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Is bleeding after intercourse a sign of cervical cancer?

I’d never really thought about this issue until I read a study from the American Family Physician where some hardy souls sifted through the world literature for the answer to this very question. Their conclusion was that one out of every 220 women experiencing post coital bleeding has invasive cervical cancer.

The general prevalence of cervical cancer (in the US) is about 10 in 100,000.

So, if you’re experiencing bleeding after sexual intercourse, you should follow up with your Ob/Gyn to determine the cause. Also, regular pap smears are important in sexually active women as most cases of cervical cancer have no symptoms at all.

(How common is post-coital bleeding? About 1% of women report this problem.)

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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2 Responses to “Is bleeding after intercourse a sign of cervical cancer?”

  1. karatekid1 says:

    can cervical polyps cause cancer

  2. ValJonesMD says:

    I asked my friend, Dr. Leo Lagasse, a gynecologic oncologist about this. He said that it is extremely rare for cervical polyps to become cancerous. But because it’s so easy to remove them (it’s a quick office procedure) most physicians feel that that’s the right thing to do.

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