It’s not unusual to bleed after being fingered. Small amounts of vaginal bleeding can be caused by minor things, such as scratches or tears. The bleeding may also be a sign of a more serious issue, such as an infection.

Learn when bleeding after being fingered is normal, and when it might be a sign you need to make an appointment with your doctor.

Causes of bleeding

Fingering can be a fun and relatively safe sexual activity. It rarely causes any issues. However, from time to time, you may experience minor bleeding after being fingered. Causes for this include:

A scratch inside your vagina

Minor cuts can happen easily while you’re being fingered. The skin in and around your vagina is delicate. Any amount of force or pressure can cause a tear. Fingernails can also cause cuts.

Stretched hymen

Your hymen is a thin tissue that stretches over the opening of the vagina. The hymen may tear or stretch while you’re being fingered. This is normal, especially if you’ve never had any type of sexual encounter before, including fingering or penetrative sex.

Spotting between periods

Bleeding between periods isn’t caused by fingering, but it may just coincide with the activity. Spotting between periods isn’t generally normal even though some people spot regularly. For others, it may be a sign of another issue, such as hormonal changes or an infection.

Infection

You may bleed after fingering if you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a vaginal or cervical infection. For example, cervicitis is the inflammation of your cervix. If your cervix is inflamed or irritated, it may bleed more easily after sexual activity.

Likewise, some STIs may cause spotting between periods that you may believe is blood from being fingered. Chlamydia, for example, commonly causes spotting between periods.

When to see your doctor

Most bleeding that happens after you’ve been fingered will end on its own in a matter of days or sooner. Rarely, a cut inside your vagina may need medical attention from your doctor.

If the bleeding doesn’t stop after three days, make an appointment. You may need medication to help the scratch or tear heal and reduce your risk for an infection. Likewise, it’s a good idea to avoid sexual activity for a week after any bleeding occurs. This way, the scratch or tear has time to heal.

If you begin bleeding after being fingered and you experience pain, discomfort, or itching in the days immediately following the activity, make an appointment to see your doctor. It’s possible you have developed an infection. These symptoms may also be a sign of another condition, such as an STI.

How to prevent bleeding after getting fingered

The risk of being infected with or spreading any STI while being fingered is low. However, you can take steps to reduce both your risk for infection and your risk of bleeding.

Ask your partner to wash their hands before engaging in this activity. They can then cover their hands with a condom or disposable glove. This reduces the chance of bacteria from their hands or under their fingernails getting into a cut or scratch and developing into an infection.

Likewise, ask your partner to cut or trim their nails before fingering you. Long nails can easily cut or poke the sensitive skin of your vagina. Not only will that be uncomfortable, it may cause scratches that bleed.

Sexual foreplay helps women produce natural lubrication, but this takes some time. If you experience vaginal dryness while being fingered, ask your partner to use a water-based lube. This will reduce friction and lower your chances of being cut.

If you are uncomfortable while being fingered, ask your partner to stop. Forceful fingering may be painful. Dry skin can make the friction worse. Don’t be afraid to communicate what feels good and what doesn’t with your partner while you’re being fingered.

The bottom line

A little blood after being fingered is almost never cause for concern. In fact, it’s likely normal and the result of minor scratches or cuts in the vagina.

However, if you experience heavy bleeding after being fingered or the bleeding lasts longer than three days, see your doctor. If the bleeding is also accompanied by pain or discomfort, make an appointment. These may be signs of a more serious issue, such as an infection.