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Women's Health

Cervical Bleeding

01/12/2010

Question:

I am wondering if stress can cause your cervix to bleed? (Kind of like stress-related nosebleeds perhaps?) Every time (and I mean Every Time!)I get a pap smear, my gyno says my cervix is bleeding and she needs to "clean" some of the blood out to get the smear...she then checks for STD`s, which have come back negative. I have always been very nervous getting pap smears, I can`t tell you why. The only explanation she gives for the cervical bleeding is an STD, which is always tested for and shot down. Now I`ve noticed bleeding after intercourse, twice only, but both times I had been extremely upset or stressed in the preceding few hours...everyone`s body is different, could it be possible that nerves and stress cause bleeding? I have ridiculously regular menstrual cycles and have been on birth control (with the exception of 1 month) for 12 years. I have never been pregnant. Any help would be appreciated, as I have another pap smear next month....

Answer:

A Pap smear is a test for abnormal cells of the cervix, in which cells from the surface of the cervix are scraped with a brush or spatula to retrieve them for a cytopathologist to look at.  Sometimes when the cervix is sensitive or inflamed, or if there are delicate blood vessels very close to the surface, or if the scraping is done aggressively, this scraping can trigger a small amount of bleeding.  If this occurs only with an exam and there is no other abnormal bleeding, discharge, odor, or other sign of infection or inflammation, there is usually no cause for concern.

Stress or fear cannot trigger bleeding from the cervix.

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University