Experimenting with different types of sexual play is fun — drawing blood in the process, however, not so much (unless you're into bloodplay, but that's another topic for another day). In such a situation, you might wonder whether or not it’s normal to bleed after being fingered. In a word, no.
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,” Felice Gersh, MD, an OB-GYN specializing in women’s health, and founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, tells Romper via email. If it’s not blood from your menstrual cycle, then immediately take a break.
“The answer is it’s not normal to bleed,” echoes urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman, sexual health expert and NY Times best-selling author of For Women Only, explains to Romper via email. In general, fingering “should not be traumatic or cause trauma to vaginal tissue,” Dr. Berman further explains. Although the vagina is built to withstand all sorts of action, it's still vulnerable to cuts and other injuries.
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 healthcare provider as this could be a sign of low estrogen,” says Dr. Berman. And board certified OB-GYN Dr. Paulami Guha, MD explains to Romper, “[Bleeding] can also be a sign of vaginal inflammation/infection, sometimes due to lesions on the cervix like a cervical polyp or cervical ectropion.”
But if you don’t have any underlying health conditions, and you’re not menstruating, then the bleeding may be 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,” says Dr. Berman. Blood from fingering “indicates that tissue was torn and injured by the fingering episode,” explains Dr. Gersh. If this happens, you’ll need to refrain from any penetration for a week (at least) in order to make sure everything is given the time to properly heal up, she says.
Meanwhile, you can teach your overeager partner these best practices:
First, clean hands and filed nails are a must, Dr. 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 potential injuries and ensure everything is as comfortable as possible. “You can cause abrasions with fingers in a dry vagina,” says Dr. Guha, so be generous.
Lastly, tell your partner to take it down a notch or two, and be careful with your body’s sensitive bits.
Felice Gersh, M.D. OB-GYN, founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in Irvine, CA
Dr. Jennifer Berman is a co-host on CBS’ daytime talk show “The Doctors,” NY Times best- selling author of For Women Only
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