Q&A: Vaginal Tearing During Intercourse, Fingering

E-mail Email Icon Print Print Icon
Reddit Digg StumbleUpon Delicious Bookmark

QUESTION: My boyfriend penetrated me for the first time and later found a bit of blood on his finger, not his penis. He says the bleeding was from fingering and not his penis tearing my hymen. How much penetration is necessary to rip the hymen? Could his fingernails have cut me? I feel like he doesn't want to take responsibility for what happened and is taking advantage of my lack of experience.

Subscribe to the Kinsey Confidential Podcast: iTunes | RSS

A drop of blood on a piece of white paper

Photo: Muffet (flickr)

Even if just a little bit of the hymen tears, a woman or her partner may notice blood on one’s fingers, penis or on the sheets.

Many young women and men have questions about having sex for the first time and losing one’s virginity. In regard to your question, it is indeed possible to experience vaginal bleeding from either fingering or penile penetration.

Vaginal Tearing

The vagina is made up of sensitive tissue. It can be easily torn from fingering as may occur during sex play. It can also be torn by little snags of a person’s fingernails. Penetration – whether from a finger or a man’s penis – can also cause the hymen to tear, either just a little or a lot.

The hymen is a thin layer of tissue that partially covers a woman’s vaginal entrance. Although the size of the tissue is small, it is filled with blood vessels. As such, even if just a little bit of the hymen tears, a woman or her partner may notice blood on one’s fingers, penis or on the sheets.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to know whether the bleeding occurred from fingering or penetration.

Slow Down

However, the fact that you feel as though he may be taking advantage of your lack of experience is something to pay attention to. If you feel as though you don’t have as much power or control over the sexual aspects of your relationship, you may find that it is important to talk to your boyfriend about what you do or do not want to happen sexually and what you are or are not feeling ready for.

It may be that you are more comfortable exploring at a slower pace or that you would like to learn more about sex before you continue to engage in such intimate sex play together.

Also, keep in mind that vaginal penetration with a man’s penis – even if it’s just a little bit – can put a woman at risk for pregnancy or sexually transmissible infections, also called STIs. If you do not wish to become pregnant at this time, you may want to not engage in vaginal penetration or you may want to learn more about birth control options.

Learning More

You can learn more about sex by reading S.E.X.: The All You Need to Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College or The Guide to Getting It On.

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.
More posts by this author »

Comments