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Here’s When It Is — & Isn’t — OK To Bleed After Being Fingered

And how to make sex more comfortable and safe for you.

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Experimenting with different types of sexual play can fun — and finding out what feels good to you is a unique experience that should be both positive and pleasurable. Drawing blood in the process, however, is not so much fun (unless you’re into blood play, but that's another topic for another day). In such a situation, you might wonder whether or not bleeding after fingering is normal. In a word, no. If you do experience bleeding during or after fingering, here’s what experts want you to know.

Can fingering cause bleeding?

To get straight to the point, bleeding after digital sex is potentially a cause for concern. “There is nothing inherently wrong or dangerous with fingering your partner. Bleeding, however, after fingering should not occur. The only exception is if it happens while the partner is on her period,” Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., OB-GYN and founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, tells Romper. If it’s not blood from your menstrual cycle, then immediately take a break.

Is it normal to bleed after getting fingered?

Although the vagina is built to withstand all sorts of action, it’s still vulnerable to cuts and other injuries. “The answer is it’s not normal to bleed,” echoes urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman, M.D., sexual health expert and New York Times bestselling author of For Women Only, explains to Romper. In general, fingering “should not be traumatic or cause trauma to vaginal tissue,” Berman says.

Reasons you’re bleeding after fingering

Low estrogen

There are certain health conditions that can make the vaginal area more prone to bleeding. “If the skin of the vagina is really pliable, that is a concern, and you should see your health care provider as this could be a sign of low estrogen,” says Berman.

Vaginal inflammation

Another potential reason is that something is causing your vagina to be inflamed. “[Bleeding] can also be a sign of vaginal inflammation [or] infection, sometimes due to lesions on the cervix like a cervical polyp or cervical ectropion,” board-certified OB-GYN Dr. Paulami Guha, M.D. tells Romper.

Excessive force

If you don’t have any underlying health conditions, and you’re not menstruating, then the bleeding is likely a sign that your partner needs to take things way, way easier. Like everything else that goes on in the bedroom, it’s all about personal preferences and communication. Some people may enjoy only the gentlest of touches, whereas others like a bit more rough, but the latter should never result in bleeding. The experts are clear on this point. “There should never be excessive force where there is trauma to the tissue to the point of bleeding,” Berman says. Blood from fingering “indicates that tissue was torn and injured by the fingering episode,” says Gersh. If this happens, you’ll need to refrain from any penetration for a week (at least) to make sure everything is given the time to properly heal, she says.

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What to do if you bleed after fingering

The best thing to do is communicate with your partner that they need to be gentler. However, if the bleeding doesn’t go away after changing the way your partner goes about using their digits, then you should definitely pay a visit to your doctor to make sure something else isn’t going on. In the meantime, though, you can teach your overeager partner these best practices.

First, clean hands and filed nails are a must, Guha explains, so bust out the hand soap and emery boards. A pair of disposable gloves or a condom could help prevent scratches from a partner’s nails, and it offers an extra level of hygiene. Or there’s the finger cot, aka finger condom, which is a sheath designed specifically for safe digital sex.

Next, make sure there is adequate lubrication, whether natural or supplied from a bottle, to further prevent injuries and ensure everything is as comfortable as possible. “You can cause abrasions with fingers in a dry vagina,” Guha says, so be generous.

Lastly, reiterate to your partner to take it down a notch or two, and be careful with your body’s sensitive bits. Remember, sex is all about consent, comfort, and fun, so if your partner doesn’t respect your wishes or care for your well-being, then they shouldn’t be the partner for you. And if you have any additional questions or concerns about bleeding during sex, definitely reach out to your medical provider.

Experts:

Dr. Paulami Guha, M.D., board-certified OB-GYN in Jacksonville, Florida, and medical adviser for eMediHealth

Felice Gersh, M.D., OB-GYN, founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in Irvine, California

Dr. Jennifer Berman, co-host on CBS’ daytime talk show The Doctors, NYT bestselling author of For Women Only

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