, you know it can be terrifying. Before you freak out, here's the good news: There are lots of potential reasons that bleeding after sex can happen, and many of them have easy fixes. Still, it's important to get to the bottom of what's causing this common symptom, since it can indicate a variety of health issues.
Here, eight reasons you could be spotting after getting it on.
The bottom line
Bleeding after sex is a pretty common concern, experts say. “The most likely cause depends on your age, pregnancy status, and risk for sexually transmitted infections,” notes Carriveau. It’s also possible that it’s no big deal, she says. “If the bleeding is minor, and happens within a few days of your period starting or ending, it is probably fine to just monitor things, especially if you have recently had a pelvic exam and pap smear.” So when should you head to the doctor’s office? Pretty much any other time, especially if the bleeding is becoming routine or is anything more than light spotting.
This story first appeared on shape.com