Gynecology / Women's Health Expert Forum
Bleeding from vagina
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Bleeding from vagina

Hi Doctor,
I'm writing on behalf of my girlfriend because I am concerned.  We've been dating for 2 months now and about a week and a half ago, a day after intercourse she told me that when she went to urinate she noticed she was bleeding from her vagina.  It did not come with any pain or discomfort.  This is exactly half way between when her periods normally are and she said this has never happened before.  The first day was fairly heavy but by the next day it was very light.  A week an a half later there is no obvious bleeding, but during intercourse I notice a little bit of blood on my hands, etc.

Some background on her.  She is 29 and Caucasian.  She was diagnosed with lupus 4 years ago and has taken meds, though in the weeks leading up to this she had not been diligent about taking them.  Earlier in the year she also had a PAP smear where they detected abnormal cells, though further exams concluded everything was okay.

She called her doctor but can't get an appointment for about 3 weeks.  Can you offer any advice for me to pass on?  What might this be caused by?  I suggested she should go to a clinic because I thought 3 weeks is too long to wait.  What do you think?  I know this could be caused by any number of things, but is there anything most likely?

Naturally my mind goes to the worst case scenario.  I really hope this isn't cancer related.  I'm also wondering if there is a chance this could be HIV.  That is also a very scary thought, but thus far she hasn't had any other symptoms that would suggest that.  On that note, would you suggest we stop having intercourse until she finds out what is going on?  I haven't brought these up with her yet because I don't want to scare her, but I would like your opinion.

Thanks in advance
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Hi!
If your girlfriend was my patient, I would feel comfortable waiting to see her for 3 weeks if she had a negative pregnancy test.  If a positive test, I would want to see her sooner.
When I saw her (neg test) I would do an exam/pap/std testing.  Irregular bleeding is common, and especially in light of the new relationship.  Stopping intercourse might be beneficial simply because it would reduce confusion and anxiety.  Once she has seen her doctor, relations could be resumed with confidence.
Her symptoms DO NOT sound like hiv, but I would, of course, offer her testing if she desired.  It would not be a big concern for me unless there are risk factors that you don't mention here.
Good luck!
Dr B
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