As with other sexual activity, anal sex has some associated risks, which include rectal bleeding. Bleeding following anal sex may be the result of several factors, such as friction or rough behavior causing small cuts.

Bleeding after anal sex is usually not a cause for concern. However, heavier bleeding could be a sign of an underlying condition or injury that may require medical attention.

Keep reading for more information on the causes of bleeding after anal sex, as well as prevention, treatment, and when to see a doctor.

a woman sat on the end of a bed after sex and she is in pain from bleeding after anal sexShare on Pinterest
Hemorrhoids are a possible cause of bleeding after anal sex.

Bleeding after anal sex is a common occurrence.

During anal sex, a person can tear the wall of their partner’s anus, resulting in anal fissures. The small tears can cause bleeding and discomfort the next time the person engages in anal sex or has a bowel movement.

In some cases, anal sex can cause hemorrhoids to form. If this occurs, a person may notice bleeding when wiping following a bowel movement. They may also experience itching and discomfort.

Bleeding after anal sex can also occur as a result of an infection. Similar to other forms of sex, anal sex can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia and gonorrhea of the rectum, which can cause bleeding.

Click here to find out more about the risks of anal sex.

When bleeding occurs directly after anal sex, the person’s partner likely caused small tears in the lining of their anus through friction or rough sex. Doctors refer to these small cuts as anal fissures.

In some cases, anal sex may aggravate an existing condition. For example, if hemorrhoids are already present, a partner may cause the hemorrhoid to bleed.

Anal sex may indirectly cause bleeding, as well. Some conditions that can develop following anal sex and potentially cause bleeding include:

  • hemorrhoids
  • herpes
  • gonorrhea
  • chlamydia

Other causes of anal bleeding can include:

Click here to learn more about other causes of rectal bleeding.

One of the first things that a person should do after having anal sex is to wash the area well with warm, soapy water. If bleeding has occurred, a person should clean the area with their finger, removing any dried blood or lubricant.

Prior to cleaning, the person should clip their fingernails short to prevent additional tearing. When cleaning the area, the person should take care to be gentle.

If pain accompanies the bleeding, a person may wish to consider taking a warm bath or using an analgesic cream or ointment. These can help alleviate pain or discomfort.

Another aim of treatment should be to keep the digestive tract functioning well. A person should eat plenty of fiber and drink enough water to keep their bowel movements coming. Preventing constipation can help stop anal fissures from worsening.

A person can make several lifestyle changes to prepare for anal sex. The following tips may help prevent anal fissures:

  • staying hydrated to help prevent constipation
  • eating plenty of fiber to help stop constipation
  • applying lubrication before using toys or having anal sex
  • avoiding rough anal sex
  • taking it slowly during anal sex
  • using anal preparation toys or kits

When having unprotected anal sex, there is a risk that a person can pass on an STI to their partner. The transmission can go from both penis to rectum and rectum to penis.

One way to help prevent the transmission of STIs is to use condoms during anal sex. A condom can help limit skin-to-skin contact and prevent contact with blood if anal fissures occur.

A person should replace a condom if they engage in anal sex and then switch to vaginal sex, to prevent spreading an infection to their partner’s vagina. They should also use a new condom when sharing anal sex toys.

Practicing good hygiene and washing before and after anal sex is also important.

Water-based lubrication can help make sex more comfortable, and it will not degrade the condom. Lubrication will also help prevent excessive friction and tears in the anus.

Slight bleeding following anal sex may not be a major cause of concern. However, a person should talk to their doctor if they experience painful rectal bleeding.

Some people may delay seeking treatment for rectal bleeding due to embarrassment or other concerns, but healthcare professionals can help treat any damage that the body has sustained and help reduce a person’s pain.

Anal sex can directly and indirectly cause anal bleeding. This symptom is a relatively common occurrence and not usually a cause for concern.

During anal sex, a person can tear their partner’s anus, which can cause bleeding and pain or discomfort.

Anal sex can also result in a person developing conditions such as hemorrhoids or an STI that can cause bleeding to occur.

If a person experiences painful bleeding following anal sex or notices symptoms of an STI, they should see their doctor as soon as possible.