Q&A I Was A Virgin, But Didn’t Bleed When I Had Sex

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QUESTION: I made love with my boyfriend last night. I was a virgin, still I didn't bleed. Is that normal?

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blood on white sheets

Photo: Heo2035 (Flickr)

A young woman may tear her hymen while being fingered by her partner as part of sex play. Even tampon use may help to wear away parts of the hymen over time.

Some Women Bleed, But Not All

Yes, many women don’t notice any bleeding when they first have vaginal intercourse.

Vaginal bleeding from first intercourse typically occurs when a woman’s hymen tears. The hymen is a thin layer of tissue that covers part of a woman’s vaginal entrance.

Although the tissue itself is thin, it is filled with blood vessels which is why tearing the hymen can lead to bleeding. Among women who notice bleeding when they first have sex, some notice only a small amount of bleeding and others notice a significant amount.

No Two Are Alike

However, some girls aren’t born with much hymen tissue at all and so when they are older and have vaginal intercourse for the first time, they don’t notice much bleeding, if they notice any at all.

Other times girls are born with a typical amount of hymen but the hymen tears during childhood or adolescence without them even realizing it.

A young woman may tear her hymen while masturbating if she inserts her fingers or another object into her vagina. Also, a young woman may tear her hymen while being fingered by her partner as part of sex play. Even tampon use may help to wear away parts of the hymen over time.

In other words, there are several reasons why women may not notice any bleeding during their first sexual intercourse – but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t a virgin. I hope this is helpful.

Next Question: Reaching Orgasm While Masturbating

I never achieve orgasm while masturbating. I remember masturbating for two and half hours and not achieving an orgasm once. Is there something wrong with me compared to other women?

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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