Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
You have been asked to attend the post-coital bleeding (PCB) clinic by your GP, practice nurse or clinic. This clinic is for problems relating to the cervix (opening between the vagina and the womb) which is not associated with your smear test results. This can include post-coital bleeding (PCB), polyps on the cervix, irregular bleeding or an unusual appearance of your cervix.
What is post-coital bleeding? (PCB)
PCB is vaginal bleeding which happens during or immediately after sexual intercourse, which is not related to your period.
What causes PCB?
Often there is no explanation as to why you bleed after sexual intercourse. However, there can be a number of very common causes for this type of bleeding, these are:
- Polyps – non cancerous growths in the uterus (womb) or on the cervix (neck of the womb)
- Vaginal dryness (common in menopausal women)
- Vaginal Trauma (common in menopausal women)
- Cervical ectropion (normal and harmless cells that line the inside of the cervical canal, these are found on the outside of the cervix)
- Abnormal cells on the cervix (pre-cancer)
- Cervical or vaginal cancer (very rare)
What can I expect when I attend the clinic?
The doctor or specialist nurse will ask you some general questions about your health and some more specific questions about the bleeding.
What happens when I attend my appointment?
When you attend your appointment, it would be extremely helpful if you could provide the date of your last menstrual period, what contraception method you use details of any allergies and the names of any medications you are taking. To maintain your privacy you will be taken to a separate and private room to undress, a hospital gown will be provided. We will ask you to remove your clothes from the waist down. You will then lie on a special couch which has supports for your legs.
The doctor or specialist nurse will gently insert a speculum (an instrument used to perform your cervical screening test, commonly known as smear test). During the speculum examination, the doctor or specialist nurse may need to take a further cervical sample or swabs. They may also need to take a small biopsy (sample of tissue) from the cervix or from inside your uterus. The doctor or specialist nurse may also use a colposcope (similar to a microscope) which is an instrument that magnifies the cervix and allows the cervix to be seen more closely. It does not enter the vagina.
Following the examination, the doctor or specialist nurse may arrange an ultrasound scan depending on their findings during the examination.
Will a male or female clinician see me?
The Post-Clinical Bleeding clinics are all staffed by female members of the team. However, there may be instances where male trainee doctors are present. If you prefer NOT to be seen by a male clinician then please inform the receptionist on the day of your appointment or call us on the telephone number at the end of the leaflet and we will ensure ONLY a female clinician is available. Entonox (gas & air) is also available to use if you find the examination particularly uncomfortable.
How do I get my results and how long will this take?
We will write to you and your GP as soon as we have the results. We will aim to send the results to you as quickly as possible and in most cases the results of all the tests are usually ready within 3 weeks. We will send you a follow up appointment and information if any further treatment or assessment are required.
If you have an infection we will ask you to collect a prescription for antibiotics from your GP. We may also refer you to the Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic.
Is there anything to look out for when I go home?
This will depend on the treatment or investigations you have carried out on that day. Your doctor or specialist nurse will discuss this with you before you are discharged. We will provide you with an information leaflet which will tell you what to expect following your appointment along with contact numbers.
Who can I contact if I have any questions?
If you need further advice or have any problems, please contact:
University Hospital of Hartlepool
The Colposcopy Hub
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:00p.m
Further information available
Calls to this number are free from landlines and mobile phones
When it is less urgent than 999 call 111
If you have any worries or concerns during out of hours, you should contact your GP’s surgery for their out of hours service number.
Alternatively if you have any heavy vaginal bleeding which is out of the ordinary for you, combined with feeling generally unwell you should attend the A&E department in your local hospital.
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet Reference: PIL1395
Date for Review: 09/11/2025