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Should I be worried if I bleed after sex?


If the blood is a light color, and this happens only once (especially after a strenuous romp), then it's probably just the result of irritation or friction, Streicher says. But if it happens again or if there's a fair amount of blood, then you should make an appointment with your gynecologist. It could be coming from the cervix, the uterus or be caused by an infection like chlamydia or gonorrhea.

About that, um, aquatic odor...


A science lesson, courtesy of Dr. Streicher: The normal pH in the vagina is between 3.5 and 4.5, and that creates the best conditions for good bacteria to proliferate. If the pH goes up too high, those good bacteria can't survive, which allows the not-good bacteria to take over, leading to that unfortunate fishy odor as well as infections like bacterial vaginosis. Normal semen happens to have a high pH, around 7.4. "So if your pH levels are already teetering on the brink or if you're having a lot of sex, the introduction of high pH semen can put you over the edge," Streicher says. Your period can also increase your pH level. Streicher sometimes prescribes an OTC gel called RepHresh to help keep levels balanced and also recommends vaginal probiotics (different than the probiotic capsules intended for your intestine). And if the post-coital bouquet you're referring to smells like bleach or chlorine, Streicher says, "well, that's just semen."

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